Top coders have near limitless prospects when it comes to employment, or even opportunities to succeed in their own startups. In fact, learning to code is fast becoming a necessary life skill, with millions each year taking online and in-person courses to learn Python, Java, and other popular programming languages.

But which one will give you the most bang for your buck?

Even if you’re learning how to code free online, it’s an investment of your time. You want to be sure you’re learning the language that will be most useful for you.

Should You Learn Python, C, or Something Else Entirely?

Of course, much of your decision about which coding language to start out on depends on what you want to be able to do or create with it. Learning Python makes sense if you want to develop video games or GUIs (graphic user interfaces) like Instagram. It’s one of the official programming languages at Google, and the average Python developer salary in the U.S. is $107,000.

Sounds pretty good, right?

But then, Ruby is a pretty awesome language too. Ruby is one of the easiest coding languages to learn, and there’s a massive, active community around it, with Ruby meetups in every major city around the world. On average, Ruby developers command salaries in the area of $102,000, with Amazon being one of the top employers.

You might want to learn C if you plan on developing software, hardware, or even operating systems. C is a great language to start out on, because a lot of other languages have borrowed directly or indirectly from it, including Java and JavaScript, C++, Python, PHP, and Perl. Intel, Amazon, and Dell are all major employers for C programmers, who make an average of $102,000 a year.

Become a Top Coder: See Which Programming Language Is Right for You

The infographic below was designed to help you decide which programming language you should learn first. It includes the nine most popular programming languages: Python, Java, C, C++, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, PHP, and Objective-C.

For each programming language, you can see what top coders have used it to build, how much each offers as an average salary, the pros and cons of that coding language, and more.

First-time developers: Don’t be scared away by the number of choices you have! Check out the top coding languages below, and see which one makes the most sense to take on first.

Whether you decide to learn Python, Ruby, or C# (or any other language), you’re increasing your career prospects and gaining a valuable life skill that will serve you well in whatever you do next!

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