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How To Learn Any Programming Language Online in 2019

selawsky profile image John Selawsky ・6 min read

Let’s face it, computers are everywhere these days, and the need for programmers is ever-increasing. Programming is vital to make computers be able to help us solve our everyday problems. It’s also a means to increase their speed and usability. With this in mind, it’s high time you jumped on this bandwagon and learned a language yourself!

However, picking out the most appropriate programming language to learn is a substantial task for beginners. A good approach to making this choice is to consider the most popular programming languages, which languages are easy-to-learn, and how easy it is to find a job for beginners in these languages.

Why Learn a Programming Language?

  • It'll give you a lot of highly paid job opportunities. Everything we come into contact with modern society — cell phones, laptops, public transport, healthcare, education, coffee shops, grocery stores, etc. - can’t exist without current technologies. And who makes that tech function? Why, programmers, of course! And these jobs are well-paid: on average, a developer in the US gets paid $107K, while in Europe the are paid nearly $60K.
  • Programming languages can create powerful tools. Using these tools, you can make your life much easier: you could automate routine tasks that you need to repeat every day with simple scripting or analyze big datasets with complex applications.
  • They are universal in use. Most programming languages are general-purpose which means the skills you learn will help you develop different products. For example, you can use the same language, like Java, to make mobile apps, websites, etc.
  • You will have the ability to work on cool projects. You can be part of a project that can change the world.
  • Be part of a community. Most programming languages have very friendly communities where members share learning resources and discuss the features and the future of the language.
  • Learning resources. There are countless courses and tutorials available for you, from novice to master levels. Some websites even have unique approaches to learning, from gamifying the process of getting you to compete with other developers.

The five most popular programming languages in the world are JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, and SQL. They are universally used, with a wide range of applications: from desktop and mobile applications to websites, cloud-based applications, and even scientific purposes.


JavaScript is one of the most prevalent programming languages today, and it is very important for the advancement of the web. It was the reason behind web browsers transforming into web applications platforms. It’s a dynamic language, and an important step for front-end web development mastery, alongside HTML and CSS. Being native to all browsers, you can start programming without the need for a special development environment, making it very suitable for beginner programmers.

Javascript is not related to Java. In fact, it debuted under the name LiveScript but was renamed into JavaScript by Netscape as part of a marketing strategy due to Java’s popularity.

Where Can You Use JavaScript?

1: Pure JavaScript is used to create a front-end dynamic content that directly works in-browser, rather than on the server-side. JavaScript code is integrated into the HTML code, so that when the internet user requests an HTML page that has a JavaScript code, the code is interpreted by the browser to do something dynamic with it, like change the content on the page, or control multimedia. In that sense, JavaScript is not, strictly speaking, a programming language; rather it’s a scripting language.

2: Node.js is a technology that uses JavaScript for back-end server-side applications. Its use has increased by tech pioneers such as Amazon and Google for some of their services.

Learning Resources

Freecodecamp offers over 300 hours of free JavaScript lessons. Structured into a curriculum that takes you from the very basics to mastery, you can earn a certificate after completing their projects.


Since its inception, Java has always been one of the most used programming languages. It’s a programming language that works on almost any platform. with the motto “write once, run anywhere”, which means you can use it to build anything from computer programs to websites to mobile applications. For the most part, the Android OS was implemented in Java, and many android applications are still written in it. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to learn Java to land a job in this high-demand market.

Where Can You Use Java?

Java can be used everywhere, but it is mainly seen in three areas:

1: Enterprise-level web-server applications like those by Amazon and Google. This is because Java is very stable and secure while handling sensitive server-sided web services.

2: Android OS development and Android applications. This heavy dependence on Java was intentional to make use of the wide base of Java programmers to support Android.

3: Game development. Many modern games are written in Java, both for PC, such as Minecraft, and for mobile devices, like most Android OS games.

Learning Resources

CodeGym offers hundreds of courses to learn Java. The platform was created using the developers’ practical experience over the years spent coding in Java, and has a single purpose: to make sure that as soon as you finish, you have all you need to start working. It approaches the process of learning in a fun way, like a game with subplots, and with each skill you learn, you level up. This keeps you engaged with the learning process, preventing you from burning out from frustration.


Although Python is a multi-purpose language, it is without a doubt the most used programming language in data sciences, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In the “Zen of Python”, it’s stated that “Simple is better than complex”. This is the cornerstone of the language and one of the most attractive factors for beginners. Its simple syntax rules make it easy to keep the code base readable, not to mention make maintaining the application a much simpler task. The power of Python comes from its community and the availability of libraries for almost every task.

Where Can You Use Python?

1: Data sciences, from data analysis and visualization to machine learning and artificial intelligence. With the availability of great libraries like numpy and scikit learn, you can start implementing neural network algorithms and getting results without worrying about how they even work.

2: Python is a perfect scripting language that is usually used by developers to glue different applications programmed in different languages together. In addition, you can make scripts that automate simple tasks like sending report emails to your boss.

3: With powerful web development frameworks like Django and Flask, Python can be found online as the backbone of many big websites e.g. Instagram.

Learning Resources

Codewars offers Python learning materials as challenges. Each challenge is called a “kata”, like in Japanese martial arts.


PHP is a specialized language for creating server-side services and websites. As soon as it was developed, it became very popular with web developers in the 90s due to its rich frameworks, modules, and libraries. It’s still used by about 80% of the top 10 million websites today, though this popularity can be explained by how hard it is for these websites to migrate to other languages.

With that in mind, the popularity of PHP is declining, mainly because it’s accused of lacking a clear philosophy and being soft with errors. However, there is always a need for PHP programmers to maintain these sites, which means PHP will not disappear soon.

Where Can You Use PHP?

PHP is used by back-end developers to create and maintain websites. PHP is also used to power WordPress websites and blogs. Although it is possible to manage a WordPress website without knowing PHP, It is not possible to make the most use of WordPress without using it.

Learning Resources

Codecademy provides you tutorials, exercises, and instant feedback on your tasks.


SQL stands for “Standard Query Language”. Many applications and websites need to deal with databases, like when saving users’ data and modifying it safely when necessary. SQL is a specialized programming language for managing databases: retrieving, modifying, and saving data, etc. SQL standardized these operations on databases with a simple syntax, such as SELECT, ORDER BY and INSERT. That is why SQL is implemented in almost every programming language for the purpose of interfacing with databases.

Where Can You Use SQL?

SQL is everywhere from desktop programs to mobile applications and websites, since all of these need to connect to a database in one way or another to function correctly.

Learning Resources

[BitDegree] offers an extensive, yet beginner-friendly, the course on SQL with real-life examples and applications.

To Wrap Up

Nowadays, learning to program is an essential skill that can make your life easier, and give you an opportunity to find a job. However, you need to think about the most suitable programming language for your needs. If you want to be a front-end web developer, learn JavaScript. If you are thinking about becoming a data scientist, go with Python. If you are undecided or want to choose a general-purpose language, learn Java. And in any case, learn SQL for database management.

Discussion (1)

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mentalplex profile image

The S in SQL is for structured, not standard