Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?

Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?

As a newbie programmer, deciding which programming language to learn first can be tough. The software development industry moves at a rapid rate, and the market is always shifting. There are about 700 programming languages in use, each with its own set of benefits, drawbacks, and applications.

So, how do you figure out where to start?

The good news is that learning any language will expand your horizons and provide you with new chances. We’ll look at the many sorts of programming languages and how to pick the ideal first language for your personal and professional goals in this article. After that, we’ll go over some of the most widely used languages today.

Let’s get going!


We’ll talk about:

  1. Various kinds of programming
  2. Selecting the Most Appropriate Programming Language
  3. The most widely used programming languages
  4. Conclusions and Next Actions


Various kinds of programming

To connect instructions to computers or machines, programming languages are utilized. There are a plethora of programming languages available, each with its own set of capabilities. The functionalities of these languages can be used to classify them. The following are examples of popular programming languages:



High-level programming languages provide strong abstractions from computer details. Because they often employ simple syntax, have superior readability, and automate portions of computing systems to make programming easier, high-level languages are regarded easier to understand and master.


Low-level programming languages provide little to no abstraction from the architecture of a computer’s instruction set. “Closer to the hardware” is a common description for these languages. They don’t need an interpreter or compiler to convert to machine code. They are thought to have a more difficult learning curve than high-level languages.


General-purpose programming languages are intended for use in a wide range of applications. Special features for specific domains are missing from these languages.


Scripting languages are interpreted programming languages. They’re usually interpreted rather than compiled at runtime. They employ a set of instructions that may be run without having to be constructed. Not all programming languages are scripting languages, and not all scripting languages are programming languages.


Statements are used in imperative programming to change the state of a program. Imperative programs offer the computer instructions to follow. It concentrates on describing how programs work. The following subcategories can be found in imperative languages:

Procedural: The concept of procedural calls is at the heart of procedural programming languages. These languages follow and carry out a set of steps in a specific order.

Object-oriented programming languages are built on the concept of objects, which hold data or code. Object-oriented software is made up of objects that interact with one another.

Parallel programming languages allow you to run multiple processes at the same time. Tasks are often divided down into multiple sub-tasks in parallel programming, each of which can be run individually and the results merged later. Parallel programming is closely related to concurrent programming and is usually used together.


Declarative programming is often defined as “any non-imperative programming paradigm.” Declarative programs are non-imperative and explain desired outcomes without specifying commands or processes to be followed. They define what the program should achieve rather than how it should do it. The following subcategories exist within declarative languages:

Formal logic is the foundation of logic programming languages. Logical programs are made up of a logically ordered set of statements that represent facts and rules concerning issue areas.

Functional programming languages are used to apply and compose functions. The definitions of functions are trees of expressions that map one value to another. Functions can be bound to names, supplied as arguments, and returned from other functions in functional programming.

Database programming languages are used to define and access database data. Within our database management system, we may regulate access to data, define and update data, and search for information using database applications (DBMS).


Selecting the Most Appropriate Programming Language

When choosing a language to learn, or even when deciding which language to use for a new project, there are a few aspects to consider. T he first and most important question to ask oneself is: why am I studying a programming language in the first place?

Are you considering a career in programming? Do you wish to learn programming for fun or as a hobby? Are you attempting to change careers? Do you want to start from scratch and create a website? Would you like to create your own mobile app? Do you want to study the most popular and in-demand language available? There are so many questions!

In other words, your personal motivations for learning a language can help you determine which language is ideal for you.


Is it possible to choose the wrong programming language?

Learning any programming language, at the end of the day, will teach you valuable and transferrable skills in the software business. While each programming language has its own quirks, they all follow the same basic principles. You’ll learn more about fundamental programming principles, computer science, hardware, software, and other topics if you study any language.

It’s also worth noting that you can study a variety of programming languages. During the course of their careers, many developers switch between languages. If your first language does not resonate with you, you can always switch to another. It’s usually much easier to study another language once you’ve mastered your first. When deciding on your first language, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

When it comes to choosing a language, it’s crucial to think about your goals and what you’re working on. For example, if you want to create an iOS app, Swift is a good language to learn; if you want to create a website, you’ll need to learn HTML and CSS, and so on.


