Not so long ago, only a few people were considered computer programmers, and we viewed them with awe. In the digital age, we now live in; however, many IT jobs require a solid grasp of a programming language, and sometimes more than one.
If you’re trying to advance in your career or change careers completely, and you realize you need to master a programming language, you might wonder which one to learn. After all, it will take time and money to learn the language, so you want to make the right choice from the start.
Several considerations come into play when making your decision, like the difficulty level you’re willing to learn, the skills you already possess that might align with a language, and your reasons for learning a programming language. Whether you want to develop a mobile application, get a certification for programming knowledge, or learn new skills, you need to choose the right programming language to learn.
Below you’ll find seven popular programming languages that are in demand right now among employers. For each, you’ll find a little about the language and the complexity, as well as how it is used. However, don’t let the beginner label dissuade you. Even a programming language described as appropriate for a beginner does get more complicated as you become more proficient and experienced in using it.
Python is one of the most commonly used programming languages today and is an easy language for beginners to learn because of its readability. It is a free, open-source programming language with extensive support modules and community development, easy integration with web services, user-friendly data structures, and GUI-based desktop applications. It is a popular programming language for Machine Learning and deep learning applications. Python is used to develop 2D imaging and 3D animation packages like Blender, Inkscape, and Autodesk. It has also been used to create popular video games, including Civilization IV, Vegas Trike, and Toontown. Python is used for scientific and computational applications like FreeCAD and Abacus, and it is also by popular websites like YouTube, Quora, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Java is one of the most common, in-demand computer programming languages in use today. Owned by the Oracle Corporation, this general-purpose programming language with its object-oriented structure has become a standard for applications that can be used regardless of platform (e.g., Mac, Window, Android, iOS, etc.) because of its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) capabilities. As a result of this capability, Java is recognized for its portability across platforms from mainframe data centers to smartphones. Today there are more than 3 billion devices running applications built with Java.
Java is widely used in web and application development as well as Big Data. Java is also used in the backend of several popular websites, including Google, Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube. It is also extensively used in hundreds of applications. New Java frameworks like Spring, Struts, and Hibernate are also very popular. With millions of Java developers worldwide, there are hundreds of texts available for learning Java programming. Also, Java programmers are actively involved in a variety of forums where they vet ideas or solve programming problems. Java has a vast community and gets a lot of support.
In March 2017, Swift made it to the top 10 in the monthly TIOBE Index ranking of popular programming languages. Apple developed swift in 2014 for Linux and Mac applications. An open-source programming language that is easy to learn, Swift supports almost everything from programming language Objective-C. It takes less coding compared to other programming languages, and it can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix. Swift is used in popular iOS apps like WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, SoundCloud, and even in the annoying game Flappy Bird.
Developed by Microsoft, C# rose to fame in the 2000s for supporting the concepts of object-oriented programming. It is one of the most powerful programming languages for the .NET framework. Anders Hejlsberg, the creator of C#, says the language is more like C++ than Java. It is best suited for applications on Windows, Android, and iOS as it takes the help of the integrated development environment product, Microsoft Visual C++. C# is used in the backend of several popular websites like Bing, Dell, Visual Studio, and Market Watch.
C (and C++)
If you want to start with a language that is known for being relatively simple to learn, consider Ruby. Developed in the 1990s, it was designed to have a more human-friendly syntax while still being flexible from the standpoint of its object-oriented architecture that supports procedural and functional programming notation. A web-application framework that is implemented in Ruby is Ruby on Rails (“RoR”). Ruby developers tout it for being an easy language to write in and also for the relatively short learning time required. These attributes have led to a large community of Ruby developers and a growing interest in the language among beginning developers.