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10 Best Programming Languages to Learn If You’re Self-Taught

There are many advantages to pursuing a career in computer programming. The pay is good, the hours are flexible, and your skill set will always be in demand.

However, the price of college is growing every year, and getting a degree in computer science isn’t always the best option. Don’t let that stop you from getting started, though. There plenty of options online for learning computer coding easily and at your own pace.

If you want to pursue a career in computer programming but aren’t sure where to start, read on to learn about the top ten best programming languages to learn on your own.

Benefits of a Career In Programming?

Computer programming, or coding, has been an in-demand profession since the creation of the firsts computer. Lines of code are basic instructions that a computer will follow completely. Without a programmer telling a computer what to do, it’ll sit there doing nothing.

Because of the advancements and revenue that the technology industry brings in, computer programming is also a very lucrative career path. Most college graduates will earn at least five to six figures right after graduation.

Another benefit is that most programmers have the option to work remotely. Whether that means having an office at home or taking your laptop to a local coffee shop, you have absolute freedom and flexibility. Some people take such an opportunity to travel or move to a different country.

Skills Required

Not everyone can be a programmer. Not only do you have to have an analytical mind. You also have to be a good problem solver and creative enough to create software programs from scratch. There are definitely artistic aspects to graphic design, but programming is mostly numbers and algorithms.

Best Programming Languages to Learn

You can learn the basics of these languages online for free. There are multiple versions of each language, so it’s important to make sure you’re learning the most updated version.

1. Python

Python is an incredibly popular language that was created to be dynamic and easy to read. The focus on readability is such that you can write and run the code without needing a compiler, which translates multiple lines of complicated code into smaller portions. It’s flexible and can be integrated into existing applications.

Well-known companies that use Python include Instagram, Pinterest, Google, Yahoo, and Nasa.

2. PHP

PHP stands for “PHP Hypertext Processor” and is used for general-purpose programming as well as web development. Since it’s an interpreted script language (needs an interpreter), it’s mostly used to program systems that will repeat the same task over and over again. These include advertising apps, media agencies, and software organizations.

The language is very popular because it’s easy for beginners, but it also offers more complex features for advanced programmers.

3. Ruby

Ruby On Rails was developed in 1993 and is used for developing websites and mobile apps. The language is very easy to understand and write and is perfect for those interested in creative design and small business software.

Because of its efficiency, it’s most popular with websites that have high levels of traffic such as Hulu, Twitter, and Github.

4. Java

This language was created by Sun Microsystems in the 1990’s and was mainly used for interactive television. However, they soon realized that the language had much more potential than just television, and it has been expanding ever since.

To this day, it remains one of the most in-demand languages for mobile and game developers. This is because it’s simple, object-oriented, and easy to familiarize yourself with.

5. C Language

C is a general-purpose language that was developed back in the 70’s. It was designed as a base language that can be easily built on by C++, Java, Python, and many others. For this reason, it’s very important that a new programmer learn C and C++ before moving to more advanced languages.

This language was designed to be easily compiled and required minimal run time and memory access.

6. SQL

SQL (pronounced “sequel”) is one of the most popular languages out there and definitely worth learning. This language has been used to create database technologies such as PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. These technologies are used to power everything from small businesses and banks to hospitals and universities.

7. C++

C++ was created in 1979 by Bjarne Stroustrup but was updated and renamed in 1983. Because of its high-level language and low-level features, it averages out to a middle-level language. It supports the four principles of object-oriented development which are encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and data hiding.

The language is extremely complex, but the secret to learning it is focusing on the overall concepts rather than the details.

8. iOS/Swift

iOS Swift was created by Apple in 2014. It’s safe to say that, if you’re deciding which languages to learn for a career in programming, Apple’s computer language is a no-brainer. It’s very similar to C and C++ and was initially used by OS X and iOS to create new apps.

This language grows more and more every day and is currently used by companies like LinkedIn, Duolingo, and American Airlines.

9. JavaScript

JavaScript was developed by Netscape and borrows much of its syntax from C Language. It’s capable of controlling browsers, editing content, asynchronous communication, and allowing scripts to communicate with users. For these reasons, it’s one of the most popular programming languages used for creating and developing websites.


HTML and CSS are two separate languages, but they are two sides to the same coin of graphic design. These two languages work closely with Java and control how the front end of a website looks and functions. HTML builds the structure and function of a website, and CSS controls the fonts, shapes, and colors.

While these languages aren’t used to develop software and database symptoms, they are an important tool that every self-taught programmer needs under their belt.

Get Started Today

In the realm of computer programming, there are jobs available for most skill levels. Now that you’ve read our list of the best programming languages to learn, you’re one step closer to having the career you’ve always wanted.

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