Learn to Code: What’s the Best Programming Language to Learn First?

Whether you’re looking to build an app for a hobby, improve your career prospects or have a great startup idea learning to code is going to be an important skill to develop.

The problem is if you are a complete novice it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Perhaps you’ve asked your developer friends for some ideas or even read a few blog posts to try and get your head around some of the best places to learn to code.

For example if you are looking to start a new career in 2017 then it might useful to see how likely are you going to get a job based on the programming language you know? Here’s a quick look at web developer and software job trends from indeed.com.

So to help you get to grips with learning to code and to help you make your mind up I’ve put together an infographic with helpful information for complete coding novices.

What code should I learn cheat sheet

Please feel free to share!

Check out my guide to the best laptops for coders. and gift idea for geeks and nerds guide.

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My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.

61 thoughts on “Learn to Code: What’s the Best Programming Language to Learn First?”

  1. This is the coolest infographic I have seen on the subject matter. It has helped answer my burning question on what programming language to learn. Thanks

  2. I like the infographic ;) Just one thing: In Java sheet You have Python job market.

    • Amended. Thanks for the spot!

  3. Where’s Clojure & ClojureScript?

    • We can’t add them all I’m afraid. We chose the most popular 9 languages to start with. We may do more in the next few months.

  4. Thanks for the great infographic! I’m changing my vocation, and it’s great to know which language(s) I should learn next!

    • Glad it’s helped you out Donna! All the best!

  5. Hi! I’m Son from Vietnam. I’ve seen your Inforgraphics and it’s so great! Can I translate it into Vietnamese? Thanks a lot :)

  6. Hi! I’m Ikhbar from Indonesia. I look it was so helped. I want to make a translation. May I?

    • Yes! Please do! Let me know when it’s live. Would love to see it!

  7. Your ‘Mechanical language’ description is the same as the ‘Concurrent’ one.
    Very good infographics, it is a very good sum up of major languages.

  8. A very helpful resource for someone who knows virtually nothing. Is it possible to get the graphic in individual segments? (I want to copy it into a Word doc for my son.)

    One bit of fine tuning on the periodic chart: the correct version is COBOL (two “O”‘s), not COBAL. COBOL is an acronym for Common Business Oriented Language and was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It drew a lot of attention in the late 1990s in advance of the year 2000 when everyone was afraid that computers would go haywire in the changeover from 1999 to 2000 – the so-called “Y2K” problem. The Y2K problem arose because in the 1960 and 1970;s, memory was very expensive. To minimize its usage, the field for years in COBOL was a two-digit field. That raised the concern that, when 1999 became 2000, computers might not be able to distinguish between 1900 versus 2000.

    • Thanks George. I’ll chop it up and add it later this week for you.

  9. Great resource to find some light in the jungle of programming languages! I will definitely share this to help other people find their favorite language. Thanks for this helpful infographic that deserves its name.

  10. I teach Computer Science at my school and would love to get a printout of these and make them into a poster. Any chance of being able to do that?

    • Yeah no problem John. That would be great!
      I can make them into separate parts if that helps?

      • Thank you Jamie. Sorry I forgot about this post a long time ago. Do you have a link to the file?

  11. Thank you ! For sharing this valuable information all together.

  12. Hi! Why isn’t the sql programming language in the infographic? I mean, don’t you think it is as important as the other 9?

    • I’m planning to update the graphic to include SQL in the next few weeks.

    • what is sql programming language primarily used for? Is it “easy” to learn?

      • SQL is a common database language – it would be very advantageous to learn for anyone working with lots of data in their careers

  13. Thanks for such a nice thing. I learned a lot from this and it helped me a lot. but can you tell me which programming language is best for making operating systems.

    • Have a look at my infographic! the answer is there! :D

  14. This was very helpful to me, and fun to look at, too. Thanks for making it.

  15. I’m Moe from Jordan. I’d like to know what is the best language for web development or mobile application development and the best language to learn to do it. The issue is i like working from home on computer but i need to learn and I don’t know how to go about it. I need your help.

    • Hi Moe.

      Python or Ruby would be good for you. There’s loads of resources online. Try Treehouse.



