First programming language to learn? not Python or JAVA

So you are new to the community? Making efforts to enquire from those ahead gives you a license to be a programmer. This is because every entity in the community is connected, from programmers to development tools. However, I will walk you down the deep path that will aid you in realizing what the first programming language to learn is.

Firstly, there are things to note before going ahead to learn a programming language. A few years ago, I was in a state of dilemma, not knowing which language to learn at first. I guess that’s your cause now, and I’m here to help out. Programming they say is life, enjoy reading.

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What is the programming language to learn first?

Definitely, after learning your first programming language, you should forge ahead and learn many more. To start with, choosing a programming language points down to what you’re hoping to do. Recently, there’s a lot of principles in the community:

  • “I code in <language _name> and so should everybody!!”
  • “As an old adage goes: learn to walk before you run.”

Do you literally love picking up programming as a niche? If NO. Stop reading. Good luck if otherwise.

To start with, you need to have a basic understanding of data structures, algorithms, algorithmic time complexity, and more; it will make things easier for you.

A programmer says, “ I don’t know about the weird quirks and tricky aspects of each environment because I follow best-practices for each language, so I didn’t encounter such problems. In fact, for almost every chunk of code I write, I have to look up examples so that I don’t waste time on trial-and-error.”

A language that aids you in understanding how syntax and elements are connected is what you should learn first, a language that will make you an outstanding programmer with any language you will pick up later in the future.

Which is the first programming language to learn?

In my opinion, Smalltalk is an excellent language to begin with, and here are my reasons;

  • Fundamentally, it’s the neatest, simplest, and most accessible language to know.
  • It is much simpler and understandable compared to Python or C (the two generally command programming languages).
  • Smalltalk has all of 6 reserved words.

The people that designed Smalltalk Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, and Adele Goldberg at Xerox PARC. The actual purpose of this language is to help educate programming command experienced people.

Nevertheless, Python and C are great languages; however, they are not developed for instructional motives. A practical example below

Hello world in c
#include <stdio.h>

int main(void)
{
printf(“hello, world\n”);

Hello world in python
print (‘Hello World!’).

Hello world in Smalltalk
Transcript show: ‘Hello World!’.

This will print Hello World! to the Transcript window in Smalltalk.

The transcript is the class that permits you to print to the Transcript window by transferring the message show: to that object. The colon implies that this message expects a parameter which is, in this case, a string. Strings are characterized by single quotes and single quotes only since double quotes are reserved for comments in Smalltalk.


According to a 1995 IDC report, OOP language market shares were:
C++                               — 71.3%
Smalltalk                      — 15.1%
Objective-C                  — 5.7%
Object Pascal              — 4.2%
CLOS                            — 2.5%
Eiffel                             — 1.1%
all others                     — 0.2%

Why learn SmallTalk?

  • Smalltalk structured the world to the language virtual machine on which Java and Ruby are founded with.
  • Its live coding capability is built into the language!
  • The language was the first graphical language to support live programming and aided debugging processes.
  • Smalltalk initiated the software architectural pattern MVC (Model-View-Controller).

There are six open-source dialects of Smalltalk: Pharo, Squeak, GNU Smalltalk, Dolphin Smalltalk, Amber Smalltalk, and Cuis Smalltalk.

Interestingly, after mastering Smalltalk, the subsequent programming languages to learn depends on what you want to do as a career, profession, or other purposes.

Noting from the basic, maybe I should analyze:

  • I’m not insisting that a particular programming language is objectively good of all or the best.
  • I approve that as a developer, you should ultimately know more than one language.
  • My opinion is that newbies in programming should understand one language very well.
  • Don’t be scared. It takes lots of practice to be competent with your first programming language.
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Other things to consider before learning your first programing language

  • What are the job offers you can get with the language
  • The long-term expectations of the language
  • How straightforward is the programming language
  • What are the projects you can build even during the learning process

Difficulty in learning

JavaScript, C, and Python programming languages are arguably not the best for beginners. This is because they are industrial languages and they are very vast. On the other hand, Smalltalk was created for teaching programming to children; that’s why it is simpler. Also, its simplification of OOP language is an additional reason to go with it first.

Projects you can do with Smalltalk programming language

Smalltalk is a popular programming language used in different problem areas. From making applications for mobile devices to the web itself. Also, Smalltalk is applicable in the financial industry, the manufacturing industry, and others. Furthermore, it is great for web design, front-end web development, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT).

What more?

Other programming languages are great, but they can be challenging for a newbie to understand. Remember, “Your first programming language will/should never be your only programming language.”

Download a Text Editor; Sublime Texts or Microsoft Visual Code are great to start coding. When you start coding, keep coding, don’t just read the theory, code the practical. For more guide to programming, comment below, and I’d take you through the journey to becoming a pro programmer.

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