Programming skills are becoming increasingly relevant in today’s tech-driven era. But as more and more programming languages, web frameworks, and tools are being released, it is becoming more daunting of a task to break into the tech scene. If you’re thinking, “I have an app idea but no programming skills”, worry not as we discuss five of the fundamental languages and skills that you should dig into first. By starting with this set of skills, it’ll be easier to grasp more advanced concepts along your way of creating your app idea or switching to a full-time software engineering career:



Abbreviated for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML is the skeleton that makes up every website on the Internet. It is the language that dictates the order or structure of elements in a web page. It allows you to create forms with which users can input information, buttons that they can click, and headers that can divide information into a more readable format. Aside from text, HTML also allows users to embed video and audio files without the need for third-party plugins. If you want to add graphics into your web pages, HTML also has a Canvas feature that lets you draw lines and objects with a scripting language, such as JavaScript.



If HTML is the skeleton or structure of a web page, CSS is the cosmetic makeup or skin that gives it design. It details the size, font style and size, and color of an HTML element. CSS formatting is comprised of a selector and a declaration block wherein the selector denotes which HTML node or element the declaration block targets. The declaration block is comprised of one or more styling declarations that are separated by a new line and semicolon. A valid declaration must have a property name and value. While CSS can be written inside an HTML file, it’s best practice to maintain all your styling on a separate CSS file. This allows you to style multiple pages faster and more efficiently.



JavaScript, or JS as it is often abbreviated, is what breathes functionality into your web pages. A website purely written in HTML and CSS is indeed possible and may even look aesthetically appealing and professionally-made, but without JavaScript, your users won’t be able to do anything else with your website. JavaScript is a popular starter language for those who have never coded before quite simply because of its flexibility. JavaScript allows people to write in a syntax or style that they are comfortable with without limiting them to other styles of coding.


Node and Express

While not programming languages per se, Node.JS and ExpressJS are libraries that have both earned respect and attention in the web and app development world. Node.JS is a runtime environment that allows for asynchronous operations. It only fires when there is a connection to be handled otherwise it runs idle in the background. ExpressJS, on the other hand, is a web framework built for Node.JS, and is used to handle API requests. With the Express framework, you can build single-page and multi-page applications as well as APIs.



Regarded as the world’s most advanced open source database, PostgreSQL remains a beginner-friendly database management program. If you have yet to encounter how a database works or what it’s for, PostgreSQL is basically in charge of storing the data securely and giving it back as a response to any API requests. While the database management program is already built with scalability in mind, you can integrate it with ORM or object-relational mapping software to make it easier to manage and maintain your data.


Final Thoughts

Programming is becoming one of the most sought after professions today. Even if you aren’t looking for a career change, learning programming can improve your problem solving and critical thinking skills. In addition, it can improve your communication skills as you attend meetups and take online courses.