What are some less common programming languages that are good for beginners?

cappe987 profile image Casper 惻1 min read

Whenever I see someone asking what programming language they should learn first the most common response is Python, shortly followed by JavaScript. I understand why they are chosen. They have relatively simple syntax and they are very easy to get started with. Python just requires the interpreter and an empty text file (no main function, no standard template). JavaScript can be run in the browser console.

But I have wondered if there are any less-common languages that would be better to recommend to beginners. For example, I've heard people say Smalltalk or Lisp because of their very simple syntax and focus on OOP and FP respectively (unfortunately I don't have experience with either language so I can't vouch for them). What language would you recommend for a self-teaching beginner? Why?


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If we want to get practical, iā€˜d rule out pascal, lisp, haskell, etc because the community is not large enough.

Iā€˜d recommend lua, vb.net in addition to python and js.


F# might be a good one if you're interested in functional programming.

Pascal was used to teach algorithmic programming back in the day.


Thanks. I've used F# myself and it's probably good for beginners. The syntax is relatively simple and it leaves out type declarations, yet it still has a strong type system. Do you have any stories or knowledge of how teaching functional programming before imperative is?

Could you elaborate on why Pascal is good for algorithmic teaching? What properties make it a good beginner language?

This post isn't for what I should learn myself, I've been programming for a while. I'm looking for alternatives to Python and JavaScript for beginners, as I'm quite interested in the teaching of programming.