What Programming Language Should I Learn First?

what programming language should i learn?

If you’re beginning a path to a career in software engineering, you may be asking yourself “which coding language should I learn first”? Look no further, here’s our guide to the top four recommended programming languages.

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If you’re thinking about learning to code, it can be difficult to decide where to start. A Google search of “what programming language should I learn first?” can kick back more than a dozen potential languages, but which is best for you and your personal or career goals? 

The answer is, it depends.

What will mainly determine which language to start with is what you’d like to achieve with this new skill. Is it a very specific job function? Making mobile apps? Designing websites? Do you just want to learn a new skill? Your answer will determine where to begin.

Finding the best programming language for your goals

There are two main ways to choose your first programming language – either to work back from a specific goal (i.e., I want to become a Front-End Developer or I want to make a Fruit Ninja spoof app) or to simply select one of the more in-demand languages in the industry that sound most interesting to pursue. 

Related reading: 12 Highest-Paying Software Engineering Jobs and How To Get Them

Popular programming languages

If you’re looking to start with one of the more popular and in-demand programming languages to set yourself up for success no matter which direction you take your pursuits, here’s our list of languages to consider: 


C++ is one of the most popular and powerful programming languages. It can be used to develop operating systems, games, web browsers, video games, and more. This language is useful for creating applications that are resource-heavy and is used in a variety of industries.

If you’re interested in cutting-edge development in robotics, VR, game development, or software development, this could be the best place for you to start.


Javascript is primarily used to create interactive, animated, and user-friendly web pages. This language is perfect for those interested in front-end development, as Javascript is the foundation of most web browsers.


Ruby is a back-end language often used in the Ruby on Rails (Rails) framework, though Rails is not the only one available. It is incredibly dynamic and is used by many well-known tech companies including Twitter, GitHub, and Airbnb.

This language is primarily used to build the back-end of web applications, but can also be used for things such as building servers and data processing.


Python is often referred to as a “general-purpose language” because it is incredibly versatile and can create a variety of programs. Most often, it is used to build websites, create software, automate processes, and perform data analyses.

Start Learning A Programming Language Today

Take a software engineering test drive with our Free Software Engineering Prep. You’ll get to try out our course material and see how you like coding – no strings attached! 

Ready to jump feet-first into coding and stop asking “What programming language should I learn first”? No matter where you’re starting from, our Software Engineering course can get you industry-ready in as few as 15 weeks. 

Apply Today and get started toward a new career in coding. 

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of September 16, 2022. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Anna Van Deusen

Anna Van Deusen is the Marketing Content Manager at Flatiron School. When not writing about tech and Flatiron School students, she can be found hanging out with her dogs on a beach…

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