The Best Programming Languages to Learn

Ever since their invention, computers have entered almost every field of human life. Whether it’s health, fashion, or just simple grocery shopping, you will find computers everywhere. And without a doubt computer seem fascinating. Now, don’t they?

What’s more fascinating is that they operate in their own languages.

So what is this language that computers speak? It’s simple.

Computers operate using a set of codes and numbers, generally called programming languages. There are over 300 programming languages worldwide, but it’s unnecessary to learn them all.

And the best part? They are easier to understand than spoken languages.

What Was The First Computer Programming Language?

Over a hundred years ago, a woman named Ada Lovelace created an algorithm for the analytical engine. This was back in 1883, and this language helped Charles Babbage, the father of the computer, to perform mathematical computations on his Difference machine.

This is considered the first-ever programming language, and many modern programming languages take root from this machine algorithm.

Although more than 900 languages are currently being used worldwide, 150 popular languages are vastly utilized.

Why Are There So Many Programming Languages?

You must be wondering, computers, unlike humans, are the same all around the world. So why do so many programming languages exist?

Well, that’s simple.

Programming languages are an intermediary between humans and computers. Since the digital age is rising and there are multiple machines for different purposes, programming languages are needed to create machines with different functions and purposes.

Whereas some languages are easier to understand and use for programmers, only others are more Machine friendly and make them easy to use and understand for computers.

Harder-to-learn languages are called high-level languages and are usually used for specific purposes. They offer less control over machines and are not that easy to learn.

Machine-friendly languages are more freeing. They are called low-level languages, and just as the name suggests, they are very basic. They can be learned super-fast and are easier to remember and execute.

Other than that, coding languages exist to perform specific tasks for machines. They are used for many purposes to control the machines as we please.

What Are The Most Popular Programming Languages?

Programming languages are ranked according to their popularity among users worldwide. The TIOBE programming index keeps track of all the popular languages skilled personnel use and puts out a monthly list.

This list is based on the number of people using the language and the number of courses and classes being taught to learn the codes.

According to the TIOBE, the current top programming languages are:

  •   C
  •   Java
  •   Python
  •   C++
  •   C#
  •   Visual Basic
  •   JavaScript
  •   PHP
  •   SQL
  •   Assembly language
  •   R
  •   Groovy

HTML And CSS

In the above list, two major languages are missing. HTML and CSS. These are prevalent languages used to style and structure web pages, but unfortunately, that’s all they do.

HTML and CSS cannot be considered programming languages since they do not contain statements and instructions like in other programming languages. However, if you aim to learn web coding, HTML and CSS are great tools to have under your belt.

What Are The Types Of Programming Languages?

So we now know there are different programming languages, but these are further divided into classifications of languages. Different languages are used for different functions, and there is a slight difference between the types of languages.

The first type of language we’ll be looking at is Object-Oriented. This kind of language model focuses on the data or objects as they are called. These languages are very easy to manipulate and can be reused and scaled as needed. This makes them the most used language models for software structuring.

The other type of language is Functional Programming. They work using mathematical functions and logic. This model of languages is best for application processing and extensive data analysis.

Now that we know the difference let’s get on with the different languages and what they can be used for.

Programming Languages – Explained!

While discussing programming languages, we will be asking three significant questions:

  1. What are they?
  2. What are they used for?
  3. How can you learn them?

These three questions are crucial to answer since they inform you about which language is best for you. Since most languages are general-purpose, it comes down to the ease of use, popularity, and, most importantly, user interface.

Let us get started.

1.     C

C is a primary programming language with vast usage. It is a clear language, and knowing its basics can be very useful.

What is C?

C language is one of the oldest programming languages still being used. Released in 1972, C was created for UNIX but is not used across all platforms.

It is a high-level programming language that makes it easy to learn. Even though it has been around since the mid-20th century, C is still widely used and is a relatively complex programming language. It is also the predecessor of many other programming languages like C#, Java, and Python.

What is C used for?

The C language’s versatility allows it to be used in many different areas. Everyday use of the language is in gaming.

Since it is designed to create system applications, it is used in many Linux or Windows Operating systems. This is the perfect language to use for creating games and graphics or mobile phone applications.

How to learn C?

Some may say that learning C as a newcomer can be challenging, more so since there are more accessible languages, you can learn.

Although it is a relatively complex high-level language to learn, you can find many online sources to learn the C language.

