Two computers with code on the screen

Scotland’s Top Coding Languages

Learning how to code is ‘so hot right now’. With more and more people currently retraining to gain new digital skills, we figured it’d be useful to narrow down the most popular coding languages out there. If you’re thinking about learning to programme, here are four languages to add to your list…


“Although coding is not black magic in any way, shape or form, the complexity and the syntactic quirks of programming languages can vary greatly,” says Zsolt Podoba-Szalai, an Assistant Instructor at CodeClan.

“Choosing the right first language can help the potential coder to achieve a deeper understanding of software development faster. That’s where Ruby comes in. Easy to read, forgiving, with an enthusiastic fan base and a lot of built-in helpers, it is a great choice for first-time programmers.”

Beth Fraser, another of CodeClan’s Assistant Instructors, agrees:

Ruby logo

“Ruby is the perfect programming language for beginners – if you’re new to coding, Ruby looks a lot like ‘normal English’ so is a lot less intimidating. It’s also more flexible with how it’s written and has a lot of built in helpful functionality that other languages might not have. Ruby’s creator, Yukihiro Matsumoto, said that the purpose of Ruby was to ‘help every programmer in the world to be productive, and to enjoy programming, and to be happy.’ It’s definitely designed to be relatively simple and straightforward, which is why we teach this first on our course at CodeClan.”


“Java is a programming language and a platform originally developed by Sun Microsystems in the 90s,” explains Keith Douglas, Instructor at CodeClan.

“Java was designed to take advantage of the distributed environment of the internet and as a language was influenced by C++. Java is popular as a back end language in financial services, telcos and ecommerce systems amongst other things.”

Java logo

“Java is seen a lot in the financial sector,” echoes Valerie Gibson, who teaches alongside Keith at CodeClan. “When written well, it has great performance, maintainability and scalability, making the programs very stable and secure. It’s also used for Android mobile applications which gave it a new lease of life.”


“Today we can hardly find a website that does not use JavaScript (which has almost no relation to Java) in some way,” says Zsolt.

“Built for the browser and the front end, it helps create responsive, well-designed and fast websites, which are a pleasure to use. JavaScript can also be used for native apps, mobile apps and full-stack apps which makes it very desirable for developers. Not to mention the proper use of the language can greatly increase the user experience.”

“If you want to make interactive web pages which respond to user input and feel more like a piece of software than a page on a website, JavaScript is the language for you,” recommends Beth.

Javascript logo

“It lets you manipulate the different parts of a page within the web browser and decide what happens when a user clicks, hovers or scrolls around your site. This is pretty exciting, and a lot of fun! Nowadays JavaScript can also be used across the front and back end of programming so it’s more useful than ever.”

“Javascript has seen a huge growth of late, with many desktop, mobile and web applications being written in it,” says Valerie. “It can be used as a ‘full stack’ language now which is very appealing for development. Also, many complex and robust frameworks such as React are becoming prolific, allowing the development of much more maintainable code. React is not a language but rather a JavaScript library designed for building user interfaces efficiently,” explains Valerie. “It was developed by Facebook to assist in building large applications with data that changes over time.”

C# [pronounced C Sharp]

“More and more applications are being built using Microsoft’s .Net languages. A simple check of job boards will show these becoming the language of choice. As an introduction to software development they are easy to learn and master, are inherently object oriented and given they are CLR based, intended as cross platform (albeit support outside Windows is not always the best). C# is one of my go-to languages. Gain experience in C# and you will always be in demand in today’s market,” advises David Wilson, senior vice president at Craneware, an American healthcare revenue company. Craneware is an Employment Partner of CodeClan’s, and has its UK headquarters in Edinburgh.

 “A software developer who can master both C# and JavaScript will never be out of work (in the short term), always have engaging and interesting work to do and can embark on a career in software engineering. However, as technology changes at such a fast pace, remember – what is true today will not be tomorrow. The key is to learn and master an important, in demand language now. Tomorrow is another day!”