Which programming language to choose for a beginner and how to do it right

Choosing a programming language for a beginner is a task comparable in complexity to choosing a pair of socks for a party: black, black, or black. They are all the same but differ in details, and you sit and rack your brains – in what socks will the rest come?

It doesn’t matter at all. Any living and actively developing programming language will be in demand in the labor market. The complexity of the study is also not a criterion. First, you need to choose not a language but a field of activity in IT. And yet, you will find useful, practical tips and a list of the most popular programming languages ​​in our material.

Assessing the Popularity and Complexity of Programming Languages

EBay, Amazon, Baidu, Wikipedia, and Google – these and other major services, except Yandex, annually provide their data to the TIOBE index. First, these are the data that consider the percentage of requests for a particular programming language in search engines from the number of requests for other languages. Of course, this ranking does not indicate that one language is better.

Programmers should take it as confirmation that the programming language they are using is up to date.

There are other indexes besides TIOBE whose data can be taken into account:

  • PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language index) – Based on Google Trends, this GitHub ranking considers the frequency of lesson requests in a particular programming language.
  • Stack Overflow – Devoted to questions and answers in the field of programming, the service explores this market in detail and regularly interviews developers.
  • IEEE is an annual ranking of programming languages ​​from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, considering 11 parameters and eight different sources, including GitHub and leading social networks.

If you are going to learn a particular programming language with subsequent employment, evaluate its prospects based on the number of vacancies in your city. It is enough to go to a site, enter Java, C ++, or Python in the search and focus on the number of vacancies with their mention.

Which languages ​​are easier and which are harder?

It is difficult to answer this question objectively. After all, it is worth considering not only the features of the language but also your skills, the ability to work with new documentation, etc.

It is conditionally possible to accept how similar the chosen language and pure machine code are as a general criterion. Low-level languages ​​are close to it; high-level languages ​​focus on the programmer’s comfort in use.

A big plus of high-level languages ​​is the availability of standard libraries. They involve developing solutions to several issues. With the help of low-level languages ​​that work directly with memory, processor, and other hardware resources, you can control all processes. Still, their complex syntax greatly increases the possibility of error.

The right approach in choosing the first programming language for beginners

For more than 20 years, the list of the most popular languages ​​has remained unchanged. The TIOBE index for 2019 confirms this. For example, the C language became the leader this year, although it was invented in 1972. Nevertheless, relying on indexes when choosing a language is a moot idea. Why? At some point, you can understand that this profession is not at all yours.

A common criterion for learning a language is its syntax features and ease of use. However, what good is it for a beginner to know Python enforces dynamic visibility constraints?

The speed of language acquisition is a more significant factor. The most promising in this respect are Python and JavaScript. However, their inability to solve any problem is a natural limit.

Those beginners who prioritize the speed and amount of potential earnings are guided by the demand for one or another language in the market. However, the salaries of middle and high-level workers are approximately equal. The tops, including income, are the best of the best.

A real piece of advice when choosing a programming language: first, determine which tasks you are interested in and which ones you don’t want to face under any circumstances. Understanding what secondary skills and personality traits will be most useful in future work is also important.

programming language

If the visual differs from your thing, you should avoid going into mobile development or Front-end. The fundamental skills here are working with graphic editors and a thorough, pixel-by-pixel correspondence to the layout. And the designers with whom you constantly have to cooperate will demand this from you. But such work will provide an opportunity to present the result of your work in the form of a finished application or web page. Such a result will be clear even to the customer farthest from the development.

Backend development will be the best choice if you want to work with clean code without a graphical component. The ability to administer Linux servers and understand databases’ organization and the principles of working with them are important here.

  • Interested in administration – DevOps.
  • If you want to do turnkey projects – mobile development.
  • Do not have a soul in the assembly of “iron” – embedded-programmer.
  • Meticulous, attentive, prone to finding the mistakes of others – automation QA engineer.
  • Love complex math – data science, and game dev.
  • Not liking it – mobile development or web.

Of the 25,000 programming languages ​​that currently exist, about 20 are relevant. PHP, Java, JavaScript, C, C++, C#, Python, and others head the list.

This number is due to the specifics of the application. Low-performance devices such as ATMs or resource-intensive technologies are typically implemented in C and C++.

