What Should Be Your First Programming Language?
By Michael Wilson.
Choosing your first programming language can feel like choosing to learn a second language in school. It’s exciting! When it comes to spoken languages, you pick them based on how you want to use them. For example, if you want to backpack across Europe, you might learn Italian or French. Or, if you live in the southwestern United States, you might learn Spanish — you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it, if only at your favorite Mexican restaurant!
Python is the Spanish of programming. It’s common, fun, and dips your toes into the programming pool instead of pushing you into the deep end. But before we push you into the deep end with all this tech talk, let’s first talk about what programming languages are.
What Are Programming Languages?
Programming languages are how the instructions for computers to follow are written. Think of them as the Lego bricks that build a website. The individual Lego bricks are the 1s and 0s used in binary. Alone, they’re just a bunch of numbers. But together? They build the whole castle.
Programming languages are the core of all tech. Websites, video games, cellphones, apps, and printers — everything with a computer runs on code written in a programming language!
What jobs use programming languages?
- Web developer
- Game developer
- Artificial Intelligence (robots!)
- Data Scientist/Analyst
- Machine Learning
- Cyber Security
- Technical Writing
- Database Administration
What Should Your First Programming Language Be?
There are so many to choose from. But to save you from slithering through all of them, you recommend learning Python.
Python reads like English and is very age- and beginner-friendly. Unlike the animal it was named after, Python doesn’t get caught in the weeds of programming. It lets you grasp basic coding practices without needing to obsess over little details. Even elementary school students can learn it!
Python also just lets you make cool things. Want to make a website? Easy, Python can do it. Want to build a software for video editing? Python. Or a place to post a bunch of photos? Also Python.
Or are you interested in how big name sites like Instagram, Youtube, or Spotify were made? You guessed it: Python.
You can basically use it for pretty much anything you want, which is why it’s such a popular choice.
Python is Built for Data
If you love data and organization, then drop all other coding languages. Python was built for you. It was designed to make analyzing and creating visualizations of massive amounts of data easy as pie.
Python also has robust documentation. If there’s something you need to look up, you’ll be able to find the answer quickly. This is important to consider for aspiring self-taught programmers.
Pick A Programming Language That Suits Your Needs
While our language of choice is Python, we do understand that it may not be your first pick. You should pick a programming language that matches what you want to do with it, who you want to work for, and how difficult it is to learn for someone with your experience. Do some research and find out exactly what it is you want…
And then come back to learn Python.
We’re kidding! Mostly. Python is one of the easier programming languages to use and builds a solid foundation for you to build off of later. This one reason our KidsTech program teaches Python. We don’t just want kids to build a robot, their own computer or circuit board and forget everything they learned a week later. Our curriculum is designed to foster a love of STEM and create aspiring technologists — and Python is a great place to start.
Why Does My Kid Need To Learn Coding?
Have you ever heard that it’s better to learn an instrument or a second language when you’re younger? It’s true! It’s easier for kids and teens to absorb information and learn new skills before they get too bogged down with old habits and time restraints. These skills also help prepare them for their future.
Coding and programming is literally the driving force behind the technology we rely on every single day. No matter what your kid wants to be when they grow up, they’ll use tech that was programmed, coded, and created by tech professionals.
So why does your kid need to learn a programming language? For the same reason why they should learn a second language — it will help them when they’re older. Plus, it’s just plain old fun. Your kid will learn how to build robots, customize websites, hack (ethically, of course), and create something entirely new.
All of that and more, through Python.
If you’re interested in learning more about our KidsTech program, give us a call or visit us online. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and get them signed up to learn their first programming language.