One of the biggest debates between Programmers is which is the best programming language, and why? It seems like this debate will never be resolved and for good reason.
Development Platforms & Use-Case
When it comes to choosing a programming language to learn, context matters. When you’re looking to code a new application, website, software, or program, the platform it will be on and the environment it will be used on matters.
If you want to be a programmer that specializes in native app development for a mobile platform like Android and iOS, then you’re going to be using either Swift or Kotlin. And you’ll be considered an APP Developer.
Web Design & Web Development
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If you want to be a desktop software developer, then you’ll likely be using either of the C-related programming languages, Java or Python.
If your goal is to be a data scientist, then you will often be using either R, Python, or Matlab. You’ll need to be a really good programmer and know how data flows through algorithms. You’ll also have to understand math better than most programmers and you should take as many courses in math and computer science as possible.
What makes a good data scientist? Well, one thing is an understanding of statistics. Did you know that random sampling allows us to evaluate the entire population with only a small sample?
A lot of people think that in order to be a data scientist you need a PhD. But actually, all it takes is passion and hard work!
Now if you want to be a game developer, then you will likely be using either C++ or C#. If you want to get into game development, then I recommend using Unity. It’s free, and it’s super easy to use. In order to be a good game developer, you need to invest time in studying video game theory and programming.
What if you’re already a Programmer
If you already have experience with programming and you already have a favored language for your use case, you might be saying “your list is wrong cause I can use my language to create the same type of program”. That is often true. Programming languages are versatile and can often be used on different platforms to accomplish similar goals.
It’s kind of like cars. Any working car can get you from point A to Z, but do you really want to drive a Toyota Prius in a Drag Race versus a Ford Mustang GT500?
You’ll be slow and frustrated, not fast and furious.
So when you look at a website that lists the top 10 programming languages or when you watch videos like the one above, remember context matters.
Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn
10 Programming Languages in reverse order
Number 10 – Kotlin
Kotlin, which is used for android development. Considering that Android is the most popular operating system for smartphones and tablets and it seems like everyone has a smartphone and tablet, its a no-brainer that Kotlin is a language that’s worth learning. Native Application Development gives you greater access to system resources vs developing a web app.
Number 9 – Swift
Swift, which is used for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, and anything developed for Apple. If you want to develop for these commonly used platforms, then you’ll want to learn Swift. Just like android development with Kotlin, Learning Swift will give you greater access to system resources when developing iOS apps.
Number 8 – Go
Go aka Golang was designed and developed by Google and is used for programming scalable servers and large software systems. Google developed Go to fill the gaps between C++ and Java when working with its servers and distributed systems.
Number 7 – R
R, this language is used for both data science and machine learning which are both high in demand in today’s programming world where we are flooded with an incalculable number of data points. Machine learning is a data science that uses algorithms to understand data and make predictions. The field of data science is booming in the tech world.
In the last few years, data science has become more prevalent because it’s an effective way to analyze and use large amounts of information. It’s a combination of statistics and computer programming skills that require advanced knowledge in these areas.
Learning the R Programming Language will be useful for programmers looking to become a data scientists with a focus on machine learning.
Number 6 – PHP
PHP, this programming language is used for server-side development for websites. It’s the most popular language for server-side development where It’s used by nearly 80% of dynamic websites.
Web developers use PHP because it’s an open source programming language specifically made for web development.
PHP is often one of the most popular programming languages found in various top 10 lists. PHP supports various programming paradigms like Procedural programming, Object Oriented programming and Functional programming.
If you run a search online, you will find that PHP has more than a few set of libraries and frameworks that can be used to make your programs easier to maintain.
You will also find that PHP is easy to learn with tutorials on how to create simple web pages to complex topics like data structures and algorithms.
Checkout my PHP Tutorials for Beginners Series.
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Number 5 – C#
C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft that is widely used in game development such as the Unity software which is one of the most popular game engine software used for creating video games. It’s also used for creating Windows applications.
