In case you're new to the field of programming advancement, the hardest piece of getting the hang of writing computer programs is choosing where to start. There are several programming dialects across the board use, each with its own complexities and peculiarities.
In the list below, we go over the best and most in-demand programming languages for many of the most common use cases including web development, mobile development, game development and more. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear picture of which programming languages can help boost your career this year and beyond.
Swift is a relatively new programming language used to develop iOS and macOS applications. According to Github's State of the Octoverse Report, Swift has grown rapidly, now ranking as the 13th most popular language by pull request. Developers use Swift to build powerful, high-performance, native iOS, macOS and Linux apps. Swift is intended to be a faster, more streamlined and easier to debug.
Java is the basis for the Android operating system and the most common language for developing Android apps. Java, a general-purpose language, has been a mainstay in the world of computer programming for more than 20 years. The key to its popularity has been it “write once, run anywhere” philosophy. Theoretically, you can write Java software on any device, compile it into low-level machine code, and then execute it on any platform that’s equipped with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This means Java is highly cross-platform compatible.
C is an old-school programming language that’s still alive and well today. First introduced in the 1970s, C has had a powerful influence on the computer programming landscape, despite its steep learning curve. C is a popular choice for building specialized high-performance applications. C is the basis for the Linux operating system and is frequently used for programming embedded systems. One of the most direct successors of C is the C++ programming language. C++ builds on C, which gives it many of the same advantages, but C++ is an object-oriented language and therefore is a better option when developing higher-level applications, games & VR.
Python is perhaps the most user-friendly programming language of any on this list. It’s often said that Python’s syntax is clear, intuitive and almost English-like, which, like Java, makes it a popular choice for beginners. Also like Java, Python has a variety of applications that make it a versatile, powerful option when choosing the best programming language for your use case. If you’re interested in back-end web development, for example, then the open-source Django framework, written in Python, is popular, easy to learn and feature-rich. Django has been used in the development of some popular sites like Mozilla, Instagram, and Spotify.
Another solid option for web developers is PHP. This server-side scripting language powers 83 percent of websites and has been a vital back-end tool for tech giants like Facebook, Wikipedia, and Yahoo. PHP is also popular thanks to the role it plays in the WordPress content management system, which makes website development accessible to the masses. If you want to work as a freelance web developer, PHP is a practical language to learn. With more than 75 million websites running WordPress, there will always be a need for developers who can build custom PHP plugins and provide technical assistance.
Ruby is another scripting language that’s commonly used for web development. In particular, it’s used as the basis for the popular Ruby on Rails web application framework. Beginners often gravitate to Ruby because it has a reputation for having one of the friendliest and most helpful user communities. The Ruby community even has an unofficial saying, “Matz is nice and so we are nice,” encouraging members to model their kind and considerate behavior on Ruby’s chief inventor Yukihiro Matsumoto.