If you are thinking about learning a programming language, or even want to become a (web) developer, there are basically two big, interrelated, hurdles that you need to overcome. The first is, which language should I learn, and the second, where do I even begin? Considering the fact that the internet is not well known for reaching consensus (think of Godwin’s law), this article will help you get started.

But first, why should you learn a programming language at all?

Why Should I Learn A Programming Language?

Imagine you could not read, write or even understand English, but live in an English-speaking country. It will be hard to find a job, or friends or even buy groceries. Code in that respect, is the predominant language of today: it simply governs most processes around us. Learning how to code therefore empowers you, and helps you to better understand and engage with the world around you.

Secondly, when people say: “think like a programmer”, they refer to the ability to understand a problem and look at it from an alternative perspective. In other words, learning a programming language will teach you how to think. Similar to languages, code uses abstraction and metaphors to make sense of the complex processes that run sophisticated computer programs. In the end, learning a programming language teaches you how to be a better problem solver, which is a lifetime skill in itself.

Last but not least, programmers have a very favourable market position. The software market has blown up and keeps on growing. There are about 27 jobs per developer and the average starting pay is around 35,500 euro per year¹. This means your chances are pretty high to find a well paid job to hone your skills further.

Ok, it’s fairly straightforward that learning a programming language has quite a lot of advantages. But where and how do you start to learn one?

What is HTML, CSS and JavaScript?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It basically tells you how a website is organised: what the content is, what the images on your website are and where your users can navigate to. In an hour or two of learning HTML, you’ll be able to write your first few lines of it.

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheet is HTML’s best friend and gives it its flair. CSS is used for general styling of a webpage and for the layout. The syntax of CSS is also fairly simple once you understand the basics.

JavaScript is HTML and CSS’s weird uncle. Whenever JavaScript comes to the party, everything starts to move and interact with one another. So think about JavaScript as the language that makes a web page dynamic. It helps you to login on social media, to share content, to make cool animations and even send messages.

Why are they good to start with? (Or, one language to rule them all)

As said, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the three languages essential for understanding the modern web. In particular JavaScript will make you highly employable, because it’s everywhere. All the big companies rely on it, such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Instagram.

JavaScript can be used both on the front-end and back-end. This means that if you would like to learn how to make a beautiful web page that is animated and tells a compelling story; JavaScript is the one. If you’re interested in how a server operates and how data is stored: JavaScript is (still) the one. And if you want to learn both: it’s JavaScript again.

Want to know more?

Come to one of our events and see for yourself.

Or join one of our bootcamps and learn in no time how to become a full stack web developer and start your own business!