Number 4 – C and C++
C and C++. I grouped these two together because C++ is considered an extension of C and C++ is kind of an evolution of C. C is based on the Procedural Programming Paradigm and C++ is based on Object-Oriented Programming and Procedural Programming.
C is considered the mother of most programming languages since it’s what’s used to create those languages.
These two languages are used to create operating systems, drivers, extremely fast software, kernel development, embedded systems, and more.
Number 3 – Java
Java is used by billions of devices from smartphones, tablets, computers, and virtually anything with a CPU in it. You can create desktop applications, scientific applications, you can use Java to create Android Apps, and more.
Number 2 – Python
Python, this language is often neck and neck with the number one language on this list because it’s the language used by those just getting into programming and is what’s taught in colleges.
Python is loved by many because it’s versatile, the syntax is intuitive and it’s much easier to read Python code because of the formatting requirements.
Python is a general-purpose programming language that can be used on virtually any platform from desktop software to web development.
Python is used for machine learning, automation, data science, artificial intelligence, and more.
There are more libraries and frameworks than I can count or have time to talk about, but some of the most popular ones are jQuery, NodeJS, React, Vue, Angular, AngularJS, Ember, and trust me, this list can go on and on.
Those are the top 10 programming languages you should consider learning in 2021.
We’re not done.
How Many Programming Languages are there?
There are thousands of programming languages available for software developers. Even Wikipedia has different figures with some articles stating 700, and others just saying thousands.
The first use of a computer program was in 1851 when a computer developed by Charles Babbage called the analytical engine had switches and gears to do mathematical operations.
10 More Programming Languages to Consider
There are so many languages you can use and some people would argue that others should be on the list. Remember what I said, context matters, your use-case matters.
So here are 10 Programming Languages that deserve a notable mention:
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a database-driven language. SQL is a language that allows one to interact with a database. Its a database-driven language that allows you to create tables, insert data, update records and retrieve information.
Learn HTML for Beginners here on PixemWeb.
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CSS is also not a programming language but it’s the language used to add style to your HTML. Hence why it’s used by web designers. It’s a language that allows you to change the appearance of webpages in various ways and makes it possible for web developers to make simple or complex designs.
Matlab is a programming and numeric computing platform used by engineers and scientists to analyze data, develop algorithms and create models. It’s a great language to use when you need to run complex mathematical equations.
Matlab was originally developed for the sole purpose of matrix manipulation, but an array of extensions have been added on ever since then. Today, it’s capable of performing complex data analysis and more.
Ruby & Ruby on Rails
Ruby & Ruby on Rails – is used for front-end and back-end web development but like Python, can be used for data analysis and more. Ruby on Rails is a development framework built with Ruby.
The Rust Programming Language is a powerful tool. It’s been used to create software like game engines, operating systems, file systems and more. While Rust is still a relatively new programming language, it has quickly become one of the most popular languages for creating games and high performance applications.
Perl has been around for over 30 years and is a general-purpose programming language used for text manipulation, system administration, web development, network programming, and more. Perl can handle almost any kind of task, from one-line scripts to complicated applications and systems.
Scala – is used for web apps, machine learning and is a high-level general-purpose language. Scala developers can use standard JVM features and Java Libraries. Scala is a great language for writing scalable software. In fact, Scala developers have designed everything from Raspberry Pi to Apache Spark.
Scala is an object-functional programming language that runs on the JVM. Scala developers are experienced in functional and object-oriented programming, making them ideal for a number of jobs including systems administrators.
Fortran has been around for a long time. First launched in 1954. It’s a general-purpose programming language that’s great for numerical and scientific computing.
Fortran is one of the earliest high-level programming languages that was created to be used in scientific computation. It’s still widely used today because it produces very fast code and has a strong set of intrinsic functions useful for numerical computing.
Fortran supports procedural, structured, and object oriented programming paradigms.
Choosing a programming language to learn can be difficult considering all the opinions you will find online and chatting with other programmers. But hopefully what I mentioned in this article and the video above, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article on the Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn in 2021. Don’t forget to watch the video and share with others.