5 programming languages for beginners

Image for post
Image for post

What better time to learn a new programming language than now, when you have to be at home, in isolation? If you wanted to learn programming but never knew which language to pick, this article is for you.

Python

Great language for a beginner. Fast, simple and with a strong community of developers. It was created with good code readability in mind — the code resembles common English.

In practice it is used for creating scripts that will automate the boring work. It’s used by scientists, researchers and common programmers. Main domains where it’s used are data analysis, image and sound processing, web development and machine learning; but you can use it almost anywhere and for anything — making games, winning online competitions with HTTPS packet bots or detecting cars in video feeds.

If you want to try Python, download the executable from python.org or try the interactive Jupyter notebook. The official site contains extensive documentation and tutorials, and you can also use courses on Udemy or Coursera.

And if you are wondering, where Python got its name, the author named tit after Monty Python.

Image for post
Image for post

Javascript

Language that will add interactivity to your website (button events, interactive forms, dynamic styling and animations). It’s used to generate content before the page is rendered, but also for dynamic changes to the page at runtime.

Javascript is versatile and broadly used. Nowadays it’s no longer used in its original form, everything is wrapped in frameworks like NodeJS, VueJS, ReactJS and others.

If you want to try Javascript right now in your browser, just press F12. Developer console will pop up. Choose “console” and write console.log(“Hello Javascript”). That’s it! Your first Javascript command. You can learn the rest in online courses. You can also try this interactive example. If you want something more sophisticated, try free ReactJS courses on Codeacademy.

Image for post
Image for post

Go

Go, also known as Golang is a language created by Google corporation. It provides excellent support for multi-threaded applications and that’s why it’s used in companies reliant on distributed systems (Silicon Valley startups). In other words: if you want to be a part of the startup community, go for Go.

It’s statically typed and therefore safer and not bug-prone. Ideal for building Single Page applications and programs for multi-threaded CPUs.

It’s a relatively new language, so it doesn’t support very many libraries yet. Similar to low level language C, its strengths lie in its purity, speed and expressive power. All you have to do to start coding in Go is to download the compiler and follow the tutorials.

Image for post
Image for post

R

R is mostly used for data analysis and machine learning. R contains a ML framework and builtin libraries. It’s useful for statistical analysis and graph creation. Those looking to become a data analytic, R is just for you.

R is multiplatform, highly extensible, has a massive community of programmers and strong support for additional libraries.

Just download RStudio and you can start playing with it. Derek Banase will help you with his comprehensive tutorial.

Image for post
Image for post

Java

Java is an universal programming language created to be able to handle absolutely anything. It’s multiplatform and compiles into byte code, which then runs in Java Virtual Machine (JVM). That is why Java programs are usually slower.

Java is used broadly in banking applications, because it is secure, stable and able to handle large volumes of data.

In practice is Java used for corporate projects, and in my experience those projects are very boring, because they are profit and money oriented. If you need to have deep meaning in your work, Java may not be the right choice. But that really depends — one of the most famous games of all time was written in Java. Minecraft. It was written in LWJGL framework, but as the creator himself says, he used Java only because he was familiar with it. However, if you want to try game development, go for Unity (C#).

If you want to try Java, just install IntelliJ IDEA, it will take care of everything for you (installing Java Development Kit and Java Runtime Environment).

Image for post
Image for post

Before you pick any of these languages, carefully consider your end goals, career motivations and types of projects you want to be working on.

Written by

INTP, Master’s degree in comp-sci, Creator, indie game developer, director, writer, photographer. I like BJJ, Jungian psychology, mythology and memes.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store