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Why Python Is the Perfect First Programming Language

Choosing your first programming language is a big step on the path to becoming a developer. It's the starting point of your coding journey, and making the right choice can set you up for success. In this article, we will explore why Python is often recommended as the first programming language for beginners.

If you have decided to start your software or web developer journey, you will probably face challenges when learning to code. The main one is often deciding which computer language should be the first programming language you learn.

Choosing a first programming language is a huge responsibility: You will use this language to give your first coding steps! If you don’t choose appropriately, this could lead to a loss of time or interest. When selecting your first programming language, you have to take multiple parameters into consideration.

The first one is the complexity and the learning curve of the language. I personally don’t recommend a low-level programming language as a first programming language. Some people may tell you: “You should learn Assembler language or C; those are the basis of programming!”. And that’s true; those two languages are fascinating, but oh, man, the learning curve is so steep! You could spend hours fighting with registers or pointers.

Then, the syntax! You will read and write your first lines of code, and this should be as smooth as possible. You don’t want to spend hours looking for a missing parenthesis or bracket in your code. During my development career, I had the opportunity to work with Prolog and Lisp, two intriguing programming languages with nightmarish syntax. It was an incredible experience, but I could not imagine one of them as my first programming language!

Finally, the applicability. I don’t recommend a specific-purpose programming language as a first programming language. You could learn SQL, HTML, or even PIC, for example. However, those programming languages are used for specific tasks and are thus limited. You should be able to use your first programming language to code almost anything!

Have you considered learning programming with Python? I strongly recommend you check out the track Learning Programming with Python on It contains 5 courses and 135 free interactive coding challenges that will introduce you to the fundamentals of programming.  Why do I say this?

Python as a First Programming Language

Python for beginners is a perfect fit, and I will demonstrate why.

First of all, Python is extremely easy to read and easy to write! Python syntax is simple and readable, which makes it easier for beginners to understand and write code. In the Zen of Python – Python’s core philosophy – we can find the following:

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.

That is exactly what Python syntax is: beautiful, explicit, and simple! Let’s imagine the following exercise: “Write a Python function that calculates the circumference of a circle”. You could do it in the following way:

# Import math Library
import math

# Function
def calculate_circ(radius):
    return math.pi * 2 * radius

radius = 5
print(f"With a radius of {radius}, the circle's circumference is: {calculate_circ(radius)}")

Quite straightforward, isn’t it? Python syntax does not have redundant parentheses, brackets, or semicolons. Complex operations can be achieved in a few lines of code. Note that the indentation is mandatory: each inner block of code (function, loop, etc. ) must begin with empty spaces or tabs; it allows avoiding confusing “spaghetti” code. If you want to know more about the simplicity of Python, you should read the excellent article Is Python Hard to Learn?.

Next, I have to mention the Python community, because it is awesome! Python developers are enthusiastic and share their knowledge. Take a look at PyPi, the official repository for Python: there are almost a half million free libraries and packages! One of the most famous Python libraries is NumPy, a library used by data scientists to clean and manipulate huge sets of data. NumPy is the result of the fantastic contribution of dozens of Python developers and is nowadays an indispensable tool for data science with Python. And guess what? Installing a library is as simple as one line of code:

pip install numpy

The Python community is also very willing to help beginners. If you are scratching your head over some Python code, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Collaborative platforms like Stack Overflow are widely used by programmers of all levels. Look at this – more than two million questions and answers just for Python! Plus, you can also ask for help on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Discord, where you’ll find groups with thousands of Python developers to chat with.

Why Python Is the Perfect First Programming Language for Beginners

Then, there’s Python’s versatility. You can do almost everything with it: web development, web scraping, data analysis, machine learning, scripting, automation, financial calculations – you can even create desktop applications and games with Python! Python is basically the Swiss army knife of the programming languages, which makes it a valuable skill to learn. And almost all big tech companies use it!

Finally, the salary. All I said before sounds good, but are Python developers well paid? According to ZipRecruiter, the national average in the US for a Python developer is $116,847 per year. Python also offers a large choice of career paths: web developer, ethical hacker, data scientist, cybersecurity expert, and game developer, among others. You could even be a technical writer or blogger, like your most humble servant.

