Choosing The Best Beginner's Programming Language
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 01 March 2017, the online publication from Red Hat, is currently conducting a poll as to which is the best programming language for beginners. This has of course generated quite a lively debate.

There can never be a single right answer to the question of which programming language is the best. It really does depend on what you want to do with it. However, the question which is the best language for a beginner to start with makes more sense - although again it does depend on who the beginner is and what they intend to do next. 


This is the second occasion on which the poll has been run and in 2015 the final result was as follows:



Do you notice something odd about this list?

Java is missing and as it is generally thought of the the most widely used language in the software industry it should surely be among the choices?

This year's list has rectified that omission but it has made other changes too - dropping Go and Ruby and adding Haskell and Swift.


Again this is an idiosyncratic list. You have to bear in mind that there is going to be an open source bias which might account for Java's previous absence, and there being no C# or Visual BASIC included. 

It is probably not surprising that both in this poll and the previous one Other gained a significant proportion of the votes. Suggested best languages this time around include Pascal, which harks back to a time before Python became the language of choice for academia to teach computer science.

Processing is also nominated in the Comments, and this could make an excellent choice for those coming to programming from a less traditional background, but on the other hand you won't find it widely used once you've learned it.

Scratch get several mentions but surprisingly Blockly, a language much favored for the Hour of Code, doesn't. Both compile to JavaScript, which is the most widely used language for open source project on GitHub (see GitHub Octoverse Reveals The State Of Open Source).


There is still time to cast your vote and influence the result - but it would take a lot to dislodge Python from its predominant position.






More Information

Which is the best programming language for beginners?

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 March 2017 )