What programming language do i learn if i want to get a job?

switching careers. unemployed. seeking a coding job. late bloomer who had programming fundamentals programming in high school so i remember basic concepts of programming (different types of variables, loops, etc).

network admin, app, website, etc? so many to choose from.

what single coding language will reap the best possible gainful job opportunities? looking for the low hanging fruit with highest possible job return. what is a relatively easy to pick up language and plentiful jobs available and lucrative?

Contact possible employers near you where you live and ask them what skills they need today and tomorrow. For a start.

check the job requirements around you

But JavaScript can be a good choice if you are interested in web dev

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“web dev”, isn’t that just html? aren’t there software for making websites and services like “squarespace” for that? is “web dev” really lucrative and in high demand? what’s the base salary for something like that? I would think that with squarespace and website making software there would be low demand for this?

Hi @throwaway !

Welcome to the forum!

Nope :grinning: There are a few more technologies to consider for web dev.

The core technologies for the web would be HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

HTML is for content.
CSS is for style.
JavaScript is for the interactivity on the site. (When the user does something, like click a button, an event should happen)

Aside from those core languages you have what are considered libraries and frameworks.

These are tools that were built off of these core languages that make the development process easier.

CSS libraries and frameworks can include bootstrap, tailwind, bulma, material ui, etc.
Instead of writing custom CSS for all of your styles you can use a library and tap into their built in styles.

JavaScript libraries and frameworks would include React, Angular, Vue, Ember, jQuery, etc.
Instead of building applications all in Vanilla JavaScript you can use a library or framework to speed up the development process.

All of that would be considered client side which is what the user sees and interacts with.

You also have what is called server side which is the logic and brains behind your application. This is the code that the user does not see.

Examples of server side technologies and languages would include node, express, python, etc.

You also have databases.
This is where you data is stored for your web application.

For example, if you have an online store, then you would have a database of customers and orders.

Databases would include MongoDB, PostgreSQL, mySQL, etc.

You don’t need to learn all of this stuff because there is so much out there to learn.
But that gives you a rough idea of what web development is. :grinning:

There are times where you would want to use a website builder and then there are times where you want to hire a developer.

For example, if you have a coach that need a simple page for their little league team, you don’t really need a web developer for that.
A web site builder is just fine.

But if you have a business that is growing and needs custom software then you hire a developer.

I would suggest googling for salary information in your area.

For me, I am based in the States and living in a high priced state.
Starting salaries for junior web developers are $65,000 - 70,000 in my area.
For senior developers salaries are anywhere between $130,000 - 200,000+ in my area.

It really depends on location and the company you work for.

If you work for a FAANG(Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Goggle ) company then you can make even more money then the average.

You would be looking at base pay, plus bonuses and stock options.

But those jobs are really competitive and hard to get.

You can google around for all of that information.

Hope that helps!


problem with searching for jobs online is there are tons of adverts but that doesn’t really give you a true sense of which languages are in demand. many job posts are generally cattle calls with no real openings currently and just collecting people’s cv for future possible openings. and also job adverts often seem to over inflate to attract as large a group of candidates. this is why i’m asking people who are in the business of coding b/c they have a better truer sense of what the needs are and what the pays are like. also, the real jobs are often not advertised.

For web dev, learning the core languages of HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a good base.

The variation will probably be in the frameworks and the backend languages.

Well, it is all about looking in the right places.

If you join tech twitter for example, there are tons of jobs being passed around by developers.

Also, if you grow a network and join some meetups and slack channels then you have access to their job postings as well.

For salaries, salary.com is a good place to research software salaries in your area.

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i see A LOT of courses for python, and ruby these days. are these truly in demand?

comparing the learning curve for python and ruby vs html, would it be safe to say that html would the lower hanging fruit? would web development be something that a starter could get easily into without a steep learning curve?

from looking at python and c++, it seems it takes couple of years to master and get to point where you become competent to take on a job using those languages?

HTML is not a programming language, it’s a markdown language, it can be learned in a couple of days, it’s necessary but it’s totally not sufficient for web development. CSS is an other necessary but not sufficient part of web development.
The core is JavaScript and its libraries and frameworks.

Any programming language would need that year or two, or more.
But you don’t need to be an expert for a junior position, depending on the area and how consistent you are with your studies, you could be able to get a job after 3-6 months, but the more you know the more likely it is to get hired.

the whole reason, i’m interested in this is to get a job as soon as possible. i can’t wait a few years.

so what “language” would you recommend that would get me a job after 3-6 months? html?

it depends on which one has the highest demand where you are interested in working.
potentially, you could do it with front-end web dev, but it’s seriosuly impossible to know how much time you will actually need

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There are different perspectives of which language you should pick. Other developers’ preferences. The language for a given task. Your employer’s pick of language. The competition in your area.


But you do not master Javascript in a couple of months unless your IQ and dedication is way above average. And to learn Javascript you also have to master HTML and CSS. You can hardly omit one of the parts in the “holy trinity”.

Javascript is one of the foundation languages, but there are also many competitors. Your portfolio must show your competence. To name a number of languages that you “master” is not enough IMO.


You can use Python in a variety of programming fields which is why you see a lot of courses for it.

Same thing with Ruby.

You seem to think that web dev is only about html.
You are going to have to learn WAY more than html to land any type of web dev job.

