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How to Select a 
Programming Language

One of the hardest questions you’ll ask when you start tackling programming is ‘what language should I learn first?’ – let’s talk through some of the concerns you might have.

With C# you can develop Web apps that run on Windows or Linux servers, mobile apps that run on Android, iOS, and Windows devices, and games that run on just about any device. It's the language to learn for developing enterprise business software that runs on Windows desktops or servers. With so much software written in C#, there's a high demand for it in the job market.

Beginning Ruby

Java can be used for anything from web applications to desktop and mobile apps. Java has a strong presence among large enterprise applications—think bank, hospital, and university software. It also powers Android apps, so it’s a good choice for those inclined toward mobile development.

Ruby is often associated with the Rails framework that helped popularize it. Used widely among web startups and big companies alike, Ruby and Rails jobs are pretty easy to come by. Ruby and Rails make it easy to transform an idea into a working application, and they have been used to bring us Twitter, GitHub, and Treehouse.

Python is a general-purpose language used for everything from server automation to data science. Python is a great language for beginners, because it is easy to read and understand. You can also do so many things with Python that it’s easy to stick with the language for quite a while before needing something else. Python finds itself at home both creating Web apps like Instagram and helping researchers make sense of their data.

Beginning JavaScript

Beginning C#

Beginning Swift

Beginning Java

Apple released Swift in June, 2014 as a modern language for developing Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV applications. If you want to enter the world of iOS, Swift is the language with which Apple intends to move forward. Yes, many apps are already written in Objective-C, but Swift is here to stay. If the Apple ecosystem lures you in, you’ll need some understanding of both Objective-C and Swift.

Beginning Python

Beginning PHP

PHP is one of the most popular web languages. It runs massive sites such as Facebook and Etsy. WordPress and Drupal are both written in PHP, and those two platforms power a huge number of the sites online today. Because of its popularity, learning PHP will serve you well if you intend to code for the Web.

JavaScript is the first full programming language for many people. Why? It is the logical next step after learning HTML and CSS. JavaScript provides the behavior portion of a website. For example, when you see a form field indicate an error, that’s probably JavaScript at work.

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