As we close out 2020, we at DevOps.com wanted to highlight the five most popular articles of the year. Following is the second in our series of the Best of 2020.
As a novice developer, you may be thinking about learning a programming language and starting a fantastic career.
In fact, this question on Reddit inspired the whole article:
The thing is, programming languages represent certain philosophies of its authors and tailored to certain types of problems, i.e., there is no such thing as “the best programming language.”
Every Tool Has Its Time and Place
In this article, I describe major programming languages according to its popularity, usage, demand and ease of learning.
There is market demand and a potential salary range for each language. These are linked to specific personal goals and prior programming experience.
What Questions Should You Ask Yourself Before Diving in?
- How much experience do you have? You won’t want to switch to an advanced programming language, such as Rust, if you don’t have previous programming experience. If you’re new to a language, you’ll want to start at a higher level and be intuitive.
- What are your career goals? Do you want to become a freelancer, working for an existing company or work with a startup? Are you trying to be better in your current role?
If you plan to get a job in a large technology company, learn the programming languages they use, e.g., NASA, Google and Facebook use Python.
Many programming languages have similar syntax and qualities—so if you learn one of them, it will be easier for others. The more languages you know, the more flexibility you have in your career and development projects.
In the list below, we will look at the best and most popular programming languages for many of the most common uses, including web development, mobile development, game development and more.
Top Five Programming Languages to Start Your Career
It is probably the best programming language if you are looking for a common language that will be useful in various situations. As for choosing a programming language to learn, there are many resources for people who are thinking about learning Java. Java was released in 1995, which makes it one of the oldest programming languages. It is used on a wide range of platforms and operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux and Solaris.
That means there will always be jobs for Java developers, making it (perhaps) the best programming language to learn.
Research shows that Java developers can expect to earn between $80,000 and $130,000 per year. If you are thinking about learning your first programming language, think about taking an online course, for example, CodeGym. This course, which contains 40 levels of game-play classes, will teach you all the basics you need to know to start programming in Java. It’s easy to follow—even if you don’t have programming experience—and it is worth checking out.
It is also best used for back-end web development, mobile development and desktop applications.
This programming language works on several platforms. Therefore, it is ideal for websites that will be accessed through various devices and browsers. It is suitable for anyone who designs websites with effects, interactive features, animations and pop-ups—standard features on virtually any brand website these days. If you want to work in a creative environment and add more experience to the user, this is a coding language to learn.
It is also best used for front-end and back-end web development
PHP—another old language, first appeared on the stage of programming around the same time as Java in 1995. It is a general-purpose language widely used for web development from the early days of the web.
Unlike other languages, which can be quite tricky to use with HTML, PHP can be built directly into the HTML code block. Start and finish instructions are used to enter and exit PHP, making it very easy to use. Although PHP is not as popular as Python or Java, it can be a suitable language to learn because of its simplicity. It is convenient for beginners and you can write your first scripts just a few hours after you start your PHP course.
Again, the popularity and wide use of PHP means that work opportunities are relatively easy to find. An average PHP developer can expect to earn around $80,000 per year. However, there is potential to make much more as a freelancer.
Take an advanced PHP course, which will teach you everything you need to know to find your first job as a programmer. It doesn’t matter if you’re studying your first language, or if you’re an experienced developer looking for the best programming language to add to your resume—PHP is a great choice!
It is best used for back-end web development.
Python is a useful step toward more advanced forms of programming languages. Python provides a high degree of website readability and is used by companies such as Reddit, Google and even NASA.
It is seen as entry-level programming that does not require too much prior knowledge. It may be ideal for relatively new professionals to help small businesses that want to expand their presence on the internet without having to resort to advanced professionals. Python is a relatively simple programming language that is very easy to pick up if you already have programming experience. That makes it one of the best to learn if you are already working as a developer and want to increase your resume quickly.
The code on Python is designed to be readable. It uses a lot of white spaces, which makes it a pretty easy language to learn while you’re studying it.
One of the most useful Python’s features is its compatibility with data analysis systems and scientific applications. It is a popular language in scientific communities and is often used by researchers to write their programs.
An average Python developer can expect to earn about $100,000 per year. However, there is little room for wage growth.
If you think Python is the best programming language to further your career, consider enrolling in a BitDegree course. The Python Basics Course includes everything you need to know to start writing programs on Python and contains less than four hours of lecture material.
It is best used for back-end web development, desktop applications, and data analysis.
C# is another object-oriented, general-purpose language based on C. It is considered a suitable programming language for building applications native to Microsoft platforms. Microsoft initially developed it as part of its .NET framework for building Windows applications. C# uses a syntax similar to other languages such as C++. Therefore, it is easy to pick it up if you come from a different C family language.
C# is not only a suitable language for developing Microsoft applications, but also a language used by mobile device developers to build cross-platform applications on the Xamarin platform. Besides, anyone interested in VR development should think about learning C# as it is the recommended language for building 3D and 2D video games using the popular Unity game engine, which produces one-third of the best games on the market.
If mobile application development or virtual reality is your business, consider learning C#. Many mobile device developers use C# to create cross-platform applications on the Xamarin platform. Although it is not the most convenient programming language for beginners.
If you are interested in any of the above areas, please see the section “Learning the code when making games – Udemy’s Complete Unity Developer in C#.” I see that more than 200,000 students have enrolled in this course, which indicates its popularity.
It is best used for mobile and game development.
What Are the Best Programming Languages to Learn?
As was mentioned at the beginning, there is no best programming language to learn. The best language for you will depend on your experience, your current knowledge and reasons to learn a new language.
While there are many options, you should be able to narrow down your language choice by what you want to learn from it.
Remember to consider the following:
- Programming experience, because some languages, such as Python and Java, are more suitable for beginners who have never programmed before.
- What you want to do with the language. Different languages are used for different things.
- How much time do you have? Some languages are much more demanding than others.
Make your choice based on your interests and the type of software development you want to get into. Here is a brief summary:
- Mobile development: Java, C#.
- Game development: C#.
- Desktop applications: Java and Python.
To Sum Up
Programming and developer communities are evolving faster than ever.
Various new programming languages are emerging that are suitable for different categories of developers (beginners and experts) as well as for other applications (web applications, mobile applications, game development, distributed systems, etc.).
This list simply scratches the surface of existing programming languages. Still, the simple fact is that with the right coding skills, you will be perfectly prepared to offer valuable technical support and become an asset to any organization.