Programming is now among the essential skills in 2024. With technology growing rapidly by the day, in all aspects of our lives, the demand for programmers is also rising.
By acquiring programming skills, one can not only solve the day to day problems using abstraction skills, but also develop softwares, web-applications, UI-UX designs etc. Career opportunities are vast as well. They range from software engineer, IT technician, Data Scientist, Cybersecurity analyst, product manager, system admin and many more.
If you want to get into programming, choosing the right language can be overwhelming considering the many options available, each with its strength and weaknesses.
In this article, we will explore seven of the best programming languages for beginners in 2024, taking into account their simplicity, versatility and demand in the job market. We will also show you how to choose the right language for yourself and provide some links to books we recommend to learn the languages.
Let's get started.
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How To Choose The Right Language for you
To choose the right programming language, one has to consider several factors.
- Learning Curve - Something else to consider is the Learning Curve. Some languages are not as straight forward (They have a steeper learning curve i.e. Java and C#) while others have an easier learning path such as python and Ruby which are more beginner-friendly.
- Community Support - Something else that most people overlook is the community support and the resources available. It is easier to learn a language with a large community. The availability of a community means that you will get more support and extensive documentations which will positively impact you learning experience.
Programming Languages for Beginners
After putting the factors above into consideration, here are some of the best programming languages that we think would fit well with beginners.
Python is an exceptional programming language that plays an incredible role in modern applications.
In a more technical orientation, Python is a high-level, interpreted programming language developed by Guido Van Rossum in 1991.
It is a popular choice for building various types of applications and tools. You will often find it in web applications, data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and more.
The following are some features that make Python an excellent tool for beginners.
- Readability and Simplicity - The major reason that Python comes of an excellent language for beginners is its straightforward and exceptionally readable syntax. Python provides a near English like syntax which makes it an easier code to read and maintain. For example, to show something to the user, you simply use the
- Code Indentation - Unlike other programming languages that uses curly braces and semi-colon for termination, Python simply uses indentation to delineate code blocks such as if statements, loops, functions, etc. This provides a unique and universal code styling which is easier to understand. It also prevents you from spending hours debugging your code only to realize you forgot a semi-colon.
- Dynamic Typing - Python is dynamically typed. This means that you don't need to determine which data type is appropriate for your application. Your role is just to format the data correctly and Python will take care of the rest. Trust us, as a beginner, this is a very useful treat.
- Amazing Standard Library - We know as a beginner you probably don't know what standard library means. Think of it as a set of built-in tools and features that comes by default in the Python language. By a very large margin, Python has one of the most extensive standard library of a wide range of languages. You need a web server, Python has tools for it by default. Need to work with regular expressions, interacting with the database, how about multithreading, working with JSON data, Python has some tools in its library to help with it. This removes the need for you to browse some haphazardly written documentation for an external package.
- Extensive Community and Resources - When you are just starting out to code, Trust us, you will need a lot of help. Luckily, Python has one of the vast and most active communities that can quickly provide you with assistance when you face some problems. Although you will find "trolls", the Python community is friendly and won't judge you when you ask "dumb or obvious" questions.
- Interactivity - Python is highly interactive. You can quickly launch a Python shell, start typing code and get results immediately. Nothing is more annoying than compiling your code 5 times and you still face the same error.
- Widely Adopted - Unlike most beginner languages, Python is heavily adopted in almost every company, including Google, Facebook, Spotify and more. And with the recent rise of AI and machine learning applications, it has become a heavy commodity. This means once you learn it, you won't struggle to find where to apply it.
- Integration - Although Python is popular, you will find yourself employed in a company that uses another language. Luckily, Python is very flexible and be easily integrated with other languages. This removes the need for you to hold off on your work to go off and learn a new language and come back to apply for that position.
- Open Source - This probably doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or not but Python is free to use and distributed. Even you can contribute to it's source code.
Get Started with Python:
Get Started with JS.
Third, we have Scratch.
Scratch is a visual programming language developed and maintained by the MIT Media Lab. It is an excellent tool for visual depiction of various programming concepts. If you want to first understand the logic of programming and basic problem solving techniques, try Scratch.
The following are some reasons why Scratch will intrigue you.
- Visual and Highly Interactive - Scratch uses a block-based coding approach where you drag and drop code blocks to create programs. Since the coding concepts and building blocks are presented visually, it is very easy to understand and just play with.
- Beginner-Friendly Environment - The entire purpose of Scratch is to engaging and fun, using colorful graphics and interactive sprites. You will love it, to a point!