PHP and JavaScript are used to write websites.

As in life, learn a new programming language. Already knowing one. Much easier. So, if you are still trying to decide, you can choose some popular and relatively versatile ones, for example, JavaScript or Python.

However, be consistent in this: having chosen one language, do not try to learn it as thoroughly as possible. And you definitely should keep one language the same in the middle of training. Highly qualified specialists always strive to improve their knowledge in the subject.

Five important criteria for choosing a programming language for a beginner

Often, the desire to change a programming language to learn another lie in ignoring some key points for beginners. They are important in deciding which programming language to choose for a beginner. If you don’t want to regret the lost time, pay attention to the following:

Ease of learning and application

Simple languages ​​with light syntax are intuitive: commands are denoted in English and generally look more like text. This makes them easy to remember and use.

The more specialized a programming language is, and the more different it is from ordinary English, the more difficult it is to learn.

Life hack: if a person far from IT has heard the name of any of the languages, then this language will be quite easy to learn.

In addition, the visual shell that the chosen language accepts is important. You will have to work with her constantly; she should not cause rejection.

Pay attention to the number of available teaching materials for the chosen language. Their insufficient number or absence can make learning very difficult.


Languages, frameworks, and libraries are often the tools of specific companies and platforms. Example: closely related to Apple and its Swift products. Swift and Objective-C specialists will only become necessary if the company leaves the market. We have already seen such a case from Nokia.

Or Java, the rights to were “inherited” by Oracle due to the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

There are languages ​​like Haskell or Python that are vendor or platform-independent. Their popularity depends solely on the technologies in which they are effective.

Ruby is also a good example here. The elegant syntax allows you to create code quickly, and a friendly and enterprising community helps solve current problems. Airbnb’s backing makes it ideal for startups.

It depends only on you whether to choose an “independent” programming language or a corporate one.

Degree of help in the community

The question of being an active and loyal community user when learning any language is always acute. And you will have questions along the way.

In this regard, new languages ​​like Python, JavaScript, or Ruby are ahead of the rest: their communities are friendly and always ready to help; holding meetups is a regular practice, and there are many specialized channels in social networks and instant messengers like Telegram, for example:

  • Python Beginners – The basics of Python for beginners.
  • Python – Python developer chat.
  • Js is a JavaScript user feed.
  • JS Jobs – Jobs for JavaScript users.
  • Ruby, Rails, Hanami | dry-rb is a Ruby and Ruby on Rails user channel.

Fans of previous-generation languages ​​are often less responsive. This, of course, complicates integration into the community. Remember, much of the support and motivation will – or won’t – come from the community. The advice is this – first, read the community, and find out if the format of communication accepted in it suits you. Visit a couple of meetups, and watch the venues.

Notable developer sites:

  • StackOverflow is the most famous location. Any programmer can ask a question, and the most sensible answers are raised during voting.
  • GitHub is a code-sharing space.
  • Reddit is America’s most popular service for programmers.
  • Hacker News, created by Y Combinator, is quite popular in the English-speaking environment.
  • Data scientists have a very impressive community. It’s ODS, and the main activity there is on their Slack channel.
  • BeerJS are regular meetups in Moscow that bring together JavaScript fans to exchange experiences over a glass of craft beer.

Demand for languages ​​by region

The demand for a particular language often depends on the region. A novice programmer should always remember this. Research the question for the region where you plan to look for work. True, if nothing keeps you from moving, this item is not so necessary.

Python was the first programming language for a beginner.

Python is one of the youngest and most promising programming languages. Due to its versatility, it is used in a wide variety of IT areas: software development, automation scripts, and machine learning – these are just a few of the tasks it can do. Python may be considered one of the leaders.

Many people have this question – why Python? The answer is surprisingly simple: the favorite comedy show of the creator of this programming language, which he watched in breaks from work, was called Monty Python.

Python is especially famous for its maximum loyalty to beginners: its syntax is simple, similar to English, and very compactly grouped code. Here is a sample Python code for a password-checking script:

if pwd == ‘apple’:

print(‘Logging on …’)


print(‘Incorrect password.’)

print(‘All done!’)

