Beginner

If you are new to the world of computer programming, choosing a programming language, to begin with, is probably the toughest hurdle. Currently, there are thousands of programming languages with different idiosyncrasies and complexities. On our site, we focus on Python, but there are other languages out there. Before you start your software development journey, choosing a programming language that suits your interests and career goals is important. That said, below are some of the best and in-demand coding languages you should consider.

1. JavaScript

Modern software developers cannot succeed without mastering JavaScript. A 2020 survey done by Stack Overflow found that JavaScript is still the most popular programming language for developers for eight years in a row. More than 70% of study participants reported that they used this language for more than one year.

Together with CSS and HTML, JavaScript is an important coding language for front-end website development. Most websites, including Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, and Twitter, depend on JavaScript to display dynamic content to users for their interactive website pages.

Even though JavaScript is primarily a front-end web development language on browsers, it can be used on the server-side to develop scalable network applications with the help of Node.js. Node.js works with Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and SunOs.

JavaScript is a popular language amongst programming beginners because of its simple learning curve. It is used all through the web, thanks to its speed, and works well with other coding languages, enabling it to be used in various applications. That aside, the demand for JavaScript developers is currently high, with a CareerFoundry study concluding that 72% of businesses need JavaScript developers.

Pros of learning JavaScript

  • Fast and can run immediately in browsers
  • Provides an enriched and better web interface
  • Highly versatile
  • It can be used in various applications
  • Has multiple add-ons
  • Easily integrates with other programming languages.

Cons of learning JavaScript

  • Lacks an equivalent or alternate method
  • Different web browsers can interpret code lines differently.

2. Python

Python is a general-purpose coding language that is also very learner-friendly; there are even Python classes for children. However, despite being easy to learn, Python is an overly versatile and powerful language, making it suitable for beginners and experts. It is because of this that major companies, including Facebook and Google, use this language.

Python’s popularity is largely attributed to its extensive usage. It has applications in data science, scientific computing, data analytics, animation, database interfacing, web applications, machine learning, and data visualization. This versatility also explains the high demand for experts in this language.

Key features of Python include;

  • It has a unique selling point – simple, productive, elegant, and powerful in one package.
  • It influences other programming languages, such as Go and Julia
  • Best for back-end web development with first-class integration with other programming languages, such as C++ and C.
  • It offers many tools that can be applied in computational science, mathematics, statistics, and various libraries and frameworks, such as NumPy, Scikit-Learn, and Pandas.

Pros of learning Python

  • Works in various platforms
  • Improves developers and programmers productivity
  • Has a wide array of support frameworks and libraries
  • Powered by object-oriented programming

Cons of learning Python

  • Not ideal for mobile computing
  • It has a primitive and underdeveloped database

3. Java

Java is another popular coding language commonly used in-app and web development. Despite being an old coding language, Java is still in demand due to its complexity. Unfortunately, it isn’t beginner-friendly. It is a platform-independent language and a popular choice for various organizations, including Google and Airbnb, for its stability.

Key features of Java include;

  • It is a multi-paradigm and feature-rich programming language
  • Very productive for developers
  • Moderate learning curve
  • It doesn’t have major changes and updates like Python and Scala
  • Has the best runtime

Pros of learning Java

  • Has a wide array of open-source libraries
  • Automated garbage collection
  • Allows for platform independence
  • Supports multithreading and distributed computing
  • Has multiple APIs that support completion of various tasks, such as database connection, networking, and XML parsing

Cons of learning Java

  • Expensive memory management
  • Slow compared to other coding languages, such as C and C++

4. C#

C# is an object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. It was initially designed as part of the .NET framework for developing windows applications but is currently used in various applications. It is a general-purpose coding language used particularly in back-end development, game creation, mobile app development, and more. Despite being a Windows-specific language, it can also be used in Android, Linux, and iOS platforms.

The language has a legion of libraries and frameworks that have accrued for the last 20 years. Like Java, C# is independent of other platforms, thanks to its Common Language Runtime feature.

Pros of learning C#

  • Can work with shared codebases
  • Safe compared C++ and C
  • Uses similar syntax with C++ and other C-derived languages
  • Has rich data types and library
  • Has a fast compilation and execution

Cons of learning C#

  • Less flexible compared to C++
  • You should have good knowledge to solve errors

5. PHP

PHP is another excellent programming language with many applications. While it faces stiff competition from other languages, such as Python and JavaScript, especially for web development, there is still a high demand for PHP professionals in the current job market. PHP is also a general-purpose and dynamic coding language that can be used to develop server-side applications.

Pros of learning PHP

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Has a wide ecosystem and community support
  • Has many frameworks
  • Supports object-oriented and functional paradigms
  • Supports various automation tools

Cons of PHP

  • Builds slow web pages
  • Lacks error and security handling features

6. Angular

Angular is a recently updated and improved version of the initial AngularJS framework developed by Google. Compared to other recent coding languages, such as React, Angular has a steep learning curve but offers better practical solutions for front-end development. Developers can also program complicated and scalable applications using Angular, thanks to its great functionality, aesthetic visual designs, and business logic.

Key features of Angular include;

  • Features a model-view control architecture that facilitates dynamic modeling
  • Uses HTML coding language to develop user interfaces that are simple and easy to understand
  • Uses old JavaScript objects, which are self-sufficient and very functional
  • Has Angular filters, which filter data before being viewed

Pros of learning Angular

  • Requires minimal coding experience to use
  • Allows development of high-quality hybrid apps
  • Has quick app prototyping
  • Has enhanced testing ability

Cons of Angular

  • Angular developed apps are dynamic, diminishing their performance
  • Complicated pages in apps can cause glitches
  • Difficult to learn

7. React

Also called ReactJS, React is a JavaScript framework developed by Facebook that enables programmers to develop user interfaces with dynamic abilities. Sites built using React respond faster, and developers can switch between multiple variable elements seamlessly. The language also enables businesses to build and maintain customer loyalty by providing a great user experience.

Pros of learning React

  • Easy to learn and SEO friendly
  • Reuses various components, thus saves time
  • Has an open-source library
  • Supported by a strong online community
  • Has plenty of helpful development tools

Cons of React

  • Additional SEO hurdle
  • Has poor code documentation

The Bottom Line

As you choose your preferred web development language to learn, ensure that you aren’t guided by flashy inclinations and popularity contests. Even though the realm of computer programming keeps changing rapidly, the languages mentioned above can withstand these changes. Learning one or more of these languages will put you in a great position for many years to come. Make use of federal funding to pay for your online programming courses and Bootcamps. Veterans can learn web development languages at a discount using the GI Bill Benefits.

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