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JavaScript should be the first language you learn

There are so many languages to choose from. Want to know what to learn first? Bet on JavaScript.

Hello programmer! Welcome to the world of software development. Great adventures are lying ahead, but also numerous threats. You can learn lots of things, and it can be overwhelming at times.

The first dilemma you're going to have is what programming language to learn. There are so many to choose from. But don't worry, I can give you straightforward advice.

Bet on JavaScript.

And I've got solid arguments to support it.

JavaScript is (reasonably) easy to learn

It's not easy to measure how difficult a programming language is to learn cause different things are challenging to different people. But we can try to estimate ease of learning using three different categories: the complexity of the language, availability of good quality learning resources, and difficulty of setting up the developer environment.

JavaScript is fairly simple

JavaScript is one of the high-level languages. What it means is you don't need to worry about many complex things, like memory management. The purpose of high-level languages is to make you a productive programmer fast while taking away some of the power you have in low-level languages. It makes it a perfect entry-level drug to programming, as you can focus on syntax and more accessible to grasp concepts without worrying too much about things like performance.

Additionally, JavaScript syntax is pretty logical and simple. It resembles the English language a bit, so if you can read this article, you're on your way to starting programming in JavaScript in just a few months.

There's a ton of resources

JavaScript resources are everywhere. With just one Google search, you can find dozens of courses, both free and paid. Many of them are of superb quality, so you only need to decide which teaching styles suit you best, and you can start your journey.

Courses are not everything. Eventually, you'll have to start programming on your own. It means you'll get stuck on problems you can't solve. Fortunately, the popularity of JavaScript means it has a massive community, so thousands of people are ready to help you. You can find an answer to almost every question within a minute using sites like Stack Overflow or GitHub issues.

You can start coding now

Many programming languages require setting up some kind of developer environment or downloading a particular code editor to start working. It's not the case with JavaScript. JavaScript is built-in in the browser you're using, so you've got your developer environment ready and waiting. And you can use almost any text editor you like.

What's even better, there are many online editors you can use to write code and see its effects immediately. Just go to CodePen or JSFiddle and start programming right now!

Overall, JavaScript scores very well in every category, making it one of the easiest popular languages to learn.

Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash

JavaScript is versatile

JavaScript used to be the language running the web. And it still is; over 97% of websites use JavaScript. If you want to get into front-end development, learning JavaScript is a must. It doesn't matter if you're working in Google or a small startup; the language is everywhere on the web, and it's a huge advantage to know it.

But that's only a part of the picture. Modern JavaScript is used almost everywhere, not only on the web. Do you want to build a mobile app? Not a problem; you can do it with JavaScript. Desktop app? Easy; JavaScript can handle it. Maybe you don't like building interfaces but prefer building backend logic instead? Perfect, you can do it with JavaScript. If you really want, you can even use it for machine learning.

Frankly, JavaScript is omnipresent. In the last decade, it changed from simple language to make websites a little interactive to a powerful tool that allows you to build whatever you want. Missing out on that opportunity can be a huge mistake.

There's also a second aspect to JavaScript versatility. You may not know (or even care), but there are different paradigms of programming. Every programming problem can be solved in multiple ways, and languages vary in support of those different ways. JavaScript supports imperative programming, but you can also write code in an object-oriented or functional way. The flexibility of the language allows you to use it in any way you want to and quickly transfer these skills to other languages.

And when you become more advanced with the language, its vast ecosystem, with numerous solutions written in different paradigms, will help you expand your knowledge fast.

JavaScript is in demand

You will find a well-paying job if you're a skilled JavaScript developer.

According to the DevSkiller report, JavaScript is the most demanded technical skill. Also, 72% of companies are looking for JavaScript developers. What's more, most developers will get a JavaScript IT skills assessment, regardless of their primary focus. Language is quickly becoming a must-have skill.

Salaries of JavaScript developers are also on the rise. Depending on the country, the wages differ a lot, but to give you some perspective, the average yearly salary is $110,591 in the US, €60,709 in Germany, and £51,457 in the UK.

How do you think, what is the best programming language to learn first?

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