10 Popular Programming Languages For Expanding Your Opportunities

December 8, 2016

With each passing year, technology develops rapidly. If you’ve used a smartphone or logged onto a computer in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed it. With this rapid growth, the need for programmers also increases. According to United States Department of Labor, from 2014 to 2024 the growth rate for software positions will grow 17 percent, which is much faster than any other jobs. This means there’s good career growth as a developer. But with so many programming languages out there, which one do you start learning?

coding[Image Source: Pixabay]

The critical decision of which language to choose for a right career is often challenging and can be confusing. Choose a set of questions or key points before you go ahead with the language, like:

Which languages are in demand right now?

Does the language have long-term opportunities?

What languages are most relevant for your task?

Does this language offer the most employment opportunities?

Which languages are easiest to learn and use?

Based on your order of the key points or question, you might arrive at a solution. Considering the speed of technological evolution, by the time you become an expert in one language it might have become antiquated. Hence, it’s important to be quick in learning and also keep an eye on the latest technologies. In addition, as language is influenced by other languages, the genealogy of the language can also guide you through your path.

Thanks again to technology, you can learn everything online. There are hundreds of free as well as paid courses available such as CodeWars, Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, Lynda.com etc. In this article, for each language, we have included a few of them for your reference.

coding 2[Image Source: Pixabay]

On the cutting edge, the languages may vary by employment sector, functionality, and complexity. Each language learned will help you perform different types of tasks. For instance, based the on the job titles:  Data Scientists could have R programming language as a top priority. Low-level operating systems use languages such as Assembly language. Enterprise software developers might use C#, Java. JavaScript would be a good preference for a Full Stack Web Developer. For concurrency prefer Go.

With some help from valid sources such as TIOBE, IEEE Spectrum, and StackExchange, we have compiled a list of 10 of the most sought programming languages to get you up to speed. It is important to note that this is not about the best programming language. Through this article, we would like to walk you through the latest popular languages.

The TIOBE Programming Community index indicates languages based on the popularity of programming languages. Updated every month, the ratings are based on the number of world-wide skilled engineers, courses and third party vendors. To calculate the ratings, TIOBE uses popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu.

To know further details  about the popular languages, you can use IEEE Spectrum and StackExchange. They developed an interactive ranking, which lets you pick the popular languages through customized filters such as ranking (Trending, Jobs) types (Web, Mobile), age, country, experience, popularity, learning curve, etc.

Our annual look at the relatively popular programming languages reveals that while Java still rules, other languages verge upon for significant groups of developers. According to TIOBE, C is consistently going down since November 2015. According to StackExchange, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language. Even Back-end developers are more likely to use it than any other language. PHP appears to be falling out of favor as Node and Angular emerge.

Here are the popular languages:


java[Image Source: Wikimedia commons]

What is Java?

An object-oriented programming language, Java was developed by James Gosling, in 1991 at Sun Microsystems. First called OAK, it was renamed to Java in 1995. The core principle of Java is WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere), which makes it portable. Any machine with JVM (Java Virtual Machine) can run the compiler code irrespective of OS and Hardware. Java is one of the most popular programming languages. Earlier Java was supported by Sun Microsystems and now by Oracle, who acquired Sun Microsystems in 2009. The current version number of Java is 8 released in 2014 and currently supported for free by Oracle.

Why Java?

Java has very rich API, and an incredible supporting open source system. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) made Java development much easier, faster and fluent. Java allows you to build various applications, such as developing Android apps, deploying applications, integrating robust libraries, and creating sophisticated GUIs.

Who can learn Java?

Back-end web developers, especially in industries where you need high performance and security—like finance, healthcare, to name a few. In addition, various sectors such as Desktop Applications, Web Applications, Enterprise Applications, Mobile, Embedded System, Smart Card, Games and Robotics, use Java.

Where to learn Java?

Oracle, Udemy, CodeWars, Coursera, Lynda.com


What is C?

C is general-purpose, and essential programming language, which supports structured programming, and recursion. The language was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at Bell labs and used to re-implement the Unix operating system. C has been standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) since 1988 and subsequently by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Due to its support for garbage collection, C is considered faster.  Though older than Java, C is still very popular and used extensively in system programming. Today’s most popular Linux OS and RDBMS MySQL have been written in C.

Why C?

By design, C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions, and therefore it has found lasting use in applications that had formerly been coded in assembly language. In addition, various other reasons such as the portability of the compiler, the standard library concept, an elegant syntax, etc make C more reliable. Moreover, Device drivers of devices are written in C, because it provides you access to the basic elements of the computer.

Who can learn C?

If you are new to programming, C is a good choice to start your journey with. Especially, if you would like to know what the computer is actually doing when you run your programs.  C helps you build a mental model thereby encompassing the process model, the CPU architecture, the memory hierarchy, the operating system, and so forth.

