Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?

Starting Your Career in Programming: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Programming Language to Start with as a Beginners.

Posted Sat, Oct 07, 2023


Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?

Creating computer programs is an art known as coding or programming. It is the craft of instructing a computer; telling it what it should do and how it should do it. But, the twist is choosing the right programming language can have a profound impact on your learning experience. While some languages are easier to grasp, others are tailored for specific tasks. Before getting started with a programming language, you need to consider some factors, such as the purpose and what you want to achieve, the convenience you feel with a language, the efficiency of the language, and its speed and performance to suit your purpose and programming goal. Let’s discuss all these in more detail.

Defining Your Programming Goals and Projects

To begin your programming journey, it's crucial to set clear objectives. Your programming language choices should align with your goals. If you want to focus on building business-oriented software, consider languages like Python, which is versatile and widely used in the corporate world. For web development, languages such as HTML, CSS, and the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) are essential for building websites. If you're venturing into game development, languages like JavaScript for web-based games or C# for game engines like Unity are prominent choices. For mobile app development, languages like Swift (for iOS) and Kotlin (for Android) are common picks. Your decision should also consider your preferred development and maintenance style, as well as the efficiency and resource requirements of the language. In your journey, you'll encounter frontend, backend, and database development. For example, Python and JavaScript are versatile for both frontend and backend tasks, while languages like PHP are popular for server-side scripting and database interactions. These considerations will help you chart a clear path tailored to your programming goals.

Understanding the Learning Curve and Categories of Programming Languages

When embarking on your programming journey as a beginner, understanding the landscape of programming languages is crucial for making the right choice. There are several categories of programming languages, each with its unique characteristics, learning curve, and best-suited use cases.

  • High-Level and Low-Level Languages: High-level languages, like Python, are known for their user-friendly and easy-to-comprehend nature. They prioritize ease of understanding, making them an excellent choice for beginners. However, they may exhibit slightly slower performance and require more memory. On the other hand, low-level languages, such as Assembly Language, offer exceptional performance and memory efficiency but are more challenging to learn and lack portability. As a beginner, understanding the trade-offs between these language types is essential when choosing the right tool for a programming task.
  • Compiled and Interpreted Languages: Compiled languages like C or C++ offer the advantage of significant speed and efficiency. They translate code into machine code during compilation, making them a preferred choice for performance-critical applications. However, the drawback is the need for full code compilation before testing and platform-dependence. In contrast, interpreted languages like Python provide real-time debugging capabilities, making them easier for beginners to identify and correct errors during development. This feature is invaluable for those starting their programming journey.
  • Procedural/Object-Oriented/Functional Languages: Procedural languages, like C and Pascal, follow a structured approach using commands, functions, and variables. They are well-suited for tasks requiring step-by-step problem-solving. Object-oriented languages, such as Java and Python, emphasize code reusability and modular design. Concepts like polymorphism and inheritance offer flexibility for complex applications. Functional languages, including Haskell and Lisp, focus on mathematical functions and declarative expressions, prioritizing immutability for data security and bug detection. This approach is ideal for logical mathematical functions and often leads to more concise and elegant code.

Brief Note on Some Common Programming Languages

This should help you get a bit familiar with some common programming languages.

  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, (Personal Home Page) is a widely used server-side scripting language primarily designed for web development. It serves as the backbone for many dynamic websites and applications. It can be used for just about any web-based product such as Content Management Systems (CMS), E-commerce Platforms, Web Sites, etc.
  • Python: Used mainly for data analysis and data science projects, Python can also be used for web scraping, business logic for software applications, and website development. It can be used to handle cumbersome amounts of data and for complex mathematical arithmetics. Its syntax is very much like the English language. Another good thing about Python is that it can function as either Functional, Object-Oriented, or even Procedural Language.
  • Java: Java is another commonly used programming language for web applications, desktop applications, games, mobile applications, web servers, desktop servers, database connections, etc. Now why should you opt in to learn Java? It is easy to learn. It is open-source and free. It is secure, fast and powerful. There is a demand for those who are professionals in this language. It is independent of the platform (whether Windows or Linux). It is, however, Object-Oriented.
  • C++: I present to you here another fantastic programming language to learn, C++. C++ is a cross-platform programming language that can be used to develop "high-performance" applications. Why should you go for C++? It is fast and easy to learn. As stated earlier, it is one of the most sorted out programming languages. It also supports classes and objects. Hence, it is an object-oriented language.

Syntax of the Language

Programming syntax is similar to the structure of language in spoken communication. It defines how characters should be arranged to create a valid statement. Every programming language has its unique syntax rules, which are essential for effectively instructing computers. For example, the syntax for declaring variables in Python is different from that in Java. Although it may sound simple, some individuals prefer the syntax of one programming language over another and feel more comfortable with it. For instance, some developers prefer the syntax in Python because it uses fewer lines of code and is easier to read, while others may prefer the syntax in Java because it is more structured and easier to manage in large projects.

PHP uses the $ sign for variables but functions are called def in Python

Community Support for the Language

Access to a vibrant community and plenty of learning resources can greatly aid your journey. However, it is equally important that you join a community that supports the programming language you are choosing. For example, Python enjoys widespread usage, particularly among data analysts, making it a go-to choice for data-related tasks. PHP, on the other hand, holds substantial value in web application development, while JAVA finds its stronghold in desktop and Android application development. Being part of a community that shares your language preference ensures you receive the right guidance, support, and mentorship.

This access to assistance and the right support network is invaluable for improving your language proficiency. It means that when you encounter challenges or need solutions, you have a reliable source for quick fixes and expert insights. So, as you embark on your programming journey, consider not only the language you want to learn but also the community that surrounds it, as they can be the pillars of your progress and success.


In conclusion, as you venture into the world of programming, keep in mind that there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which language to learn first. Your choice should align with your goals and the type of projects you intend to tackle. Consider the learning curve, language characteristics, and the specific tasks you aim to accomplish. Ultimately, the best language for you as a beginner is the one that aligns with your interests and project aspirations. 

We have great news for YOU! The news is that you don't have to bother too much about how and where you can get started.


Now that you have a basic knowledge of programming from what you have read, your journey to building a career in Tech can start right away by joining our personalized mentorship class at Teners. As stated in the article, community is an integral part of the learning of programming languages and at Teners, we do not only provide a mentorship class but also have a community structure in place that will enhance your growth. By enrolling with us, you can be guaranteed that you are on the right track to becoming a master programmer. What are you waiting for? Make the right choice for your Tech career by joining us today!

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