The need-to-know coding languages for 2024!

Well, that’s nearly a wrap on 2023, and as we edge into 2024 we thought we’d take a look at the need-to-know coding languages for the new year.

Coding is a fundamental part of children’s education these days, and this is all down to coding and programming now being vital skills for their futures. But choosing which language to learn is probably one of the trickiest parts because there are so many options to pick from.

Schools will introduce kids to coding through mandated curriculum learning but it’s a good idea to introduce them to as many different and suitable programs as possible. Every programming language has different functions, for example, websites use different languages than those used for video games and mobile apps. However, parents and teachers can help children choose suitable first coding languages/programs depending on their age, reading ability, and interests.

Early readers and pre-readers can start with block and image-based coding languages through games like Rainforest Coding. Some, like Python, use simple lines of text that young readers can grasp quite easily; others such as HTML require more advanced literacy and reasoning skills and so would be better suited to older children. And then for mobile devices, you have Kotlin for Android development and Swift for iOS.

Some popular languages to help get you started in 2024

So, here are a few options to consider:

  • Scratch - is the easiest first coding language to pick up, it is a visual-based block platform and is ideal for kids aged 5+. Scratch tends to be used for interactive animations, videos, and games, so it is also appealing to younger children. Rainforest Coding would be a great first look at scratch/block coding for younger children.
  • Python - this is also popular amongst newbies; it uses limited lines of text-based coding and is ideal for young reading-age kids who want to start creating games or programming robots. Python tends to be used for robotics, AI, video games, and social media apps such as Dropbox, Facebook, and Netflix.
  • Lua - this is a good step up from Python, for kids who want to learn more and can cope with it being more difficult, typically aged 9 and up. This language is usually used for robotics and video games.
  • Ruby - is a general-purpose language with one of the most readable syntaxes. It is used across the world for coding classes as well as being good for 3D modelling.
  • Java - an easy-to-learn language that teaches basic text-based coding and is good for reading-age kids who want to create apps. Java tends to be used for Android devices and operating systems and for the likes of Spotify and Uber.
  • HTML - for kids aged 10+. This is a more advanced language and uses complex tags; it tends to be used for building websites and for things like Google and YouTube.
  • C++ - for kids aged 10+. Just like HTML this is more advanced and uses complex tags also; again it tends to be used for the likes of building web pages. It is reliable, fast, and time-tested, so it's ideal for anything with lots of graphics, like video games too. It’s used by the likes of Adobe, Microsoft and Apple
  • And lastly, Javascript - the most popular language, closely followed by HTML. It seems irreplaceable for front-end coding and was specifically designed for handling web content. It is very often used in other fields as well.

So, we’ve had a look at 8 different programs that could be good for kids of all different school ages and abilities. And, we’ve seen the variety of uses they can have across industries, but whatever language you choose, kids can pave the way for exciting careers by honing their coding skills now and learning a couple of suitable programming languages.

And if you have decided that scratch coding is the way to go, and you want more information or a free 14-day trial of Rainforest Coding, click here: RainforestCoding - Coding Games for Kids