- Online Community - Scratch has a vast and supportive community. You can share your projects and you'll get supportive feedback, collaboration requests, and just a community with non-toxic mindset.
- *Native Multimedia Integration - Scratch allows you to easily integrate sounds, pictures, and animations directly without learning some filesystem nonsense.
- Essentiality - Despite its simplicity, Scratch teaches the fundamentals of programming, like loops, conditionals, and variables, which are the building blocks of any other programming language.
Get Started with Scratch:
Ruby is another high-level, interpreted programming language developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto or Matz in mid-1990s. Ruby is very well renowned in web development especially with the Ruby on Rails framework.
Although it can power very complex and powerful tools like the Metasploit Framework, yes, that Metasploit Framework.
Here are some reasons why Ruby should be on your tier list.
- Readability and Simplicity - Like Python, Ruby's syntax is clear and concise, designed with an emphasis on simplicity and productivity.
- Flexibility:- Ruby is a dynamically-typed language, which allows more flexibility in how you use variables and data types. It also supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural styles. If you are not sure what any of that means, it's all good. that's why we are here. All it means is it's a powerful language.
- Cool Libraries - Ruby has as Ruby Gems service which is a community-driven hosting service, that provides a large collection of libraries that can simplify a wide array of tasks.
- Test-Driven Development - Although you won't be testing code as a beginner, Ruby has an incredible support for test-driven development which will allow you to get a customed to the paradigm in early stage and help you write better code in your twilight years.
Get started with Ruby.
Bourne Again Shell or BASH is a command-line interpreter for Unix-based systems, including Linux distributions, BSD, macOS, etc.
Bash is an excellent tool for command-line jujitsu that can help you make your system tasks a little less boring.
Here's why we think Bash can be a good choice for you as a beginner.
- Scripting - Bash is not just a shell but also a scripting language that enables you to automate tasks on a Unix-based system. If you want to get into system administration and DevOps, Bash you must.
- Command Line Proficiency - If you want to master the command-line bash is the full gateway into that. Not only will show you how to integrate basic commands, it will show you how to pair them to create very very powerful tools.
- Tool Integration - Unlike programs written other languages that require some extensive tools and chaining, Bash scripts can call other programs and utilities, so it integrates well with other tools.
- Community and Resources - Given its long history and widespread use, there's a robust community and many resources for learning Bash.
Books to get you started with Bash.
Golang, commonly known as Go is a generally modern and open-source programming language created at Google by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson.
The main goal of Go is emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and efficiency, which can make it a good choice for beginners.
These features might impress you:
- Simplicity - Go was specifically designed to feel simple. It has a minimalistic syntax similar to C, but without many of the complex features and rules.
- Strong Typing - Go has a strong typed construct that can help you understand the various data types and how they work and minimize errors.
- Standard Library Go's standard library is quite comprehensive, providing many handy built-in functions for working with primitive types, I/O, cryptography, and more.
- Tooling: Go also provides excellent tooling that helps in formatting code, managing dependencies, and performance analysis.
Books to get you Started.
Lastly, we have Lua
Lua is an incredibly lightweight, high-level, multi-paradigm language. It is primarily designed for use in embedded applications. It is known for its incredible speed, simplicity, and for use in embedded applications such as games.
As a beginner, here are some reasons you might find Lua impressive:
- Simplicity - Lua's syntax is fairly minimalistic and straightforward. It's more like a config language than a programming language. This is all to say that Lua is very easy to read and write.
- Embeddable Lua is often used as a scripting language within other applications, particularly games. This can provide a fun and practical entry point for you.
- Multi-Paradigm - Luckily Lua supports various programming paradigms such as procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, and data-driven programming. This makes it easy for you to choose which paradigm you wish to follow without it forcing a given paradigm down your throat.
- Small Size - Lua is designed to be compact both in terms of source and binary, which can make it less daunting.
One major disadvantage of Lua is its widespread adoption. This means it may not be a good entry if you are looking for a job.
To sum up, there is no definitive "Best" programming language for everyone. It all depends on ones desires and goals. Different projects will also determine which language to use.
This article just provides an incite into some of the languages we think will fit well with beginners starting out for the first time.
The article should help you make informed decision on which language to start with considering the factors mentioned.
Be sure to do more research as you set up for success in your programming journey. If you found the article helpful, be sure to subscribe to Geekbits and share the article with other newbies looking to start their programming journeys.
Whatever language you choose, you can reach out to us directly to request an article on how to either accomplish a given task or resolve a problem.