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Best Programming Languages to Learn

Joshua Weinstein - January 04, 2021

There are dozens of coding languages in use today, and choosing the best ones can be daunting.  Some programming languages serve a specific purpose, such as website design, while others have more general applications.  When determining the best programming languages to learn, it’s essential to consider what you intend to do with the language.  In this article, we’ll cover the best coding languages to learn for web and software development, plus an all-purpose option that works for both.

Best Web Development Programming Languages

Image of Facebook sign-up page on a screen.
Websites like Facebook rely heavily on UX/UI designers.

Web developers design, build, maintain, and program websites.  Positions within this field include UX/UI designers, front and backend engineers, and various data specialists.  We’ll go over the two most common (and basic) web development languages that you should learn.

  • HTML

This is the most basic web development language, and perhaps the most straightforward code of all.  The acronym stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Developers use it for basic website features like headings, font style, tags, and attributes.  HTML is the easiest coding language to learn for most people.

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  • JavaScript

JavaScript and HTML go hand-in-hand for web development.  This language allows programmers to add interactive and responsive features to a website.  Virtually every web developer in the modern age is familiar with this code. It’s used to create custom buttons, menus, timers, and other useful features.  JavaScript is universally compatible with web browsers, and it’s not that difficult to master after HTML.

Best Software Development Programming Languages

Colorful software or web code on a computer monitor
Programming languages range in complexity and uses.

There are dozens of useful software development languages in use today.  For this section, we picked out two of the most popular and versatile coding languages for building desktop applications and other programs.

  • Java

If you’ve used a computer in the last fifteen years, you’ve probably seen that classic coffee cup logo while launching a program.  Java is an incredibly versatile development language, and it’s in use across all major operating systems. Most beginners consider it easy to learn, and numerous online resources can help.

  • C++

This programming language is an excellent general-purpose tool for software development.  C++ is dynamic, logical, and relatively easy to master. Developers prefer this language due to its flexibility and general applications.  It’s also a fantastic choice for memory manipulation and object-oriented programming tasks.

Great All-Purpose Programming Languages

General-purpose coding languages are like the Swiss army knives of computing.

While it’s possible to use the programming languages above for both software and web development, some are better suited for both tasks.  Here, we’ll cover some of the best all-purpose coding languages and their many possible uses. After learning the basics, it’s a great idea to pick up one of these, too.

  • Python

This language is a tech industry favorite.  Python is a modern and advanced programming language that’s used to develop web and desktop programs.  Developers use it for everything from web apps to operating systems. Beginners thrive with Python because it’s possible to build elementary and complex applications with the language.  You don’t have to dive in too deep to see it work.

  • Ruby

Ruby is an excellent general-purpose language, but it’s especially useful for web development.  The Ruby On Rails system is a favorite for building database-backed web applications that help organize and access data.  Ruby is also helpful for general-purpose application programming, so it’s used across the board. Ruby is exceptionally readable, which makes it easily learnable for many developers.

Where to Learn Programming Languages

Programming is a dynamic and engaging activity, but it requires careful training and skill. Coding bootcamps offer excellent courses for beginners, along with access to professional instructors who know what they’re doing.  Unlike college, many coding bootcamps allow students to defer tuition until they land a well-paying job in the programming field of their choice.  Full-time bootcamp courses last between three and eight months, and they’re available online or in person.  We think coding bootcamps are the best (and fastest) way to learn programming skills and set yourself up for a lucrative career in tech.  With a little help, anybody can do it.

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Joshua Weinstein

About the author: Joshua Weinstein is a senior staff writer focusing on future of work and alternative education programs.

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