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5 programming languages worth learning in 2017

Brooke Campbell
programming languages

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Brooke Campbell has compiled a list of five programming languages that will help you accomplish your goals, no matter if you want to string together beautiful code for fun or land your dream job. Let’s have a look!

There have never been more programming languages to choose from for today’s would-be coders. In fact, the programming landscape has changed so much that multilingual developers are becoming more or less the norm versus their single-language counterparts.

And that makes a lot of sense.

With the industry in a constant state of flux and development, learning to code only in a single language could potentially limit you if that language falls out of use.

On the other hand, learning any language imbues you with the fundamental skills to transition between different sets of rules and functions. After all, you don’t suddenly forget coding basics just because the language might have changed.

With that in mind, it’s still in the best interest of anyone looking to get into coding to do their due diligence and find out which programming language is right for them.

The thing to remember here is that programming languages differ in a number of ways, from usability to intuitiveness to specific functions. There’s no one single language that is empirically better than the others – though I’m sure many developers would beg to differ.

With all that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five programming languages that will help you accomplish your goals:

Java

Named after coffee, this programming language is hot. Okay, lame jokes aside, Java is easily one of the most common and popular languages around.

With the “write once, run anywhere” tagline, Java is known for its as few implementation dependencies and being able to run on any platform that supports Java without need for recompilation.

While it’s been around for a few decades now, Java shows no sign of slowing down.

RedMonk’s Programming Language Rankings which compares performance of programming languages relative to one another on GitHub and Stack Overflow, has Java ranked as the second overall.

SEE ALSO: Technology trends 2017: Here are the top programming languages

The TIOBE Index calculates its ratings based on skilled engineers across the globe, courses and third party vendors. The index also takes into account popular search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, YouTube, Baidu, etc.

According to their measure, Java is number one.

It may not be an under the radar pick, but you can’t go wrong sticking with Java.

C++

Now my engineering roommates in college will hate me for saying this (they stayed up long into the night, cursing this language in sleepless anger) but you can’t go wrong learning C++.

C++ actually influenced Java and still plays a central role in the world of programming today.

In fact, there are currently implementations of it available on many platforms and provided by various giant tech organizations like Microsoft, Intel and IBM.

As for our rankings and metrics, RedMonk put C++ as 5th, while TIOBE has the language ranked as 3rd.

Python

Python has a bit of a cult following around it, often comprised of coders who swear by the language and will attest to its benefits versus Java and C++.

And those benefits do exist.

Again, we’re not here to find the best language to learn (I’m sure there’s plenty of rankings out there that claim to do that already). And while this list is numbered, as mentioned previously, there’s very few ways to say one language is empirically better than another as much of this comes down to personal preference, no matter what a diehard fan says.

SEE ALSO: Coding on weekends: These are the most popular weekend programming languages

But there are a few things that Python focuses on in its design philosophy that sets it apart. It emphasizes code readability, for instance, and developed a syntax with the intention of letting programmers use fewer lines of code versus C++ and Java when trying to accomplish similar outcomes.

This curtailing of code lines is one reason that Python has gathered a dedicated following.

Python ranks 4th on RedMonk and 5th on TIOBE, again coming in as a one of the most popular and used languages around.

Ruby

Ruby and its framework Ruby on Rails together form one of the more controversial options out there. And yes, there are programming language controversies. Search “is Ruby on Rails dead?” and you’ll find a tonne of think pieces on whether or not this language is worth learning.

But two things make Ruby and Ruby on Rails a solid choice for new coders. First, the numbers from surveys and research show that Ruby is still very much in use and in demand.

Second, the design philosophy. While other language prioritize ultimate customization and limitless options, those features often come at the expense of intuitiveness. Ruby on Rails wants to solve that by streamlining the process.

Specifically pertaining to programmers who work on a customized software development, there are some key advantages that Ruby has in comparison to other programming languages like PHP, Node.js and Angular that are seriously considered by many.

The creator of Ruby on Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson, explains the framework rather succinctly in two points: “1) We have a unique ideological foundation that’s still controversial today and offers the same benefits against the mainstream choices as it did thirteen years ago, 2) We have a pragmatic, full-stack answer that could be formulated based on that ideology that still offers amazing productivity from the second you run the rails new command.”

Every programmer who is good with Ruby also knows of some of its shortcomings but then again, there is hardly any programming languages with all pros and no cons. It should be duly noted that such shortcomings also come with solutions.

Ruby offers something different than the others, and as such, won’t be to everyone’s liking. But it’s still definitely a programming language worth learning in 2017.

SEE ALSO: Top 6 wackiest programming languages: TrumpScript et al.

SQL

What’s interesting about SQL is that it appears to be a language on the rise.

While in the two survey’s we’ve used to help provide data on these languages, SQL performance is weaker overall. It ranks 18th in TIOBE and not at all in RedMonk.

But where it does excel is in projections.

One survey – the Stack Overflow Developer Survey – asked more than 56,000 developers in 173 countries for the most used technologies, and they answered that SQL was second, behind JavaScript.

Another report ranked SQL as the most in-demand language of last year. The fact is that SQL seems to be an industry favorite and is definitely worth looking into for a neophyte coder.

Programming for everyone

In the end, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. Learning how to code is a valuable skill, and learning a programming language – any programming language – can only help you in achieving whatever your pursuit may be.

The above five are set in no particular order due to their popularity and demand. They’re a great place to start. So what are you waiting for? Start programming away.

Author
Brooke Campbell
Brooke loves surfing through social media, so she made it a full-time job and works as a social media manager at Entrance Software Consulting. And loves all things Tech. When not working, she eats and sleeps, in that order.

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