The need to be code literate for various jobs is increasing. Whether you want to develop a mobile application, get a certification for programming knowledge, or learn new skills, you need to choose the right programming language to learn. If you’re trying to advance in your career or change careers completely, you might wonder which one to learn.
However, as a beginner, proceeding from making that career-boosting decision to actually acquiring the skills is definitely confusing. You’re faced with hundreds of options to pick from as your first language. So, before making that choice, it’s a good idea to ask yourself these key questions:
- What is it that made you interested in programming?
- What do you want to do as a programmer?
- What skills do you already possess that might align with a language?
The answers to these questions will navigate your initial steps and, possibly, your entire programming career. If a project idea sparked your interest, pick a language that helps you best complete it. For example, learning Objective-C will allow you to work on iOS-related projects, while Java will allow you to work on Android-related projects.
Here you’ll find programming languages that are in demand right now among employers.
People often begin by learning HTML and CSS. Why? These two languages are essential for creating static web pages. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) structures all the text, links, and other content you see on a website. CSS is the language that makes a web page look the way it does—color, layout, and other the visuals we call style.
Why not just start with HTML and CSS? You may not be interested in creating content for the Web. As I said earlier, you can do a lot with code, and the Web is just part of it. However, if you are interested in making websites, definitely start with HTML and CSS.
Java is one of the most common, in-demand computer programming languages in use today. Owned by the Oracle Corporation, this general-purpose programming language with its object-oriented structure has become a standard for applications that can be used regardless of platform (e.g., Mac, Window, Android, iOS, etc.) because of its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) capabilities. As a result of this capability, Java is recognized for its portability across platforms from mainframe data centers to smartphones. Today there are more than 3 billion devices running applications built with Java.
Java can be used for anything from web applications to desktop and mobile apps. Java has a strong presence among large enterprise applications—think bank, hospital, and university software. It also powers Android apps, so it’s a good choice for those inclined toward mobile development.
Like Java, Objective-C can be used to write desktop software and mobile apps. However, Objective-C is essentially Apple territory. Until the recent release of the Swift programming language, Objective-C was the language for developing native iPhone and iPad apps. Many major apps are still written in Objective-C, and programmers for these apps are in high demand. If you want to work on iPhone and iPad apps, it’s a good idea to learn Objective-C.
Apple developed Swift in June 2014 as a modern language for developing Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV applications. An open-source programming language that is easy to learn, Swift supports almost everything from programming language Objective-C. It takes less coding compared to other programming languages, and it can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix. Swift is used in popular iOS apps like WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, SoundCloud, and even in the annoying game Flappy Bird.
If you want to enter the world of iOS, Swift is the language with which Apple intends to move forward. Yes, many apps are already written in Objective-C, but Swift is here to stay.
PHP is one of the most popular web languages. It runs massive sites such as Facebook and Etsy. WordPress and Drupal are both written in PHP, and those two platforms power a huge number of the sites online today. Because of its popularity, learning PHP will serve you well if you intend to code for the Web.
Python is a general-purpose language used for everything from server automation to data science. Python is a great language for beginners because it is easy to read and understand. You can also do so many things with Python that it’s easy to stick with the language for quite a while before needing something else. It is a popular programming language for Machine Learning and deep learning applications. Python is used to develop 2D imaging and 3D animation packages like Blender, Inkscape, and Autodesk. It has also been used to create popular video games, including Civilization IV, Vegas Trike, and Toontown. Python finds itself at home both creating Web apps like Instagram and helping researchers make sense of their data.
Developed in the 1990s, it was designed to have a more human-friendly syntax while still being flexible from the standpoint of its object-oriented architecture that supports procedural and functional programming notation.
Ruby is often associated with the Rails framework that helped popularize it. Used widely among web startups and big companies alike, Ruby and Rails jobs are pretty easy to come by. Ruby and Rails make it easy to transform an idea into a working application, and they have been used to bring us Twitter, GitHub, and Treehouse.
In our opinion, as a training provider. If you want to start a career as a programmer, learning one of these languages is an excellent place to begin your transition. And since courses range from Python for the beginner to Java for the experienced, you can find the right fit for you.