If not, you can find local tutors or training centers that teach programming languages and provide certifications for your courses.

2.     Python

When talking about easy-to-learn programming languages, we just cannot miss out on Python. It is a commonly used high-level and general-purpose language that is used by many internet powerhouses such as YouTube, Google, and Venmo.

Python is probably the best place to start if you’re a programming newbie.

What is Python?

Unlike its ancestor, C, Python is an object-oriented programming language. It was launched in 1992 as a high-level language and is relatively simple. The coding and understanding of Python are ideal for those looking for quick results.

Its popularity makes it a sought-after skill since many jobs require you to know Python.

What is Python used for?

Python is used for many purposes since it is such a universal language. It is excellent for general usage as well as unique applications. Python is also being used for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

How to learn Python?

Python can be learned easily using various online sources and also through experienced users or local teachers. Online sources such as Udemy, Codeacademy, and Coursera are great authentic sources that can help you learn Python fast and efficiently.

3.   Java

Java is also easy to use and learn just like Python. Since the parent language of both these languages is the same, they are pretty similar in terms of difficulty and user profile. 

What is Java?

Java, much like Python, is an object-oriented language. It is most famous for the fact that once you have written a java program, it can efficiently be run on any device with the system.

We know we say this a lot, but Java is one of the most compatible and versatile coding languages.

What is Java used for?

Java’s compatibility with any device makes it a desirable language for different uses. It is the primary language behind the android operating system. It is also used to program apps for both small and large uses.

How to learn Java?

Java script is easy to learn, and you can easily teach it to yourself. If you want to find help, online sources like Coursera or Udemy are great ways to quickly learn Java.

If you’re looking for a more detailed course on Java, you can seek out local tutors that can guide you through the learning process.

4.   JavaScript

JavaScript, despite its name, has no direct relation to Java. The similarity in the name comes from the similar syntax used by both languages. This is the most popular language you can learn if you are interested in client-side web browsing.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an Oracle trademarked programming language. It was created in 1995 and still stands to be one of the most dynamic, flexible, and powerful object-oriented programming languages created.

It is also a critical and resourceful language to learn. Its popularity increases day by day. JavaScript is the go-to language for websites that offer animation, graphics, slideshows, and interactive forms. JavaScript allows web users to input information and interact with most websites they visit daily.

What is JavaScript used for?

JavaScript is often the go-to language for web pages and websites that want to feature animations, graphics, or interactive functions and forms. It is also used for responsive web pages.

Used alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is used to add things like moving pictures, slideshows, and even web games that can be played on the browser.

How to learn JavaScript?

Due to its evergreen nature and increased popularity, JavaScript can be quickly learned through online sources, coding boot camps, guide books, and even networking with the right crowd. It is a great skill to have if you’re looking to freelance or join a software house.

5.   PHP

PHP is a free programming language that codes web pages, much like JavaScript. It stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Initially, when created in 1994, the acronym stood for Personal Home Page and was explicitly used for web development.

What is PHP?

PHP is an object-oriented, high-level programming language similar to JavaScript. Although similar, PHP is more of a server-side language than a client-side script. It is easily embedded in HTML and vice versa.

It is usually used hand in hand with JavaScript. If PHP is the worker, JavaScript is the tool.

What is PHP used for?

As mentioned, PHP is mainly used for web development but has many other uses. It can also be used to manage databases and animated content on websites. It is known to integrate well with database languages such as MySQL.

How to learn PHP?

As far as PHP goes, practice makes perfect. You can use many free online resources to learn the language and familiarize yourself with the syntax. After this, practice it as much as possible to get better faster.

The best sources can be Udemy, Coursera, or even YouTube to some extent.

6.   SQL

SQL is the language you need to know if you’re interested in database management. Most developers try to gain a basic knowledge of the language. Its original name was SEQUEL, when it was developed in 1970 but was later changed to SQL because of trademark infringements.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a data managing language that is domain-specific. It has a particular use, and unlike other programming languages, it is not for general use.

Generally not known as a programming language, SQL can be used as a programming language by using procedural extensions.

What is SQL used for?

SQL is used for managing data in databases. It is popularly used by database administrators and software or server developers throughout a range of different industries.

These days, it is also used for big-time data mining and analysis. It can be used to manipulate data after searching.

How to learn SQL?

SQL is a specific language, and the field of work is relatively narrow as compared to other languages. You can learn the language using online sources or networking and look for mentors who have already mastered coding.