As I mentioned earlier, HTML ,CSS and JavaScript are the core languages of the web.

Yep :grinning:

In my honest opinion, it is very difficult to land that first job in 6 months or under.
But because of your current job situation, it sounds like 3-6 months is a hard deadline for you.

Here are some tips.


Your goal is to convince an employer to take a chance on you.
You don’t have work experience, and you don’t have a lot of time learning this stuff.
Plus you are competing with so many junior developers for the same jobs.

So you are going to have to do one hell of a job convincing employers to take a chance on you.

That is why just filling out applications is not going to be enough.

You have to spend time building up a network of other developers and creating genuine connections.

When you are plugged into a network you will learn about job opportunities and can have other people recommend you jobs.

Twitter, linkedin, meetups, discords, chats, collaborating on open source projects, etc are all ways to get involved with the tech community and build real connections.

Tip No.2: One hell of a portfolio
Without any developer work experience, your projects will communicate to an employer what you are made of.

So it better be good and stand out.

Showcasing the same cookie cutter projects that everyone else does is not going to work.

Build some substantial projects, deploy websites and stand out from the crowd.
Build original projects.

Tip No.3: Resume
Learn how to write a good resume.
If your resume sucks then you will never make it past HR or ATS software.

Research how to write a good resume that will actually be read.
FCC news has plenty of articles on resumes.

You can get started with the fcc curriculum.
The first four certificates cover front end.
Once you finish that build your own projects.
You will also need to study for the technical interviews.
freeCodeCamp has a section on that as well.

Good luck!


My suggestion, pay for a bootcamp. I don’t usually recommend them but if you want to get up to speed quick enough to get an entry level job in 3-6 months then that is probably the best way to go. I would recommend you don’t use a bootcamp that wants to take a percentage of your future salary but rather pay up front.

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I don’t see this as a realistic goal. It is theoretically possible but extremely rare. Generally people who can get a programing job in <= 6 months already have experience or a degree in something technical. Programming pays well because it is hard and takes a while to learn.

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If you go down the bootcamp route, then you can look into flatiron school.

I know a lot of developers who went there.

But they also said they had to do extra self study to make up for what they didn’t learn in bootcamp.

Whatever path you choose, expect it to be an intensive one since you want to work with a short timetable.

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Websites like Squarespace are pretty limiting, and usually used by either small businesses or individuals to establish a “presence” on the Web.

It sounds like you don’t quite grasp what web development is. Companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Netflix (for starters, there are way more than just them) all run “web applications” on their websites - i.e., everything you’re doing on their website is part of their web application. Google’s GMail, Docs, and Sheets are all web applications too, if you happen to use them.

If you’ve ever booked a flight, hotel, or rental car online directly through any of the major companies’ websites, those are all web applications too.

Web applications are everywhere now and if you use the Web in any capacity, it’s likely you’ve used one. Nearly all of these companies are always hiring for web development jobs. In fact, the next time you visit Amazon, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Netflix, or a flight/hotel/rental car company’s website, I’d recommend looking at their jobs section. You’ll likely find out the technologies and languages that they’re using.

Also, Squarespace itself is a web application! Their Careers section will give you an idea of what they use to create their services.

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i guess all those free code teaching websites are just a pipedream. seems chances are very remote someone can self teach themselves coding language in a few months using those free coding websites. seems like a cruel joke in some ways to advertise as if someone can retrain themselves for a coding job using those websites in a few months time. in fact, it sounds like the reality is most won’t be skilled enough even after a year of using these websites to learn coding considering the stiff competition.

it’s analogous to teaching yourself quantum mechanics. it’s theoretically possible but in reality few are able to despite all the websites and videos on youtube teaching it.

There are lots of success stories here on freeCodeCamp of people who’ve landed developer jobs either from no previous work experience or transitioned from completely unrelated careers. And I know of others who’ve done it too. So it’s not a pipe dream.

It’s possible, and you can make it happen if you so choose. You just need to put in the time and effort.

And I agree that 1 year is optimistic, and possibly an unrealistic timeframe. I’d suggest allowing at least 2 years for yourself to begin to be job-ready for entry-level developer jobs, assuming you’ll be going the self-taught route.

If you already know programming fundamentals, it won’t be too hard. Lots of people have done it without that knowledge. You might not land a developer job in months, but surely you can find some type of income while preparing to transition?


That is one of the toxic drawbacks of the learn to code quickly movement.
It’s all clickbait.

I remember watching a video of someone saying they went from 0 coding experience to Six figure facebook engineer in 6 months.

But they also had a math degree from an ivy league, programmed a little in high school and then did an intensive bootcamp.

Well, that is because of what is expected of the actual job.

Almost a year ago I landed my first tech job.
I was hired to work part time as a junior working on bug fixes and small features.

Those first couple of months were tough.
Diving into a large professional codebase was a whole new world for me.

Plus, I hadn’t worked with a lot of the technologies used.

I had to learn a lot on the job.

So you can become a developer but it is just really tough to do it in 3-6 months.

Plus, plenty of people have learned how to code while working full time.
One prime example, would be Danny Thompson.

He worked at a gas station frying chicken and learned how to code around his schedule.

Maybe just coming up with a different game plan would be a better option.

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