Where to learn C?

MIT open course, Udemy, Lynda.com


What is C++?

In 1983, C was extended to include object orientation as C++. Bjarne Stroustrup is the inventor of famous C++ programming language. Being a general purpose programming language, it was designed with a design highlights such as system programming, resource-constrained, efficiency, and flexibility. C++ is a compiled language, with implementations being available on many platforms. C++ influences many other programming languages including C#, D, Java, and newer versions of C.

Why C++?

C++ has been found useful in many contexts, with key strengths being software infrastructure and resource-constrained applications, including desktop applications, servers and performance-critical applications. C++ can be used to manipulate numbers and text. It’s also good at pulling and inputting data into databases, displaying graphics, and analyzing data. Most packaged software is written in C++ such as games, office applications, graphics, video editors, and operating systems along with “hardcore” applications, or those requiring better performance.

Who can learn C++?

Professionals who aim for the gaming industry, C++ is for you. In addition, C++ is used in video compression and decompression, device driver development, audio and image processing, telecom, embedded software, to name a few.

Where to learn C++?

Udemy, Coursera, Lynda.com, MIT open course


What is Python?

Python is a widely used high-level, interpreted, and dynamic programming language. Due to its simple design, programmers can express concepts in fewer lines of code than in languages such as C++ or Java. This general purpose language provides constructs intended to enable writing clear programs on both a small and large scale. A Dutch programmer, Guido van Rossum, created the language Python in 1990. It is now controlled by the Python Software Foundation, and sponsored by popular companies like Microsoft and Google. Python is an object-oriented programming language which is known for its clear syntax and readability.  In the Python community, Van Rossum is known as a “Benevolent Dictator for Life” (BDFL), because he continues to oversee the Python development process, and thus making decisions where necessary.

Why Python?

Python supports multiple programming patterns, such as object-oriented, imperative and procedural styles along with automatic memory management and a comprehensive standard library. Python can be used to program web and desktop applications. It is also heavily used in the sciences to analyze data. Being a consistent language, Python can complete specific tasks in fewer lines of code when compared to its competitors. In addition, Python is the favorite language of hackers, security researchers, because of its structural stability.

Who can learn Python?

Data engineers, data scientists and developers can learn python. Although Python isn’t industry specific, it is task specific such as data processing, business intelligence, application development and so forth.

Where to learn Python?

Udemy, Codecademy,  Learn Python the Hard Way, CodeWars, Coursera

Visual Basic.Net:

What is Visual Basic.Net?

Visual Basic.NET (VB.NET) is an object-oriented programming language, implemented on the NET Framework. Launched in 2002 by Microsoft, the “.NET” portion of the name was dropped in 2005. The IDE for developing in this language is Visual Studio. VB1.0 was first introduced in 1991. Visual Basic .NET is Microsoft’s designated successor to VB 6.0. The core of Visual Basic was built on the older BASIC language. The focus of Visual Basic has always been on rapid application development which makes it a widely used programming environment.

Why Visual Basic.Net?

Visual Basic.Net is designed for building type-safe, secure, language interoperability and object-oriented applications, thus enabling developers to aim Windows, the Web, and mobile devices. Being a simple language, Visual Basic.Net have the widest variety of tools that you can download and use in your programs.

Who can Learn Visual Basic.Net?

Right from a beginner to experienced, Visual Basic.Net helps in sectors like commercial web apps, games, video management, and so forth.  If you develop business applications for Windows, then this your tool.

Where to learn Visual Basic.Net?

Microsoft Virtual Academy, Udemy, Lynda.com


What is C#?

C# (pronounced as c-sharp) is a multi-exemplar programming language developed by Microsoft which compete with Java and binds to strong typing, crucial, declarative, functional, generic, object-oriented, and also component-oriented programming disciplines. At Microsoft, C#’s principal designer and lead architect was Anders Hejlsberg. C# is one of the programming languages designed for the common language infrastructure. A hybrid of C and C++, it is designed to help improve productivity of web development. The most recent version is C# 6.0 which was released in 2015.

Why C#?

C# helps in making software, writing Windows applications, program games, write native mobile apps, to name a few. C# is convenient because it can be used across multiple computer platforms and no headache of rewriting. Due to its diversity and flexibility, it is used by many programmers who focus on Windows-based environments. You can use C# to create Windows client applications, XML Web services, distributed components, client-server applications, database applications, and much more.

Who can learn C#?

The Web and mobile developers along with game developers use C#. Especially, developing business applications targeting a Windows environment like Windows Phone and Windows Store apps. In addition, typical programming tasks such as pushing data into a database or pulling it out, displaying high-speed graphics in a game or video, controlling electronic devices attached to the PC and playing music or sound effects require C# skills.

Where to learn C#?

Microsoft Virtual Academy, Lynda.com, Udemy, CodeWars


What is JavaScript?