Regarding data science, has a whole track dedicated to it! If you are a data analyst or interested in data science, the track Python for Data Science is for you!

Those are some of the many reasons why Python is so appreciated by both beginners and experts. Rebecca McKeown gives us more details in her article Why Is Python So Popular?

Python for Beginners: Practical Tips

Starting programming is not an easy task. After you’ve chosen the programming language you want to work with, your learning journey begins. In this section, I will give you some practical tips to make your programming journey successful.

The first tip I would give you is: Don’t learn just for learning! I mean, learning should be how you reach the goals you have set; it should not be the goal itself.

If you don’t have goals yet, think about what you want to do with your knowledge of Python. For example, your goal could be to build a simple web application or to automate a repetitive task. You could also set multiple goals with progressive difficulty.

Goals should be clear and feasible: forget vague and overly ambitious goals like “Build the next YouTube in Python”. Having a clear direction and purpose will help maintain focus and motivation during your learning journey. If you feel demotivated, think about the goals you have set and all the progress you have made.

Then, I would emphasize the importance of practicing regularly. Just like a musical instrument or a new language, programming requires consistent practice. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to code every day, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Practicing regularly brings a lot of benefits: it will improve your problem-solving skills, give you a better understanding of programming concepts, and increase your coding speed. Many Python job interviews contain a coding section – and believe me, candidates who have consistently practiced stand out from the crowd.

Why Python Is the Perfect First Programming Language for Beginners

For some ideas, I recommend you read these great articles:

The following tip may seem obvious, but I believe it is necessary to mention it. Most of us developers are very proud; we always want to solve programming problems by ourselves. It’s a good thing, but don’t spend too much time on a given problem. As I mentioned before, the Python community is awesome, so don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it! The community is very supportive and can even offer multiple solutions for one problem. I recommend you follow LearnPython’s LinkedIn profile; great tips and content are regularly posted.

The last tip I will give you may be the most important: Don’t be too hard on yourself! Learning to program can be challenging, and it's normal to feel overwhelmed or frustrated at times. I encourage you to take breaks when needed and to celebrate small victories along the way.

Python Learning Resources

I will start with the old-fashioned method of learning Python: Reading books. You can buy physical books; however, I would recommend downloading digital books. Most of the time, digital books are updated when the author is notified of any errors. Digital books are also versioned, and authors often release a new version of the book when some data is outdated. I personally love the publisher Coffee Break Python; I have many of their books on my Kindle.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with Python, You can practice coding on, where you can find plenty of challenges ranked by difficulty. Companies often use this platform for job interviews; I recommend using it so you’ll know how it works if some recruiter asks you to solve a challenge.

You can also check for existing free Python projects developed by enthusiastic Python developers on GitHub. Some projects are complex, but checking other developers’s code is good practice; this is something you will have to do during your professional career.

Finally, the best option for learning Python is undoubtedly You can learn and practice at the same time! The platform offers the following: on the left, the lesson; on the right, the code editor and the console. It allows you to read the course content and to practice right away. Look at this:

Why Python Is the Perfect First Programming Language for Beginners

Awesome, isn’t it? And the best part is that you only need an internet connection and a web browser.

Need more resources to start learning Python? Soner Yildirim explains them in detail in The 5 Best Resources to Start Learning Python.

Make Python Your First Programming Language!

I really hope I convinced you to start your coding journey and make Python your first programming language. With a positive mindset and constant practice, you will succeed!

If you want to be a Python developer, you can be one regardless of your professional or academic background! Most of my Python developers friends did not actually study programming. They were an electronic engineer, petroleum engineer, cook, biologist – and then they made a 180º turn and decided to start a Python developer career. They have no regrets!

One last thing before I leave: I want you to know that has an awesome track called Python Basics, and you know what? The first course of the track is totally free! Look at this:

Why Python Is the Perfect First Programming Language for Beginners

Thanks a lot for reading this article. See you again soon!