3. Where do I start – which language?

This is the most bewildering part. There are 100’s of different coding languages and everyone seems to have their favourite. There is so much conflicting advice depending on a particular point of view. 

For instance I think the JavaScript library p5.js is the best language (more on this later) and yet one of my sons thinks Python is by far the better language. What I will say is that it is not a bad idea to learn several, although possibly not all at the same time. 

Perhaps it would help if I went through a few of the more popular programming (coding) languages that you are most likely to come across if you are starting out and why they might be a good choice. This does depend on how old you are. Some are designed to engage with younger children in particular but even they are very powerful languages all in their own right. So you cannot really go wrong at all.  

This list is not definitive by any means. It is just some of the more likely contenders and, again, it does depend on why you want to learn to code and for what end purpose. I am assuming that you don’t really know at this stage and just want to dip your toe in the water as it were. 

So, in no particular order, I am going to mention ‘scratch’, ‘python’, ‘html/CSS/JavaScript’, ‘p5.js’ and ‘C++’. There is a reason why I mention these coding languages, and some of you more coding savvy people may be wondering why. This is from my own experience of learning to code from scratch (not the coding language…) and how my journey unfolded. 

So they are my opinion not anyone else’s. You can make up you mind later (if not already). In the next few pages I am going to give you a summary of each of the above.