10 Top Programming Languages For Learning To Code - InformationWeek
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10 Top Programming Languages For Learning To Code

Everyone wants to learn how to code, but what is the best entry point? Here are 10 top ways to check "programming" off your skills life-list.
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(Image: OpenClipartVectors via Pixabay)

(Image: OpenClipartVectors via Pixabay)

It seems that everyone wants to learn how to write computer code these days. No matter what field or profession a person works in, the ability to make a computer (or mobile device) dance to your tune seems part of the basic skill set. The question is, how does a person take the first step toward gaining those skills?

Once upon a time the path was simple: BASIC was where most people started before moving into Fortran or COBOL (depending on whether they were heading toward scientific or business programming). Now, though, there are far more options and rather less clarity.

If you want to know how to get started (or give advice to others), then you have a number of options. Choosing the best means looking at what you ultimately want to do, what you like to do now, and how you best learn new skills.

[See 10 Fascinating Facts About Apple's Swift Programming Language.]

Do you like to see things move at your command? Do you want to handle physical-world input and output? Is there a database at the center of your application dreams? Do you live your life on the Web? Depending on how you answer each of these, there could be a different "best" language for your foray into application development. The nice thing is that, once you've taken the first step, the second step is much easier regardless of the direction it takes you.

Did you use one of these languages to learn programming? Would you recommend one of these to someone who came to you for advice? I'd love to know the answer -- and to know about any good options I might have missed. I'll look forward to seeing you in the comments -- no advanced programming necessary!

Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with ... View Full Bio

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DouglasA385
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DouglasA385,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/10/2015 | 4:00:43 AM
My pennies worth
As some whose whole career 30+ years has been in programming (M)umps for the 1st part of my career then into SQL. Now VB.NET, C#, SQL the list is long. Regardless of what language you want to learn especially if your trying to be self taught is having a well reasoned need. It's all well and good to say "I want to learn xyz language". But having an end goal focuses you in learning process to gain the pre requiste skill set in any given language. We could go into the symantics of is SQL a programming language v say a more client side language. The point is any language is a tool for a job. So no matter how easy or hard a language is to code in a lot of beginners give up because they don't have a project or an end goal to strive for and they end up unfocused and thus making learning any language harder than it actually is. Like all learning it takes not just a desire but a reason. I am not saying Python isn't easier than others. But what you learn doing any language above the syntax and guts in any language is just as if not more important.
nmouradian113
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nmouradian113,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2015 | 1:58:55 AM
Re: "The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming"
Point well taken. If you are developing any video games or other graphic apps, you are 100% correct, but to tell kids that they have to have a "STRONG" math background to be able to code is BS! I have the strong masth background they wanted to let me program, but my forte is applications for businesses, almost 0 real math required. Qty X Rate, Total some lines, calculate tax, all BS. If you understand the logic, this math is simple.

 
nmouradian113
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nmouradian113,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2015 | 1:25:21 AM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
Not a plug for filePro. We where discussing teaching somebody what programming is about and how it works.

Pascal and Dbase just didn't cut it. #1 too slow to code in, #2 not powerfull enough to do everything thrown at it.

With filePro you can get a novice to understand the programming concepts very quickly. Then he can take a year or more to figure out how to do the same thing he just did in 10 minures, in a higher level language, be it C or Java or whatever. They will know the end goal of what they need to achieve. What it takes to get there is an entirely different matter depending on the language or other 4GL Database designed to develope applications in.

Again, this is just my opinion from playing with many many languages, relational databases etc for the past 35 years. 
MichaelOFaolain
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MichaelOFaolain,
User Rank: Moderator
11/14/2015 | 11:54:20 AM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
onnikcorp's history sounds much like mine (including the Tandy thing). I'm retired now, but still "fool around" using HTML, JAVA, Flash, etc., tools with some code writing. Like you I would think to make a secure living today one would need a number of languages to list on a resume.
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 11:08:10 PM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
Purely asinine. Many companies survive well without CRM or ERP or any other IT alphabet soup you care to throw against the wall. And often without IT being efficient, even at the core infrastructure stuff. And yeh, I'm sure programmers become C-level all the time...
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 11:05:32 PM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
Who says anything needs to lead to an in-depth knowledge of the hardware? That kind of programming accounts for less than .1% of the code written today. People want solutions to real world problems, not some code that can do something with the hardware. Get over yourself, and your own personal (limited) focus and experience.
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 10:56:34 PM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
I'll break out an old copy of Turbo Pascal or DBase III before I approach a filepro plug of any kind. Nice shameless ad.
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 10:54:45 PM
Re: "The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming"
Try programming something related to graphics, or scientific transformations, and see if math doesn't come in handy.
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 10:52:30 PM
Re: Don't leave SQL off the list
SQL is not by any stretch of the imagination a programming language, anymore than PCL is.
ThadeusF903
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ThadeusF903,
User Rank: Strategist
11/13/2015 | 10:51:08 PM
Re: Top 10 Programming Languages
Arduino, Scratch, MATLAB, and Lego? Seriously? And you don't even mention PHP or .NET? Shame on you for being a poser. And not one mobile device oriented language, in this day and age? Amazing.
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