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What Programming Language Do I Learn First?

Nowadays, a lot of young people are venturing into programming and one question that most of them ask is, “Which language do I learn first?” While it’s tempting to tell them “Learn python because it’s easy” or “Learn JavaScript because it is very popular”, the truth is that there is no one answer.

What language to learn first depends on what your interests are and what you plan on doing with your programming experience in the future. For example, while starting out in programming I dabbled in Python, Java and android studio before finally deciding to become a web developer. It took me two years to make that decision. I learnt HTML, CSS and JavaScript and I’m currently learning Design.  However, Imagine I had used the two years I spent on Python and Java to focus on web development. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten very far in my career.

So I’m writing this article to help you avoid the mistakes I made. I shall list out various fields and tell what programming languages are used so that you can make the right choice.


Web development is a very popular career choice among programmers. It involves creating websites and web apps which are responsive and run on various devices with various screen sizes. Web development is split into 2 (or 3) – which are Front End Development (or client side development), Back End Development (or server side development) and Full Stack Development.

Front End Development involves developing the aspect of the website which is visible to the users. Front end developers make sure sites are easy to interact with and that information is passed across easily to the user. They also ensure that sites look nice on different browsers, operating systems and screens. They work with

  • HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • JavaScript
  • JQuery
  • Frameworks such as AngularJS, Bootstrap, React.JS and so on.
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Back End Development involves managing of data and handling of the behind-the-scenes operations in a website. They also handle tasks that require security such as transfer of money and so on. Back end developers and front-end developers work hand in hand to make sure that the user is fulfilled. They work with

  • A Server Side Programming Language such as Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, C#, Ruby, Rust and so on.
  • Databases and SQL
  • JSON or XML APIs
  • HTML
  • Git

A full stack web developer does both the front end and back end of a website and therefore uses the technologies involved in both.


Mobile app development involves developing apps for mobile devices which run different operating systems such as Android, IOS and so on. Since there are different operating systems, different programming languages are used.

Android App Development

The main language for android app development is Java. When combined with Android Studio and Xml, Java can be used to create android apps of any kind. Other languages which can be also be used are:

  • Kotlin
  • C#
  • Python
  • C/C++ and so on.

IOS App Development

IOS app development is also another branch of mobile app development. IOS apps generally earn more than Android apps and this attracts a lot of developers to the market though the market isn’t as big as that of android. Objective – C was the main programming language for developing IOS apps before the release of Swift by Apple in 2014. Objective – C is still used for IOS development. The official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for IOS development is XCode.



Game development is also another popular application of programming. Usually, video games are developed using Game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine. Several programming languages are used in combination with these game engines. These programming languages include:

  • C#
  • C++
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
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The use of micro-controllers such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Bone and so on is on the rise. They are being used by a lot of people ranging from kids to hobbyists and even to professionals. I’ve used the Arduino board before and I can say it has a lot of uses.

Micro controllers can be used to automate tasks and build really cool gadgets. I’ve seen a lot of people build amazing things with micro controllers. One of my favorites is a home automation system controlled by a flute. This was built by a famous YouTuber, Paul Allen. He used a flute to control things such as turning his Air Condition on and off, watering his plant, calling his phone, opening his car and so on. The possibilities are endless. I once used an Arduino to control my TV with my voice using my phone.

Arduino uses C/C++, Raspberry Pi uses python and Beagle Bone supports many languages such as C, C++, Python, Perl, Ruby and Java.


Programming is used in many fields and the list below shows the uses of some specific languages.


SQL – the Structured Query Language is used to handle database and database operations such as performing queries.

Python – this language can also be used for Data Analysis

C – It is used to develop embedded systems, operating systems, device drivers and even other programming languages.

C# – It is used to build Windows desktop programs


Contributor: Yusuff Faruq Gbolahan

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