5 Programming Languages Everyone Should Know And Where To Learn Them

A Black woman coding with a Python manual next to her.

Here is a fact: We are currently in the middle of the greatest technological shift in human history. This shift is and will continue to disproportionately affect Black men, women, and children. The result for us has been double the unemployment rate and 12 times less wealth for Blacks than whites.

But despite this shift, the Black Community has continued to reach for low hanging employment. According to Department of Labor statistics, African-Americans are now over-represented in the following industries that are being destroyed by automation:

The writing is on the wall: all of the above industries where African-Americans are over-represented will be disrupted by technology. And whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you must understand that technology, or be left behind.

For those Black entrepreneurs and coders who are taking this shift seriously, the field is wide open.

And for those of you who are not taking this seriously, the next generation is on your heels.

If you arent blessed enough to have a neighbor that can teach you or an organization like Black Girls Code near you, take your education into your own hands.

At the end of this article, I give you several courses that I have taken to learn to code. Consider the prices of these courses your tuition. Put to good use, the return on your investment could mean the difference between losing out and winning big in the next economy.

What Is A Programming Language

A programming language is how we tell electronic devices what we want it to do, and how we want certain tasks performed.

Programming languages – called codes – are what makes ATM machines, traffic lights, and cellphones work. Code is how we tell self-driving cars how to drive. Code is how every single thing on the internet is built.

As a Black entrepreneur, you dont need to know every computer programming language ever created. But you if you dont understand 5 basic languages, you will spend a lot of money and time getting simple tasks done.

Black coders

Learning to code is like learning to drive or make dinner. Once you have the fundamentals down, you have everything you need to get the job done.

You only need to learn enough so you’re not helpless.

Here are the 5 you need.

1. CSS and HTML

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet and HTML stands for hypertext markup language. Dont let these intimidate you – both describe how your website look and feel. Everything on this site that you are looking at now – the text, the colors, the links – are all controlled by CSS and HTML.

Why You Should Learn It

If you have a website, you must learn CSS and HTML. Period. You dont want to pay someone every time you want the header of your website changed, or you want to add an image. HTML and CSS are both super easy to learn, so there is no excuse. If you get good enough, you can parlay that into a side hustle as a web designer.

2. PHP

Back in the day, someone wanted to create a language that let him create a “personal home page” and created PHP. Today, the language has evolved to add functionality to websites. Facebook, Tumblr, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn all use PHP to do what they do.

Why You Should Learn It

Having a website that looks good is not enough. Visitors want to “do things” on the site. Maybe they need to find something on your site using a search bar. Maybe they want to send you a message asking for more information. Maybe they want to take part in a forum you created. PHP lets your visitors do that. PHP also lets you create a file cabinet of names and email addresses – or whatever else you need to know – on your visitors.

3. Java

Java is one of the most widely used of all the languages because it was designed to work on every type of device. Paypal, Facebook, and Google all run on Java Code. All Android Apps are written in Java.

The Java community is pushing to be the leader of the IoT (Internet of Things) – and it’s coming. Soon, your alarm clock will automatically start brewing your pot of coffee, and it will be using Java code to do that. HTML and CSS tells a website what to show humans (images, colors, etc). PHP stores and retrieves information on your site. Java tells electronic devices what to do.

Why You Should Learn It

Java is much bigger than CSS, HTML, and PHP, as it is designed to work on so many different devices. If you are new to programming, Java is one of the easier languages to work with even though it takes longer to learn. Because Java is and will continue to be so widely used, it offers the most opportunities for employees and entrepreneurs.icon

4. Javascript

Dont confuse Javascript with Java. Java and Javascript are similar like Car and Carpet are similar. Not very. Here is a short video that breaks down what Javascript:

Why You Should Learn It

Javascript is the language of the internet, and the future of web development probably lies with Javascript. By learning Javascript you can build more complex, interactive websites and mobile apps.

5. Python

Python is a programming language that is used for projects like:

  • Mobile and descktop app development
  • Processing large data calculations
  • Writing ‘scripts’ that tell a computer system to “do” something automatically

Automation is the future and Python is the king of automation languages. In a Stack Overflow Developer Survey done in 2019, around 73.1% of people voted for making Python the most preferred programming language.

Why You Should Learn It

Python is really easy to use and really useful in practical ways. This programmer created a Python based project that let him get free food. Alot of free food. And this guy used Python to automate his wedding.  If you are creative and you know Python then the world belongs to you. The only limits are your imagination.

Where To Start

Here is a full directory of all the coding courses I suggest.

HTML/CSS Courses

PHP Courses

Java Courses

Javascript Courses

Python Courses

Learning to code is the same as learning to drive or make dinner. You only need to learn enough so you’re not helpless. And like learning any other skill, with practice you will be coding without thinking about it in no time.

This new skill will give you an advantage over other entrepreneurs who are too intimidated to learn. Start today by heading over to Udemy and picking a course.

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