It can be an excellent skill to have for specific jobs and data management requirements.

7.   R

R is a relatively new programming language, but it is slowly gaining popularity for its use in the academic fields and tech companies. It is a unique language.

What is R?

The R language is a functional programming language. It is low level, which means it is machine friendly and much more difficult for humans to understand. Its primary focus is statistical computing and graphics.

The language is equipped with various tools, including machine learning algorithms.

What is R used for?

R is used to develop data analysis packages and software for statisticians. R is also often used by data miners. It is perhaps most useful for data scientists and demographers to gain insights into statistical information.

How to learn R?

As an emerging language, it may be tough to find local teachers to learn R.

However, online sources and courses are available. You can start with the basics of R and work your way up to mastering the language.

Other Programming Languages

We’ve shared with you the most important and popular languages you should know to increase your skills and enter the job market with a good resume. However, other than the ones mentioned above, other programming languages are still being used and are still relevant.

These include:

1. C++

C++ can be considered an intermediate-level programming language. It is an object-oriented language that takes its roots from C.

Still, it is considered to be better than its latter version in terms of handling more significant projects with higher complications and creating high-performance applications.

Many software houses and corporations still use C++ to develop applications and manage software.

2. C#

C#, alternatively known as C Sharp, is probably one of the easiest Object-Oriented languages to learn. As the name suggests, it is once again part of the C language family.

It has been designed by Microsoft and has a relatively user-friendly syntax. It can be used to create computer and mobile applications, games, web pages, and database apps.

3. Objective-C

Yet another C family language is the Objective C. Developed in the 1980s, this is a general-purpose language much like its other family members. It is also an object-oriented language that can be used to add messaging features to websites. A bunch of Apple products still support Objective C-based apps.

4. Swift

Swift is not a general market programming language and is mainly used by Apple for its operating systems. It is a multi-paradigm language and is included in all Apple products.

5. Ruby

Ruby can be considered as part of the popular programming languages. It is object-oriented. This language is both flexible and dynamic. It is a general-purpose language and can be used for interactive sites such as Hulu, Kickstarter, and Airbnb.

Which Is The Most Essential Computer Programming Language To Learn First?

Now that you have more than a basic understanding of the most used programming languages worldwide and know how they work, there is one question.

And that question is – which language is essential to know and learn?

Well, we’re here to help. One of the most critical languages to understand during this era is JavaScript. There is no doubt that JavaScript is the way to go if you want to create a functional and interactive website. It has functions like predictive text, dynamic graphics, and slideshows for photos. Plus it has forms that can be used to your advantage while designing the website.

It is a language that all computer and mobile phone users are familiar with. The reason being there is a high chance that when you visit a website or use a mobile phone application, you interact with JavaScript. It is also one of the languages that remain constant among world rankings as a popularly used and taught programming language.

JavaScript is also an excellent language for new programmers as a foundational language. It is a highly intuitive language with a large community of users who act as mentors and give off great advice to new learners. It is also a perfect base language to learn since it can make learning other languages easier.

What Now?

So you’ve learned programming languages and have taught yourself how to apply them to web designing and data analysis. So what now?

Now that you have become familiar with coding and programming, you can practice it and code random things to ensure you do not forget. Once you have mastered a language, you can work freelance as a web developer, data analyst, or even a software and application creator.

If not freelance, another route could be to reach out to software houses, internet companies, and web development firms with your resume and use these new skills to score yourself a job.

These languages are fairly simple to learn and apply practically, but the key is practice. Even if you are in a different field of work, you can teach yourself programming languages to broaden your skill set and expand professionally.

Final Thoughts!

We hope this was an informative article to learn about the different programming languages being used and the purposes they are being used for.

A few things to remember from this:

  1. General-purpose languages are great for almost all tasks related to computers and machines. Still, more specific and narrow field languages need to be learned for more particular tasks.
  2. Learning languages ranked top 4 by the TIOBE programming index is an excellent way to make yourself a good asset for software houses and industries.
  3. Keep practicing the language by continuing to use it and making random web pages or programs for learning purposes. Although easy to learn, programming languages can quickly become rusty if not practiced enough.

Once you learn a new language, practice and make it a habit to ensure your skills grow. Learning and retaining the memory of coding languages can be intimidating. Still, it is easier to learn programming languages than spoken ones.

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