Deciding Which Coding Language to Learn? Here's a Quick Breakdown

By: Justin Miller, VP Marketing at Startup Institute
Last Updated: October 5, 2017

Technology is advancing quicker than ever, and because of that, so are the needs of hiring managers on the never-ending search to find programmers who know the right coding languages. There's no better time for programming enthusiasts and beginners alike. Are you interested in learning a new language? We'll help you decide which programming languages to learn by breaking down five of the most popular on the market today.


Ruby is one of the best languages around. As Codementor puts it, Ruby was developed so developers can have fun and be productive at the same time. It's gaining quite a bit of steam in the programming world with its ease of use and myriad applications. One of the reasons Ruby didn't catch on in years past was its inability to adapt to the web. You could make a website, but it was certainly more trouble than it was worth, what with other, more adaptable languages available.

Now, Ruby has a framework that makes it one of the most useful languages: Ruby on Rails, or RoR. With the addition of this framework, Ruby has become more versatile than any other language. It's the whole package; Ruby on Rails is easy to learn and easy to use. Even the creator of RoR designed it to "make programmers happy," according to SkillCrush. What's not to love?


Python is one of the simplest languages. Its general-purpose approach allows programmers to create almost anything, really, if they're prepared for rudimentary design. The language is flexible, allowing programmers to pave their own way; there isn't one right way to do anything. It's also read the way English is, which makes it easier for first-timers and speedy coding. The only real issue with Python is its simplicity. The larger an app or other creation grows, the more difficult it is to troubleshoot.


This language probably isn't for the beginner. It's a little more complicated and best left until you've got a language or two under your belt. C# was, in fact, designed for those who already know a programming language. As such, it isn't as simple or as easy to use as Ruby or Python. It is, however, incredibly useful for the experienced programmer. C# has a few built-in features that help things move a little more smoothly. OpenSesame describes a few:

  • Built-in functional programming capabilities
  • Built-in asynchronous capabilities
  • Native garbage collection
  • Type safety

So, while C# is more complicated than other languages, there are plenty of benefits that render it useful for programming. It'll take more effort than Python, but overall it's highly regarded.


Java has long been hailed as one of the more popular programming languages because it's been around for years. Java has been used for so long that almost all of the internet has been around. Still, just because it's a household name doesn't automatically qualify it as the best language to learn. New advancements in almost every other language are quickly changing the game, and other languages, such as Ruby, pack more punch. While it's tried and true, it may not be the obvious choice if you're looking to separate yourself in the job market.


JavaScript is not to be confused with Java, no matter how similar the names. At its core, Java is a general programming language, used for all manner of sites and apps, while JavaScript is intended specifically for use in website design. JavaScript is pretty useful and in high demand - more than half of all developers use JavaScript. - but it is generally used for experienced programmers rather than beginners, as JavaScript is untyped and, thus, difficult to debug.

In Conclusion

There are dozens of languages available, so how do you choose the most versatile and most useful? You'll most likely learn several languages over the course of your career, so it's best to prioritize by thinking about what kinds of projects you'd like to work on first.

We built our curriculum around Ruby because we felt the framework provides the most opportunities for both the experienced programmer and beginners to coding. With the new framework, Ruby on Rails, the versatility of the language just can't be beaten.

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