Let’s take a closer look at the qualities that make Python so beloved by juniors:

  • exceptional simplicity;
  • High demand: programmers who speak Python are in demand, and there is no evidence that the trend will change soon;
  • Recognition: prevalence is growing, and there is a lot of mastering content;
  • A huge and active community: there are many beginners and beginners in this language, so you will always find someone to discuss urgent issues with;
  • Versatility: Python is equally well suited for both application development and machine learning;
  • Springboard effect: the next languages ​​you want to learn with Python will be much easier.

It would be strange to think that even such a perfect language has no flaws. According to most coders, the only major drawback of Python is its slowness. It does not stand up to comparison with compiled languages.

Is the JavaScript programming language suitable for beginners?

JavaScript is a dynamic scripting programming language. The most common area of ​​its application is applications for smartphones and browsers. Easy to learn, extremely popular all over the world. At first, his code can be disorienting. But after a while, you will be surprised that you did not understand it before.

programming language

JavaScript does not require special clients. At first, any text editor and browser is enough. Since the language is popular, it is easy to find both manuals for mastering or thematic lessons on the net and examples of specific solutions. In all respects, a great start.

Here is an example of a piece of JavaScript code. This piece is responsible for collecting data from input fields:

_getInputValues = () => {

this._inputList.forEach(item => {

if (item.value.length > 0) {

this._inputValues[] = item.value;



return this._inputValues;


Let’s take a closer look at the qualities that make this language popular:

  • ease of use of ready-made scripts and plugins in JS, simple integration;
  • widespread, therefore, great demand – including for the future;
  • Dynamic development: regular updates are released aimed at improving and expanding use cases;
  • High performance: one of the properties is partial page processing. Saving traffic and reducing server loads are impressive.

This language also has disadvantages:

  • Error detection is difficult, especially in the early stages. They become obvious only in work;
  • Rather confusing syntax: mastering the code of this language will take a decent amount of time;
  • The presence of internal problems in the language itself. Due to rapid development, the very body of the language can generate errors for unpredictable reasons.

Is it worth choosing the C# programming language for a beginner?

A representative of C-like languages, which include C, C++, Java, and some others, C#, is an example of an object-oriented language developed by Microsoft. The syntax is almost completely inherited from C ++, but the range of possibilities is higher.

In the beginning, there was C, from which came C++. C++++ was supposed to be next. But Microsoft decided it would look too cumbersome, so they grouped four + pairs on top of each other. The resulting “lattice” became the name of the new generation language: С#

programming language

The language is very young and is developing very dynamically. The number of projects on it is incalculable: PC sites, smartphone applications, video games, specialized software – this is just the tip of the iceberg. Leading corporations also love C#: applications on it are created for Sberbank VR programs and various Tesla, Xbox, and Windows applications. The list goes on.

Below is a code snippet in C#:

using System;

class HelloWorld


public static int Main()


Console.WriteLine(“Hello World!”);



What is the secret of such success of this language:

  • Ease of learning. The C# syntax is pretty simple. This means that the language is wonderfully suitable for beginners, saves time during development, and makes other people’s code more readable.
  • Prevalence. There are many users of the language. Therefore, there will be a lot of content to study.
  • Demand. There are many projects, including large ones, in C#. Accordingly, the “price” of the programmers who own it is growing.
  • Easy entry. The language is quite easy to learn and does not require specific knowledge and extra long training. Students on the game development course learn C# for six months. With some diligence, this period can even be reduced by a month or two.
  • Protection from Microsoft. Since C# is a product of the company, it constantly and abundantly invests in its development and popularization.

There are also disadvantages to C#, although they are few. For beginners, there is only one minus – accessibility. The license provides for the free use of the language only up to a certain point. Large firms will have to pay for the purchase of software.

Is the Kotlin programming language suitable for a beginner?

Kotlin was created in 2016 by the Russian company JetBrains to simplify Java’s rather confusing syntax while retaining its good qualities. In many ways, this was successful – the language is quite simple and understandable to master. Due to this, it is perfect for developing applications on Android.

