In 2023, Which Programming Language Should You Learn to Meet Job Requirements?
In the past, computer programming was a mysterious and limited field, reserved for a few coding experts. But today, many IT jobs require a strong understanding of multiple programming languages. If you're looking to advance your career or switch jobs and need to learn a programming language, you need to consider several factors. This includes the level of difficulty you're willing to face, your existing programming knowledge, and the purpose of learning a programming language.
Below is a list of popular programming languages that employers are demanding in 2023. We'll explore each language, its complexity level, and its applications. By choosing the right language, you can dive into mobile app development projects, earn certifications, and enhance your programming skills.
What is a Programming Language?
A programming language is a way for programmers to communicate with computers. It consists of rules that allow the translation between value strings and machine code. A program is a set of instructions written in a specific language to perform a certain task.
Most Popular Types of Programming Languages
Procedural Programming Languages
Procedural programming languages use procedures or functions to organize code into reusable blocks. Languages like C, Pascal, and FORTRAN are popular in this category. Programs are divided into independent functions or procedures, allowing flexibility in programming and code reuse. This model is widely used in engineering, gaming, and finance.
Functional Programming Languages
Functional programming languages are more flexible than procedural languages. They use functions to compute and transform data. Languages like Haskell, Clojure, Lisp, and Scala support this model.
Functional programming facilitates inference and enhances program reliability. Functions only work with inputs and return results without changing the state. This leads to efficiency and supports parallel programming.
While less common, functional programming has gained popularity in education. It allows function assignment to variables, passing functions as arguments, and using nested functions.
Organizing programs according to the functional programming model improves efficiency and enhances the program's ability to run in parallel.
Object-Oriented Programming Languages
Object-oriented programming languages define object data and behavior. They allow the construction of complex systems by linking objects together. This is done by hiding implementation details and using inheritance to create classes with shared characteristics. Popular object-oriented languages include Java, Python, C++, and Ruby.
Scripting languages are easy-to-learn languages with simple syntax and flexible data types. There are two types: server-side scripting languages and client-side scripting languages.
- Python: The easiest and most popular programming language. Object-oriented, high-level data structures, integrated libraries, suitable for rapid development.
- Perl: A dynamic, versatile, and popular language. Suitable for text processing and high-traffic websites.
- Bash: Easy-to-learn scripting language, popular on the Linux/GNU operating system. Facilitates script creation and use.
Logic Programming Languages
Logic programming is machine programming using logical rules to define object relationships and deduce new information. It's often used in artificial intelligence and expert systems. A popular logic language is Prolog, where facts and rules describe and reason about a problem. Logic programming is a safe and flexible method for effectively solving programming problems.
Imperative programming provides a set of instructions for a computer to change the program's state and the internal structure of data. This model describes steps for the computer to perform to solve a program, rather than defining mathematical functions. C, C++, Java, and Python are popular imperative programming languages.
Imperative programming is widely used in software development for system programming and low-level programming tasks, including directly controlling hardware resources.
Other Ways to Classify Programming Languages
Front-End and Back-End
Back-end languages, also known as server-side languages, create the logic and functionality behind a website, such as processing, storing, and managing user accounts and authentication. Examples include Python, Ruby, and Java.
High-Level and Low-Level Languages
High-level languages are easy to read and write, resembling natural languages. They include libraries and frameworks to simplify programming. Examples are Python, Java, and Ruby.
Low-level languages are more complex, interacting directly with hardware and computer memory. Writing code in these languages requires a deep understanding of hardware. Examples include Assembly and C.
Interpreted and Compiled Languages
Compiled languages convert source code into machine code. They transform readable source code into a format that the computer can execute. Languages like C, C++, and Java belong to this category.
Choosing the Right Programming Language
With the strong growth in the technology market, staying updated with new languages is crucial. However, other factors also play an important role in deciding which programming language to learn:
- Define your goals and the career path you want to pursue after learning a programming language.
- Research the market and select the field you're interested in.
- Understand the industry needs and requirements for the job you want.
- Start with an easy-to-learn language like Python or Ruby.
- Access user-friendly resources and engage in the programming community.
- Continuously learn and adapt to changes in the market.
The above is a list of the best and most essential programming languages you should know. Learning one of these languages can kickstart your programming career or propel you forward in your current job. With options ranging from beginner-friendly Python to experienced-focused Java, you can easily find the language that suits you.