Purists would hate if I call JavaScript a programming language but it has been immensely popular for its wide range of applications. Earlier called as Mocha, Brendan Eich is the designer of the JavaScript programming and Netscape Communications Corporation is the developer of JS. In May 1995, it just took 10 days for Brendan Eich to develop JavaScript. JavaScript is a high-level, dynamic, and interpreted programming language and is one of the three core technologies of the World Wide Web alongside HTML and CSS.  JavaScript runs inside a client browser and process commands on the client computer. This decreased load on the Server and thus increases application speed.

Why JS?

JavaScript is an object-oriented programming language which is used to make interactive web pages, build rich user interfaces by pulling API data, and interact with a multitude of different systems. It can also help with validation of the website or even to program games.  Being a native language, it has a library for pretty much everything and it makes communicating with APIs much simpler.

Who can learn JS?

Back-end and front-end web developers can learn JS. PDF documents, site-specific browsers, desktop widgets and other non-web based environments frequently use JavaScript. Programmers also use JavaScript in video-game development, designing desktop and mobile apps, and in server-side network programming with run-time environments such as Node.js.

 Where to learn JS?

CodeWars,W3 Schools, Lynda.com, Udacity, Udemy


What is Go?

Though it’s not often on top 10 lists, the language is progressing way ahead. Compared to 2015, it has a significant progress from position 50 to position 16. Go (often referred to as Golang) is a free, open source programming language created in 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson, at Google. Go became a public open source project on November 10, 2009. Many people from the community have contributed ideas, discussions, and code.  It is a compiled, statically typed language with same tradition as Algol and C. The added features include garbage collection, limited structural typing, memory safety and CSP-style concurrent programming features. Google’s Go compiler, “gc”, aims various platforms including Linux, OS X, Windows and Unix, and smartphones (from 2015). A second compiler, gccgo, is a GCC frontend.

Why Go?

According to Google, Go is an attempt to combine the ease of programming of an interpreted, dynamically typed language with the efficiency and safety of a statically typed, compiled language. It also looks to be modern, with support for networked and multi-core computing. Go consists of a concurrent, garbage-collected language with fast compilation. Using Go, you can easily compile a really large program in a few seconds. Dependency analysis is made easy in Go due to a model for software construction. Not only hierarchy free model but also light weight. Go provides fundamental support for concurrent execution and communication. Through its robust design, Go proposes an approach for the construction of system software on multicore machines.

Who can learn Go?

Famous companies such as TWITTER, Youtube, DropBox etc… use Go. Programmers who look for scalability, productivity, for large programs with large numbers of dependencies, and with large teams prefer Go. Go is more about software engineering thereby to improve the working environment.

Where to learn Go?

Go By Example, Udemy, Lynda.com


What is R?

R is gradually gaining its power, as part of a positive trend in general for modern big-data languages. Supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing, it is a programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. In recent years, R’s popularity has increased substantially. The source code for the R software environment is written primarily in C, Fortran, and R. R is freely available under the GNU General Public License. New Zealand programmers Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman created it in 1991. They announced the language in 1993.

Why R?

While R has a command line interface, there are several graphical front-ends available. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of platforms like UNIX, Windows, and MacOS. With machines becoming more important as data generators, the popularity of the language can grow.  The R programming language is an important tool for development in the numeric analysis and machine learning. One of the strongest quality with R is its package ecosystem. R generates plots and charts with just a few lines of code.

Who can learn R?

The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis, along with business analysis, and scientific research.

Where can you learn R?

Coursera, RStudio

Assembly Language:

What is Assembly Language?

An assembly language is a low-level programming language or in short machine language that a computer can understand. The word program is changed into machine code by replacing the words with the numbers through an assembler (NASM, MASM). Usually, programs written in assembly language are instructions for a computer to performs while running a program. On contrary to high-level language, an assembly language needs to be specific to the computer hardware being used. Computers produced by different manufacturers have different machine languages and require different assemblers and assembly languages. An extensive knowledge in the Computer Architecture helps assembly programming.

Why Assembly Language?

Programs written in high-level languages will usually not run as fast as Assembly language. Moreover, in an extremely small percentage of applications, speed is so critical which can be met by Assembly language. Assembly languages are also particularly important with systems that need precise timing and high security along with speed and strict parameters.  It requires less memory and execution time and allows hardware-specific complex jobs in an easier way. It is most suitable for writing interrupt service routines and other memory resident programs.

Who can learn Assembly Language?

If you want to learn programs interface with OS, processor and BIOS or how data becomes represented in memory, learn Assembly. In addition, industries where security and time are the prime criteria can use Assembly language. One such example is Aircraft using a fly-by-wire system.

Where to learn Assembly Language?


SEE ALSO: Best YouTube Channels for Coding and Programming

Featured Image Courtesy of Pixabay

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