Which Programming Language Should I Learn First for Web Development?

Feb 14, 2020

This is the most common and frequent questions that we always get – which programming language that you need to learn before you begin your tech career.

Here’s a tip to pick a programming language to learn is to look at which programming language is the most popular one, because from a career point of view, if you learn a popular language, meaning that the chances of you getting hired are very high.  

Technical point of view

From a technical point of view, let’s say if you’re a start-up or company, if you build your product around a language that is popular, meaning that it’s a lot easier for you to hire people.

Among the popular language shared in this video are JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, C++, C#, and CSS.

How about C++? It’s old school, but just like wine, the classic is the best. The reason why C++ is old school but it is still relevant at this stage, like, after so many years, is because a lot of the underlying systems are still written using C++ as a language.

Whether your hardware ROM, your WiFi, your router, many, many of them, even your operating system like Linux, Mac, or Windows, their underlying core, most of them were written in CS, C++.

Maybe you notice or maybe you didn’t, most of the languages in your top 5 or top 10 are basically web programming language. So technically your safest bet is always going for those languages which is popular.

Top programming languages for web development

So, what are the languages in the top chart? Which is JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SQL, and Python.

Now Java, C++, C#, are still relevant because we still use them a lot in our, what you call that, the legacy enterprise systems. So that’s why they are relevant and still quite highly used.

So the most popular programming language, the four most popular one that you will see in the market are usually like the examples JavaScript, PHP, C# or Java, and also Python. Now, we did not include HTML and CSS because they’re, technically they’re not programming language, they’re mark-up language. So we use them to define our documents, to beautify our code, as in beautifying our webpage when they are built on the browsers.

But we do not use them in the same way as we use programming language. In fact, the programming language that we showed in the video is to generate HTML codes for our webpages. First of all, let’s look at JavaScript.


JavaScript is the most popular programming language when we use it to write scripts. Now if you’re not familiar with scripting language, don’t worry about scripting and interpreted language. A scripting language basically is something like JavaScript, Python, Ruby. You compile the language on the go.

An interpreted language is the language that you will see things like an exe file, or a jar file, or a dll files. So you see these a lot when you’re using Windows, right? And JavaScript is natively supported by desktop and mobile applications. And also, it is the only language that can be used by both front-end and backend supported by NodeJS.

So for this part, you just have to understand that the, all the platforms that you can see on the market, XBOX, PS4, your desktop, your mobile, your gadgets, even Raspberry Pi LTE devices, all of them can support JavaScript. Long story short, if you don’t know which programming language to learn first, learn JavaScript.

PHP ( Hypertext Preprocessor )

So the second language is PHP. PHP is a very powerful language because it’s used for general scripting purpose for web development. I wouldn’t say it’s powerful in the sense of its functions, but it has a lot of frameworks that people have build to target a different kind of used cases. You have Laravel, you have Yii, you have CodeIgniter, these are the popular PHP frameworks.

It’s very easy to learn at the beginning, but things get messy when the projects become large. Now the reason PHP a reliable and good language for you to learn if you need to have another programming language as a backup, because large companies like Google, Facebook, or Uber, all these companies, most of the time they have, a part of their core programs are written in PHP.

PHP powers about 60 to 70% of the websites on the market right now. Even like, sites like WordPress, our thelead.io, or a lot of the e-commerce sites, they’re all written using PHP.

Python Programming

You see, many seminars or workshop you’ve been to will encourage you to pick up Python programming, oh even our own webinar we encourage you to do so, but it’s mainly for data science. Python is because there are a lot of free packages out there that allow you to do, or tackle, a lot of the data science task, like machine-learning task, natural language processing, text analysis, and image processing even. Those are the tasks that can be done by Python.

But Python itself, when it comes to web programming, or when it comes to building product, is a rather less comprehensive language. We wouldn’t say it’s weak, but, don’t get us wrong, that is just for the web development portion of software development proportion.

As a scripting language, it’s very easy to learn, it’s very beginners friendly, and the performance, the processing speed, everything is good. If you were to learn how to build web applications, how to develop a product, it might not be the best language out there. So long story short, we have prepared a table for you.

Watch the video above to view it.

If your role is to become a front-end developer, you definitely have to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Enjoyed watching the above? do share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you are looking to explore web development and programming as part of your career growth and build market-ready applications like Grab or Lazada, do check out our Full Stack 360 certification course to help you achieve this goal. 

What are you favourite programming languages for web development? Leave them in the comment section below.

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