Large companies also recognize Kotlin: it runs applications from brands such as Basecamp, Pinterest, Uber, and others. In addition, Kotlin has official patronage in the Android niche from such a giant as Google. This, as well as code compatibility with Java, makes it very popular not only in the mobile application environment but also for client web programs and backend.

programming language

Despite being open source, Kotlin is still growing. His community is also not very large, but the most ardent ill-wisher will not be able to call him dead. The main activity is concentrated in Slack and on the forums.

Simple programming language Swift for iOS devices

The main idea of ​​the Swift language is maximum functionality with maximum efficiency. It is quite easy to master it, especially if there are basics in any other language. It has grown products such as Safari, Procreate, Kickstarter, and VSCO.

In addition, this is Apple’s “title” language: iOS, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, so Swift is optimal for iOS development. There are pluses and minuses to this.

Since the language is not very popular, and its niche is very profitable, Swift developers are in demand, and employment is fine. The flip side of the coin is that applications on it are very difficult to adapt to platforms other than Apple.

But the range of applications of the language is very wide: augmented reality, UI design, and other applications, in which the emphasis is on a combination of aesthetics and practicality. Swift is based on Objective-C in many ways, so understanding this language will be very useful.

Another big plus is that, unlike other Apple products, the Swift source code is open. This means that it is much easier to develop and promote it.

Is Go from Google worth choosing for beginners

A huge plus of Golang is its maximally concise syntax. The main load falls on the widest standard library, the development of which is relatively easy. Another plus is the strong support from the parent corporation.

This language is very young; it appeared in 2009 but has already won recognition as an excellent backend development tool. Since Go is a compiled language, it is most often used for high-load applications. This makes it popular with big retailers like Ozon or Wildberries. YouTube also uses it in its products.

The Go community is still relatively small but growing very rapidly. Interaction is carried out through a Google mailing list.

Old but proven PHP

The syntax structure of PHP is very similar to Java or C. Despite this, it is quite easy to learn, adaptable and accessible. Knowing the basics of HTML and CSS, a beginner can easily write a simple one-pager. The recognition of this language is quite significant – WordPress, VK, and Wikipedia use it in their work.

As a server-side web development language, it is good for creating single-page and complex high-load sites. It copes well with the animation of static pages and is extremely powerful and productive; due to this, it is popular in developing forums, blogs, online stores, and social networks.

A big plus of PHP is that it adapts equally well to different operating systems: Windows, Unix, and Linux accept PHP equally well.

Its flexibility also lies in its plus: it is quite easy to make a mistake when coding, but it is very difficult to find an error later.

There are a lot of communities dedicated to PHP. Basic newsletters are structured on the language’s official page. In addition, a lively and active community can be found in almost any social network or messenger channel.

HTML and CSS for Beginners

HTML and CSS are markup languages ​​used to help create web pages. HTML in this tandem is responsible for the structure and content of the document: its headings, blocks of text, hyperlinks, etc.

In CSS, work with styles: colors, backgrounds, fonts, etc. Simply put, HTML is responsible for the content, and CSS is responsible for the appearance.

Strictly speaking, neither HTML nor CSS is a programming language. But creating a website from scratch without them is an unrealistic task. That’s why these tools are just as important as standard programming languages. So, their development for those who want to become programmers is indispensable.

programming language

The HTML code with CSS styling looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>




body {

background-color: powderblue;


h1 {

color: blue;


p {

color: red;





<h1>This is a heading</h1>

<p>This is a paragraph.</p>



Like programming languages, HTML and CSS have several pros and cons that will influence your choice. Let’s consider them in more detail:

  • Less “weight.” Pure HTML and CSS code is noticeably smaller than similar products implemented through a website builder.
  • Value. Currently, only HTML and CSS can build a website from scratch. This means that specialists who know these markup languages ​​will be in demand.
  • Ease of learning. The semantics of these languages ​​is accessible even to schoolchildren.
  • Prevalence. There is more than enough information on HTML and CSS on the Internet. So every question has an answer.

Of course, it was not without its downsides. The main ones are:

  • Different browsers understand CSS layouts differently. It may frustrate your efforts.
  • High competition from CMS systems and website builders.

So what is the answer to the main question you ask: what programming language to choose for a beginner? Any of the ones you like. After all, C++ creator Björn Stroustrup once said: “There are only two kinds of programming languages: those that are constantly criticized, and those that no one uses.”


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