Man writing a program with a laptop Types of Coding Languages

Types of Coding Languages: A Guide on Which Programming Languages to Learn

In the tech industry, there are different types of coding languages, also known as programming languages. These coding languages play key roles in the development of software-based applications. Technological advancements across all industries rely heavily on coding and programming, the keys to successful software development. 

If you want to launch a career in tech, specifically software engineering, you should start by learning how to code. This article contains a guide on the best coding languages for beginners and tips to help you master coding quickly. 

What Are Programming Languages?

A programming language is a type of computer language consisting of strings designed to generate machine code output. It is used to give computers specific instructions and implement algorithms during the design of the software. These coding languages are typically grouped into three categories: high-level languages, machine languages, and assembly languages. 

High-level Programming Languages

High-level programming languages have the closest resemblance to human language. The most common high-level programming languages are Python, JavaScript, Java, C#, C++, and Ruby. These languages are used by modern programmers to create websites, mobile apps, and other types of software applications. 

Low-level Programming Languages

Machine languages and assembly languages are the two types of low-level programming languages. Machine language is the native language of computers composed of ones and zeros. They aren’t easy for humans to understand but can be interpreted by the central processing unit (CPU). 

Assembly languages are also designed to interact directly with the computer hardware, but it contains readable words, not zeros and ones. Think about them as the middle ground between machine languages and high-level programming languages. 

A high-level language is usually converted to binary code (low-level language) by a software compiler before computers can understand it. This is where the assembly language comes into play. 

What Are Coding Languages Used For?

Coding languages are used to communicate with computers just like human languages are used by humans to communicate with each other. However, computers can’t read human emotions and make assumptions, so they need a specific set of instructions to carry out the tasks required by the programmer. 

Types of Coding Languages

There are different types of coding languages for beginners and advanced programmers. The list below contains the most popular programming languages in the tech industry. 

JavaScript 

This is a text-based, client-side programming language that is designed to give computers commands directly, not just server-side. It is typically used with the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and ASP. It is a common programming language.

What Is JavaScript Used For?

JavaScript is primarily used for web development and software engineering. It is used to set and adjust page elements for the perfect user interaction. Things like animated graphics, drop-down menus, web videos, and audio are all possible because of JavaScript programming. 

For server-side (backend) development, JavaScript can be used to save information on the database. However, it would have to be used along with Node.js or any other backend tool. 

Python 

Python is a general-purpose, high-level language built on incredibly flexible semantics. Learning Python is a good idea because it is one of the most widely used interpreted, object-oriented programming languages across industries today.  

What Is Python Used For?

Python is used for data science, web development, data analytics, backend development, and, in some cases, design. It is also an ideal language for artificial intelligence, data visualization, game development, and web scraping applications. 

Python is a scripting language used by notable governmental and non-governmental organizations across the globe. 

This is another general-purpose programming language, used primarily for structured programming. While this isn’t always the case, it is typically used in the development of low-level applications. It can map machine instructions easily. 

What Is C Used For?

The C language is commonly used to give instructions to operating systems. The three most popular operating systems that are compatible with C for application scripting are Linux, Unix, and Windows. It can be used for network drivers, graphics packages, software compilers, and assemblers. 

C is one of the best foundational languages for new programmers. 

Java 

Java is an object-oriented, high-level programming language that is class-based. Its unique design allows developers to run the same code compilation across Java-compatible platforms without recompiling. Note that Java is not related to JavaScript

What Is Java Used For?

Java is used for web-based, mobile, and enterprise applications, to mention a few. It is one of the few programming languages that can either be used on a single computer or distributed network. This makes it ideal for cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Java has a robust network library, so it should be at the top of your list of the best coding languages to learn. 

HTML

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a pillar of web development. It is a markup language designed to optimize the formatting of web pages. Programmers use HTML tags to ensure that images and words are displayed perfectly on the Internet. Without HTML or any other suitable markup language, text and images on web pages would not display correctly. 

What Is HTML Used For?

HTML is essential for creating web pages. It is used for email programming and technical editing. It happens to be one of the easiest programming languages to learn and plays a key role in front end web development and design. 

This popular language is also efficient for client-side storage, data entry, and internet navigation. Before the development of HTML, information was shared on the Internet as plain text. 

C# 

C# is a general-purpose programming language that has a range of applications. It is an object-oriented, multi-paradigm language that was developed by Microsoft, so it is most commonly used for Windows and other Microsoft programs. 

What Is C# Used For? 

C# is used for the large-scale development of Microsoft applications. It can be used for desktop and web-based application development across operating systems, not just Microsoft. It is also the preferred option for most game development projects. 

C# is one of the most scalable programming languages in the industry for different types of development. 

How to Learn a Coding Language?

The best way to learn about different coding languages and their uses is to seek out an education. You can get the knowledge you need from a coding bootcamp, online course, or traditional college. 

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are tech institutes that provide fast-paced training to prospective programmers and software engineers. Students typically get job-specific training within three to six months. Some bootcamps run for up to one or two years, and they’ve been gaining popularity in the tech industry. 

General Assembly, Thinkful, Galvanize, and Fullstack Academy are among the best coding bootcamps in the industry. These bootcamps offer mentorship, career assistance, and job placement services to successful graduates. 

Online Coding Courses

Universities, independent software engineers, and other education providers post coding courses on the Internet. You can find these courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and edX. There are free and paid coding courses for students of all levels.

College Degree Programs

If you want a well-rounded education that isn’t just about programming languages, you can opt for a traditional college degree. A degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering, or web development will help you learn about coding languages. 

You can complete your college education in four years or less if you opt for an accelerated degree. There are online and in-person degree programs available. 

Should You Learn a Coding Language?

Students learning at a coding bootcamp Types of Coding Languages
Coding bootcamps offer accelerated classes for programming languages

Which programming language to learn depends on the career you intend to pursue. For example, Python is an ideal coding language for anyone who wants to learn how to become a data scientist. JavaScript and HTML are popular among front end developers. 

The tech industry changes rapidly, so you will need to upskill regularly if you want to stay relevant. Coding bootcamps and online courses are typically more up-to-date than four-year degree programs. If you go to college, make sure the curriculum covers the most recent programming technologies. 

Coding Language FAQ


Can I learn to code for free?

Yes, you can learn to code for free if you know where to look. There are a host of free coding courses to help you study. You can also attend a free coding bootcamp like Ada Developers Academy. Bootcamps offer coding programs for aspiring web developers who want to learn in-demand languages.


What career opportunities will I come across if I learn coding?

You can become a software developer, website developer, mobile application developer, computer programmer, business intelligence analyst, data scientist, computer systems engineer, and database administrator. 


How long does it take to learn coding?

It takes six months to four years depending on the type of education you choose. Self-taught programmers learn coding within six to 12 months while those who attend bootcamps learn in three to six months. On the other hand, if you go to a university, you might spend up to four years learning. 


How much do computer programmers make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers earn an average of $89,190 yearly. This means they get about $42.88 hourly. The salaries may vary based on experience, job description, and location. 

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