Today we are going to take a deep dive into the world of programming. New career paths and emerging technologies have spawned a host of new opportunities for those interested to jump into the world of programming. And, when we say there are a lot, we mean it. For example, the demand for programmers that specialize in artificial intelligence is skyrocketing.
Just in 2019, there were 7,000 AI job openings in the United States, while China had 12,000. Other areas of the programming job world parallel this growth, offering talent competitive salaries and impressive perks. Perhaps you know all this and are eager to jump into the world of programming this year, yet you do not know where to start your new career path. You are in luck.
As we are well aware, there is an overwhelming amount of resources out there on the internet regarding programming. Even more so, trying to pick a language to start with can be daunting. To help you better get a hold of your programming conundrum, we are going to help you answer a few questions. What are the most popular programming languages? What career paths out there for me? Where is the best place to start? What is the history behind the languages?
Why should I learn to program?
And, should you start programming? Of course. No matter the age or career path, the consensus is that you can begin coding easily, even today, if you would like. Tech leaders across the board have encouraged both people young and old to take the time to learn how to code. As Bill Gates has stated, "Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains."
Pursuing a programming career offers the eager learner the opportunity to take on a career path that has a direct impact on the world. Many of the world's biggest challenges around the world will be solved with software. Programming and coding careers will offer you a new perspective in problem-solving, job flexibility, and has a wide range of opportunities for people with just about every interest. If you are excited already, let's take a look at some of the most important trends in programming.
- Python is currently one of the most in-demand programming languages across the globe.
- The programming language gets its name from the TV comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Python is popular in both Data Science and artificial intelligence.
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world for a good reason. Throughout the programming community, Python is widely considered to be the best language to learn first for a wide variety of reasons, with the two most important benefits being that the program is easy to use and easy to deploy. In short, Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics.
The high-level built-in data structure found in Python paired with its dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development. You will find Python used for various software platforms, data analysis, data processing, and even web development
The demand for Python is on the rise, punching in a 27% year-over-year growth rate; the popular programming language has a fantastic community of resources available for those who want to learn to use the language. If you are going to jump in anywhere, your best bet is Python.
The top programming language was conceived in the late 1980s by the Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum, a man also known as the Benevolent dictator for life for Python. He was looking for a hobby project in December of 1989. Rossum wanted to create a new interpreter language. The aim was to create a simple but easy to read programming language that everyone can use, but that is powerful. He did just that, taking the name Python, not from a snake but the famous TV comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Why is Python important now?
Data. Data. Data. Data lays at the heart of our new society driving crucial emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. This is where Python steps in. Python is used in data science only second to R. Even more so, Python has been heavily adopted by leading technology companies like Google, fully embracingPython heavily back in 2006. Finally, Python has a fantastic community, is reliable and efficient, and is accessible.
What can I do with Python?
Those who study Python tend to have the aim of working with data, becoming a data scientist, machine learning engineer, or deep learning engineer. There is a wide range of opportunities available to those who commit to Python. You can become a product manager, python developer, financial analyst, artist, or data journalist. The list is endless.
- Learning Java will allow you to work as an Android App Developer, enterprise application development, Android development, Big Data, and Web Development.
- Java is one of the most trusted languages for building enterprise-level applications and is backward compatible.
James Gosling created the disruptive language in the 90s, a period in which most business applications were developed using C++. Anyone who has used C++ before will tell you that it is not the easiest language to learn because it is so archaic. Gosling wanted to lower the barrier to develop business applications, making the process more accessible and feasible. His response was Java, a simpler object-oriented, interpreted programming language that also supports Multi-threading programming.
Why is Java important now?
As mentioned above, Java is one of the most trusted languages for building enterprise-level applications. Even more so, it is backward compatible, making it even more appealing to big businesses. It is also used to create a host of applications for devices like computers, laptops, gaming consoles, car navigation systems, etc. Though Java's popularity has waned over the years, it remains today as one of the most popular languages.
Your Java career
As a Java developer, you can work as an Android App Developer, enterprise application development, Android development, Big Data, and Web Development. According to the Job Portal Indeed, Java is the second most in-demand programming language in the United States.
- C++'s syntax makes it difficult to learn. However, this programming language is very powerful.
- The programming language is used in game development, Cloud computing, software development, and Containerization.
Jumping up the difficulty level, we have C++. You either love or hate C++ and cannot deny its power. Dubbed the bread and butter of programming, this programming language sits at the core of almost all low level operating systems, file systems, etc. If you are looking to jump into the world of system-level programming, then this is the language for you. C++ can be challenging but equally rewarding and is a great language to learn after picking up a more beginner-friendly language like Python or Java.
The C++ backstory
C++ has its roots in the C programming language created by Dennis Ritchie. In fact, the creator of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup, worked heavily with Dennis Ritchie in Bell Lab during the 1970s. C++ was initially designed to operate as an extension of C but with Object-Oriented features. Now you can find C++ as a multi-paradigm, general-purpose programming language.
Why is C++ important now?
Though its syntax is involved, many people love the purity of C++. There is a galore of libraries offering users multi-device, multi-platform app development with a rich function library. Java gained the upper hand over C++, but it is still widely used, gaining popularity with the rise of GPU, Containerization, and Cloud computing.
Your C++ career
C++ is facing a lot of competition from other major languages that are easier to use, like Go and Rust. We recommend picking up another language before taking on C++. However, those who commit to C++ mastery tend to go into game development, IoT and Real-Time Systems, Software robotic development, and system programming.
- PHP has some popularity due to the rise of some programming languages like Python.
- Facebook and Wordpress have implemented PHP into their sites.
Currently, the PHP programming language is a general-purpose dynamic programming language mainly used to develop server-side Web applications. However, just like Python, the programming language was born out of a side project. In the 90s, the developer Rasmus Lerdorf created PHP as a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries written in C to create dynamic Web Applications. Eventually, more functions were added, transforming it into the full-fledged programming language that you know today.
Is PHP important now?
Though some have argued that PHP is going to die, the language will be around for a while, only gradually losing popularity. Even more so, many major companies like Facebook and Wordpress have implemented PHP into their sites. The highly productive programming language is still being adopted for Web applications.
My PHP career
If you are looking to learn PHP, you should definitely jump in as it is an easy language to learn. For those interested in PHP development as a career, there are a lot of great opportunities in Server-side Web Application Development, the creation of CMS systems, and Standalone Web Application Development.
- It was originally criticized for its poor language design.
- Ruby developers are some of the highest-paid developers in the industry.
- The Yukihiro Matsumoto created language is very easy to read and learn, having a linear learning path for new time programmers.
- The programming language played a key role in the development of projects like GitHub, Airbnb, and Twitter.
Ruby has been extremely popular in the past few decades because of its focus on developer productivity and developer happiness. It might not be as hyped up as some of the other languages on this list, but Ruby is easy to learn and has an overall flat learning curve. The programming language is a dynamically typed, high-level, multiple-paradigm general-purpose programming language. Even more impressive, Ruby is implemented in C and offers its users garbage collection.
The Ruby history
Another language developed by just a singular developer, Ruby, made its debut in the 1990s. The popular programming language was created by Japanese computer scientist Yukihiro Matsumoto dubbing the language an "Object-Oriented Scripting language" in 1995 upon its release. The aim was to create a language that is almost intuitive for developers, and that is highly effective.
Why is Ruby important?
Ruby is considered to have some of the best features of any programming language. The programming language is dynamic, object-oriented, functional, garbage-collected, and concise. The language has a beautifully simple syntax that is easy to wrap your head around, a large community, and is open source. In short, you can almost build everything connected to computer software. Ruby played a vital role in the development of projects like GitHub, Airbnb, and Twitter.
Your Ruby career
Ruby developers have the potential to make high salaries with relatively low experience. According to the job portal, Indeed, Ruby developers draw in some of the highest wages among programmers. With this skill set, you are likely to focus a lot of your time on the backend creating databases, libraries, and the logic that makes up an application.
- Go, also known as Goglang, was created by Google.
- It was designed to have the productivity of Python and the power of C.
Go is one of those programming languages that you should be on the lookout for, as it has the potential to be a powerful and in-demand tool. Created by the tech giant Google, the programming language is making waves for its relatively easy learning curve and power. Also known as Golang, the programming language provides excellent support for multi-threading. This allows it to be easily used by a lot of companies that rely heavily on distributed systems. You can find Go used a lot by startups in Silicon Valley and in the growing tech industry in India.
The Golang history
Go was born out of a very specific need at Google. In short, the tech company wanted to tackle the development scaling issue of new languages. Software Engineers Rob Pike and Ken Thompson created Golang in 2012 with the aims of building something easy to learn, scalable, and pragmatic.
Why is Go important?
The programming language offers users a host of features. Even more so, its simplicity and power gives it the productivity of Python and the power of C. The language has dramatically risen in popularity simply because of its features. Expect to see more of Golang in the near future.
My Go career
Compared to the other languages on this list, Go may not have that many opportunities on the market. Yet, the demand for Golang developers is rapidly increasing. Golang developers tend to tackle IoT projects, Cloud-Native Development, Serverless computing, and system computing.
There are some other great languages out there that you should consider
There are a series of other programming languages that you should consider. If you are looking to jump into machine learning and data analysis, R is an excellent language to pick up. The language is perfect for those who love analysis and statistics as the language is a core component of our Big Data world. MATLAB is also used a lot in the analytical world and is a language that you should look into if you love analysis. Finally, if you want to jump into the world of iOS development, check out Swift. The Apple backed programming is a powerful tool for app development
The ancient language Cobol is making a comeback due to the challenges caused by COVID-19 around the world. Currently, there are many places across the United States, reliant on Cobol software to manage unemployment systems. Computing giant, IBM, is looking to not only find Cobol programmers but teach new generations about the legacy language because of the sudden rise of demand and lack of Cobol programmers.
As mentioned by IBM, "In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, our clients are facing unprecedented circumstances. There are also some states that are in need of additional programming skills to make changes to COBOL – a language that has been widely reported to have an estimated 220 billion lines of code being actively used today. These changes to the code are required to take into account the new parameters for unemployment payment eligibility, in a very short timeframe". If you want to make a difference in the world, Cobol may be a good place to start. The programming language has been dubbed as the crisis hero of 2020.
Which programming languages should I start with?
Though it is dependent on your intended career path, most people would agree that Python is your best bet. This programming language is easy to learn and eventually, master. Even more so, there is a massive call for PYthon developers around the world as well as exciting opportunities in emerging industries. Java is also an excellent choice too.
Our overall advice is to simply begin. That is the best thing you can do right now. There are countless resources out there to help you get started. It is also good to mention that once you find your beloved language, take the time to master it before you move on to another. Developers tend to know multiple languages by always having one go-to a language that they are extremely proficient in. It is like their weapon of choice.
Do you have a favorite programming language?