The most widely used programming languages

In this section, we’ll look at a list of some of the most popular programming languages to help you figure out which one is ideal for you and your requirements.


Java is a high-level, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. Android application development, big data apps, mobile app development, game development, and other back-end development jobs typically use it as the server-side language. It’s a basic language that uses garbage collection and automatic memory allocation. It allows for reusable code and supports class-based object-oriented programming (OOP). Java is cross-platform and multi-threaded.



JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted, object-oriented language. It is not a class-based language like Java. JavaScript, along with HTML and CSS, is commonly used in front-end web development to create dynamic web sites. Because it can execute in the client-side browser, JavaScript is an extremely fast language. It’s noted for its easy syntax and extensive library, framework, and technology ecosystem, which includes React, Angular, and Node.js, among others.



Python is a high-level scripting language that is interpreted and object-oriented. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and data analysis, and web development are all areas where it’s employed. Python has a large library of functionality, including web services tools, operating system interfaces, and more. One of the reasons Python is so popular is because of these features, which bring a lot of capability to the language. Because of its easy syntax, readability, and extensibility, many developers recommend that beginners study Python as their first programming language.



Apple’s Swift is a multi-paradigm, open-source programming language. It is mostly used for iOS and macOS development. It features a framework infrastructure, debugger, and powerful compiler, as well as integrating Objective-object-oriented C’s model. Swift is noted for its easy-to-understand syntax, scalability, and security. Swift projects are easy to grow since they may be expanded with new features as needed.



Golang, or Go, is a Google-created open-source, general-purpose, and compiled programming language. It’s a statically typed, imperative language with object-oriented programming capabilities. Go is a hybrid language that combines the finest aspects of several languages in a simple, expressive manner. It’s utilized for a wide range of software development projects.



C is a procedural, imperative, and general-purpose programming language. It’s frequently used for scripting system software and operating systems like Windows, UNIX, and Linux. Embedded systems, desktop programs, browsers, and databases all use it. Because C is a low-level programming language, it is “closer to the hardware.” C is a foundational language for many other languages, therefore studying it will aid you in learning and comprehending others.



C++ is an object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. Because of its portability, you can run your programs on almost any interface or operating system. If you build an application in Linux and then want to switch to Windows, for example, the transition will be seamless. Video game development, back-end development, and graphical user interface (GUI) applications are all common uses.



The structured query language, or SQL, is a domain-specific language for managing data in relational databases. Relational database management systems (RDMS) such as MySQL, Postgres, and Microsoft SQL Server use it as their standard language. It allows you to use SQL modules, libraries, and pre-compilers to embed into other languages. It’s useful for web developers, data scientists, and analysts, as well as some non-technical positions like business analysts and marketers.



Scala is a programming language that mixes functional and object-oriented programming into one. It was created to enhance Java, allowing you to invoke Java methods, inherit from Java classes, and more. Scala is widely utilized in a variety of applications, including strong static systems, machine learning, data science, finance applications, distributed applications, and so on. It is in high demand and is growing in popularity.



PHP is a server-side programming language that is similar to C and is open-source. It’s commonly used for web development and dynamic web page creation. It’s also utilized in GUI design and command-line programming. PHP is well-known for being user-friendly and adaptable, as it can run on any operating system and work with any database.



Kotlin is a statically typed, open-source programming language that can be transpiled into Java bytecode and run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) or Android. Kotlin is now the most popular language for developing Android apps and server-side applications. By transpiling to JavaScript, it can also be used to create online applications. Because they share many principles, learning Kotlin can help you learn other current languages rapidly, such as TypeScript, Scala, and Swift.



For front-end developers, HTML and CSS are prominent languages. HTML is a markup language that is used to organise the content of web pages. CSS is a style sheet language that describes how documents produced in markup languages like HTML are presented. To create interactive websites, the two languages operate together with JavaScript.


Conclusions and Next Steps

Hong Kong Coding Club is here to help, whether you’re just getting started or want to learn a new programming language. Our carefully designed courses and tutorials will assist you in learning new coding languages and skills, as well as preparing you for real-world software development. Our courses are hands-on, with interactive code widgets that you can use right in your browser. With one of our courses, you may begin learning a new language right now. Among the possibilities are:

  • ▪ Java.
  • ▪ C++
  • ▪ Scala

Enjoy your learning journey!