Top 10 Programming Languages for Engineers

We're not yet to the second half of 2019 and as we look ahead at the job market, global industries and their demand for skilled workers, the need for engineers and strong programming skills grows.

Programming languages are commands used to create a software program. These programming languages are used to code and create software that will improve work for many systems in all industries, including the engineering-dependent sectors.

There are two types of programming languages. The first one is called the “high-level languages” and the second one is called the “low-level languages.”

What are high-level languages?

These are words and/or symbols that are used by programmers to write a ‘source code.’ They are readable and easy to comprehend. Some of the high-level languages include Java, PHP, and C++.

What are low-level languages?

These are categorized into two – the assembly language and the machine language. The assembly language is harder to read than the high-level language. Although it is difficult to read, it contains basic instructions for the programmer. This language is then used to interpret and/or translate the code and turn it into a machine language – a language that contains a group of binary codes known to a computer’s processing unit. This language cannot be read by humans; it wasn’t designed that way.

RELATED: 7 PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES YOU SHOULD CONSIDER LEARNING IN 2019

Why Engineers Need to Know These Programming Languages

Learning any of these 10 programming languages listed below is very important in the engineering field. This is not only because they can be a required subject in some engineering programs but also because engineering development and software technology go hand in hand.

Programming languages are essential in the life of an engineer. It starts in college and matures throughout an engineer’s career. Mechanical engineers, software engineers, system engineers or architects, and electronics engineers, among other branches, all need to use computer coding or software programming in the workplace.

Without knowledge on how to use or read any of the 10 programming languages mentioned here, an engineer can be more limited in their employment options.

What are the top 10 programming languages for engineers?

10. Objective-C

It is a programming language based on “objects.” That’s why it is known also as an object-oriented programming language or OOP. It has a Smalltalk style similar to C programming.

Smalltalk was designed for a new world where human and computer work together. It was first designed for educational purposes and is an object-oriented programming language.

9. SQL

SQL or Structured Query Language is used to access databases. It is a tool that can change databases. With SQL, an operator can execute queries, retrieve data, insert records, update records, delete records, create new databases, create new tables, create stored procedures, create views, and set permissions.

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There’s so much an engineer can do if he/she has SQL programming skills.

8. PHP

PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor can run on various types of databases as well as operating systems like Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, UNIX, and others.

It is a free programming language that can be conveniently downloaded from the official website at “php.net.” There’s so much PHP can do. Some of these include generating dynamic pages, collecting data from forms, sending and receiving website and/or browsing cookies, and even encrypting data, among many others.

7. C#

This programming language is fundamental to C and C++ programming languages. It is an object-oriented programming language. What is nice about it is that it’s simple to learn, but modern at the same time.

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This language was developed by Microsoft under the .NET program. It is used to produce efficient programs and it can be installed onto different types of computers. If an engineer understands how to use C programming and C++ and then, he/she will enjoy learning C#.

6. JavaScript

A famous programming language on the Internet. It is commonly used on websites and is also known as the programming language of HTML.

JavaScript is not a hard programming skill to learn. In fact, it is easier than most programming languages. Web developers learn this programming language together with HTML and CSS because these are the foundations of an aesthetically appealing website.

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5. Visual Basic .NET

Also written as VB.NET. It is an object-oriented programming language with multiple paradigms. This language is best executed on the .NET Framework of Microsoft. VB.NET is a structured programming language. It uses statements to indicate actions to be taken by the computer.

Certain keywords used by the language include “If,” “Select Case,” “Loop,” “For Each,” and “Else” among other reserved keywords.

4. C++

C++ programming language can run on computers with operating systems like Windows, several versions of UNIX, and Mac OS. It is a general-purpose programming language that is also case-sensitive but free-form.

It supports object-oriented programming as well as procedural and generic. Because C++ supports OOP, it also supports encapsulation, data hiding, inheritance, and polymorphism.

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3. Python

It is a high-level programming language used for general purposes. Python focuses on the readability of codes. That’s why it is fond of whitespaces.

Python was designed to help programmers in writing readable, logical, and straightforward codes for both small and big projects.

2. C

C is also referred to as “K&R.” It was designed by Dennis Ritchie but he had help in the development from Bell Labs and ANSI C. It is a general-purpose programming language that supports procedural and structured programming as well as recursion and lexical variable scope. It is a low-level programming language that provides instructions to machines.

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Some C programs are written and/or developed with portability. This means it can be transferred from one computer to another.

1. Java

Java is a totally different programming language from that of JavaScript. Java is a property of Oracle. It runs on mobile devices, most specifically on Android apps, some or all desktop applications, web applications, servers, games, databases, and so much more.

Java can be used on a Linux computer, a Raspberry Pi, Mac, and of course, Windows, among others. It is another programming language that is easy to learn and is also one of the most popular.

Java is #1 on the list of top programming languages for engineers. It is a secure and powerful programming language plus it is free.

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Engineers should take advantage of the free sources available to them on the Internet to learn one or more of these 10 programming languages. Engineering is an industry that is ever-evolving in this age of emerging technologies. By learning these languages, engineers can keep themselves up to date with trends and changes in the industry and be ready for any change that comes.

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Nader Mowlaee is an Electronics Engineer, working as an Engineering Career Coach and Technical Recruiter since 2012. Nader is inspired by motivating confidence in engineers and helping job seekers take calculated actions to move towards their career goals. Nader’s mission is to enable engineers to break away from their fears and create the ideal career they want. He helps engineers strengthen their Communication, Personal Branding, and Networking skills, resulting in job interviews and job offers fast. You can contact Nader on LinkedIn.