The following was on Carl Cheo’s site and included here in the event it moves. Please respect the author and look at the original site and all the material there.
Before choosing your first programming language, you should also check out this infographic on What Is Programming And What Do Programmers Do.
So you want to learn programming. Maybe you have asked your developer friends for recommendations and get different answers. They explained with terms that you don’t understand (what is object-oriented?!). To help you to pick your first programming language to learn, here is an easy-to-understand infographic that recommends the best option, depending on your purpose and interest. Details such as learning difficulty, popularity, and average salary for each computer programming language are provided too.
I have also compiled a list of best programming tools and resources for each programming language, to help you get started quickly.
Special thanks to Prithviraj Udaya for allowing me to use his awesome The Lord of the Rings analogy on Quora.
Note: A good programmer must know at least a few programming languages to learn different ways to approach problems. They continue to learn and grow as technology advances. This is just the beginning of your programming journey. Simply pick one and start coding now!
Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.
– Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux)