“Java is to JavaScript what car is to Carpet.” - Chris Heilmann

Would you like to work in web development (programmer, UX/UI developer, SEO/SEA consultant, CMO, content manager, etc.).

In the UK, the unemployment rate for web developers is just 1.79%.

In 2018, Java became the most used programming language for businesses. 27% of job offers required it against 21% who asked for JavaScript.

Would you like to learn how to code for fun or work?

Here’s our advice on which programming languages to learn.


HTML is the fundamental programming language of the web.

Should I learn HTML?
If you want to build websites, HTML is the way to go. (Source: lmonk72)

This code is interpreted by web browsers (Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.). You can learn HTML and then move onto studying CSS.

Find out more about becoming a programmer.


HTML is a language that allows you to create web pages. It’s short for HyperText Markup Language and HTML 5 (the latest version in 2020) can be used to create content:

  • Create hypertext
  • Structure pages
  • Put content in order
  • Create input forms
  • Include images, videos, and other media.

Anyone who’s a little familiar with the web may already know a bit of HTML.

There are famous tags like <html>, <head>, <TITLE>, <body>, <p>, </p>, <li>, </li>, etc. You may also be familiar with h1, h2, h3, h4, etc. as <h1>...</h1>, <h2>...</h2>, <h3>...</h3>, etc. The <p> tag indicates the opening of the paragraph tags and HTML tags are often closed with a slash.


Style codes were created in the early days of the internet and told HTML how to be displayed. CSS emerged in the mid-1990s.

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, are an almost essential part of HTML. It describes how websites should be displayed and is one of the most common programming languages.

CSS essentially tells the page how to display colours, locations, size, fonts. etc. It’s an essential language if you want to create websites.

Discover the history of coding.

Learning Java and JavaScript, the Most Common Programming Languages

Each programming language allows you to program tools, user interfaces, apps, etc.


Java is useful for creating mobile apps. It’s particularly useful for developing native mobile applications for Android devices but it’s not usually the first programming language programmers learn as it’s famous for being quite tricky.

However, given that it’s widely used for developing more and more apps, it’s one of the programming languages that most people will have to learn.

Java allows you to create programs and apps that can run in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) without needing to go through an operating system.


Unlike Java, JavaScript doesn’t require a compiler and is a high-level language that allows for high-quality user interfaces.

What is JavaScript?
JavaScript is another language that's used a lot online. (Source: roketpik)

The syntax shares some similarities with Java, but JavaScript can be used to describe the global behaviour of a website. It’s an interpreted language, which means that the browser activates the code when the user opens a webpage by downloading it.

Scripts can be integrated into HTML tags to add things like animations and visual effects.

JavaScript is used to improve the user experience (UX) and the search experience (SXO). It allows you to create interactive pages without increasing the load times. This is a useful interpreted language that can help with search engine optimisation (SEO) and the indexing of websites on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Baidu, etc.

It’s interpreted differently according to the browser that opens it so you’ll need to make sure your browser is updated to run the most recent code.

Find out more about planning a programming project.

Should You Learn to Code in PHP?

A few years ago, most websites were coded in PHP including Facebook and Wikipedia as well as the millions of sites offered by the CMS WordPress.

What is PHP?
PHP is often used in web development. (Source: pixelcreatures)

In 2013, PHP was used for over 244 million websites. It’s the most common server-side programming language.

PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor. This language is executed at the server-side, unlike JavaScript which is run client-side. PHP tags are used to create webpages via an HTTP server and are integrated into HTML code.

The main role of this web language is to facilitate communication between the web page and the server. PHP makes web pages more stable but is invisible on the client-side.

Learning to code in PHP gives you more flexibility and is compatible with various databases and most operating systems. If you’re programmer, you’ll need to keep an eye on your URLs as programming in this language will create a lot of random URLs which you’ll want to alter to ensure that you’re not punished by search engine robots. It’s annoying but it’s important work.

Find out why you should study programming.

What Other Programming Languages Can You Use?

As you read the list of programming languages on Wikipedia, you’ll see that there are quite a few to learn.


C is a low-level programming language that was created in the 1970s, making it one of the oldest programming languages around. C provides programmers with a good amount of control over the machine.

C is widely used but it also evolved into different languages like C++ and C#. These languages are commonly used to code video games and Microsoft web applications and recommended for beginners as you can learn a lot from them.


Python, like Java, is currently one of the most common programming languages. To start programming, Python is a good language to choose as it’s a compiled language with several advantages. It’s light, easy to install, and compatible with most operating systems.

If you’re looking for an easier way to develop an app, use Python as it allows you to manage large swathes of data.

Python is a multiplatform object-oriented programming language and programmers can improve their productivity with high-level tools and easy-to-use syntax which also makes it good for learning the basics.

It’s commonly used in the fields of mathematics, finance, and scientific research so if you’re doing a PhD in biology or working in science, you’ll want to learn Python.

Python was designed to be easy to read and it has fewer syntactical constructions than programming languages like C, Perl, or Pascal.


Finally, let’s finish with SQL, which is a language that can be used for databases.

Which programming languages are used for databases?
SQL is a language often used with databases. (Source: Firmbee)

It’s essential in certain sectors. If you master SQL, you can get the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate accreditation. SQL, or Structured Query Language, can be used to talk to databases.

In short, as a beginner, you’ll want to learn lines of for free on the web. IT is a domain where you can get qualifications in the subject like bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees but you can also teach yourself.

You need to be motivated. Who told you that programming was impossible?

If you'd like to learn more about coding, programming, or web development, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on Superprof!

You can learn about a variety of different skills and subjects from private tutors and there are various ways to get private tutorials: face-to-face, online, or in groups. Each type of private tutorial comes with pros and cons so think carefully about which would be right for you and your budget.

Face-to-face tutorials allow the tutor to focus on you as you'll be the only student in the class. This also allows them to plan every session with you in mind, ensuring that they're tailored to you, your preferred learning style, and your level. Of course, this high level of service isn't free and face-to-face tutorials will usually be the most costly option as you'll be paying for the tutor's time and expertise. However, since all the time and expertise is focused on teaching you in the best way possible, these tutorials are often the most cost-effective, too.

For those on a budget, group tutorials are an effective way to reduce the cost of private tutorials. By sharing the cost of the tutor's time and expertise, you can save money on private tutoring. Of course, this does mean that the lessons won't be tailored to you but rather the group as a whole. Similarly, you'll have less overall control over the course content as there'll be other students each with their learning objectives.

Finally, if you can't find any suitable tutors in your local area, you can always broaden your search. You can find online tutors all over the world ready to teach you about programming and coding as long as you have a webcam and a decent internet connection.

Many of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free so try a few out before deciding on which tutor and type of tutorial are right for you!

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