  16. Hello! Great infographic! Lots of info and I’m still very much in doubt, though. I think I like robotics, like useless machines and other fun things. Sensors, lights, things that react, you know? Like in museum installations. What language would that be? Many thanks!

  17. Hello.
    I’ve been involved with the Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence(SAP BO / MS-BI / Qlik / Tableau etc ) industry ever since I started (13 + yrs.) and haven’t touched a programming language yet apart from academics. I now need to learn a language in order to put it to use as I would like to develop an application that would include a good UI along with extensive data entry and editing. What do you think would be a good choice for this?

    • I’d probably look to learn Python or Ruby for stuff like that. Ruby & Python is great for UI

  18. Write your comment here… Hi.

    I want to build an andriod application that work along with website something like saving user information….. which language should I learn????

    cuz I dont know where to start.

    I know HTML 5, CSS, n I m learning Javascript nw…

    • Large parts of Android app development uses Java. That’s your best bet. Good luck!

  19. Nice, infographics! Way back 2007 when we graduated computer science, we are just fun of learning C, and C++, i don’t know if I can learn these new programming languages again. Thanks for the info sir.

  20. hi i am manish kumar can i translate it in hindi for indian user easy to understand,,,,,

    • Sure you can. Can you please send it to me once done and credit me with a link? Thanks Jamie

  21. Best infographic, solved my confusion

    • Great news! Just why I created it!

  22. Hey Jamie,

    Thanks for the list, lots info to consume ;). but what would you suggest for a beginner or what is a good combination?

    Ruby or Pythos with Java?


    • I’d say Python is the easiest of the languages. PHP is good as well, coupled together with html and css. Its all dependent on what you want to do and achieve with coding. Good luck.

  23. Jamie,

    I’m looking at a career change and I’m very interested in programming. Can you send this to me so I can print out in Word doc for reference?


    • I can do it as a PDF for you. Probably better than a word doc.

  24. Jamie,

    I am looking at a career change and I’m very interested in programming. Is there a way you can send I can get the infographic, so I can print it out?


    • Hi Michele

      I will try and sort this out in the next week or so. I will email it to you as well as post it on this page.



  25. This is awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing such an insightful infographic :D

  26. Great Post. Awesome step by step graphical representation of programming language’s information.

    Easy guide to understanding that which programming language should use for web development. One of the best, attractive and understandable content forever. You just almost cover all the aspect for learning programming languages.

    Really Nice Work Jamie.

    I have also published an article about best programming languages to learn for web development.

    Please let me know your thoughts about it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  27. Wow nice work man! I recently started out on my journey to be a website designer and i am loving it! I think my greatest achievement will be knowing how to build databases on php and python for app development. Thanks for all the cool content!

  28. Hello! I am currently a college student and this information would help a lot for my peers. Do you have a pdf version of this to make posters for our school’s engineering room? Thank you!

    • I’ll see what I can do Renea.

  29. Good infographic.
    I found the star rating a little confusing at first. Generally, more stars would indicate something being better, but using it for a “difficulty rating” seemed to be not the best fit.
    Perhaps, a circle/filled disc would be clearer with regard to whether more stars meant “more difficult” or “easier to learn”?

    • Good point. Thanks for the suggestion.

  30. Nice Infographic.
    It helped me choose my first programming language. JAVA

  31. Very good infographic.

    I am looking at a career change and I’m very interested in programming. Is there a way you can send I can get the infographic, so I can print it out?

    Thanks for sharing this. It is worth sharing the infographic.

    • I’m working on an A4 version. Will link to the PDF once its done.

  32. Java, Python, Lisp, Prolog, and C++ are major AI programming language used for artificial intelligence capable of satisfying different needs in development and designing of different software. Many thanks for sharin this.

  33. As a number of coding languages are available many will get confused which language to prefer and from where to start. My self I believe its good to start from C and C++ as they are the basic set of coding and after this, we can choose any language like Java, PHP, and etc for the future.

    In this article, you have clearly listed the coding platform available and the current average package and future of it, this will help others to clear their mindset in order to make a choice

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