Most participants in the Cedar Valley Iowa Coder Dojo will use Scratch as their first programming language.
Scratch is a free, online, graphical programming language developed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarden Group at MIT. It is a language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games – and share those creations online. While it is easy to get started with Scratch - making it a great first language to learn - it is very robust and features most of the features of traditional “syntax” languages (languages that require you to type special words and commands). Many college programs now use Scratch as an introduction to programming!
While you can create programs in Scratch as a guest, you will need a scratch account to save and share your Scratch projects. The good news is that accounts are free and it is easy to register. The only requirement is that you have an email address. If you cannot provide a personal or school email address, a parent/guardian email address may be used.