During my years as an undergrad, I skipped many night-outs to pick up Java hoping it would one day help me get ahead in my career. Years later, when it’s finally time to cash in on this investment, I realized whatever I had learned had become obsolete. I started hearing about new languages that were becoming increasingly popular, like Python and AngularJS and I was completely bewildered by big questions like “How will I ever bring myself up to date with others in the field?”, “How tough is it to learn and master a completely new programming language?” and most importantly, “which would be the best programming language to learn first?”. I enrolled in several highly recommended online courses and realized that only the languages were new but the programming concepts remained more or less the same. Once you are familiar with the basic programming concepts like data structures, conditional statements and loops, it’s not that tough to master a new programming language.
The question, however, remains, which languages will ensure a great career path and a sustainable salary as a programmer? In this article, we will take a look at the top five coding languages to learn in 2019, along with some interesting statistics. We will also weigh out the pros and cons of each. Please note that the list is not ranked in any particular order. It has been put together after extensive research on Search engine ratings, GitHub pull requests and the TIOBE index.
Java is one of the most versatile programming languages and can never go out of style for many years to come. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) gives it the cross-platform compatibility that makes it usable over billions of devices around the world. Once you learn Java, you can find jobs as a backend developer, Embedded Systems Engineer, DevOps engineer or an Android Developer. A senior-level Java developer can earn as much as $115,000 a year.
- Versatile and compatible on all Operating Systems
- Can be used to build android apps, desktop applications and web applications
- High Salary
- Can be a little verbose
- Easy to learn
- Is the backbone of a number of frameworks for web-development, like Angular, React, etc.
- Speedy to execute client-side code
- It is basically a client-side scripting language, cannot be treated as a complete programming language
Being a widely growing general-purpose language, Python is used by the biggies like NASA and Google. It’s being used to code web applications, desktop apps, network servers and many more. The code is neat and readable. As such, it is ideal for beginners to coding. At the same time, you can use it to code for more complex tasks like data analysis and machine learning. In fact, it has been unanimously hailed as one of the best languages for machine learning, thanks to some of its frameworks like Sci-kit learn and Pandas. The demand for Data Scientists and Machine Learning Developers continues to be on the rise and so does the demand for Python developers. A senior-level Python developer earns more than $100,000 per year.
- Ideal for both beginners and advanced programmers
- Can be used to code web applications, desktop apps, network servers and many more
- It is great for machine learning
- Not a great language for mobile app development
With WordPress being widely used for building quick and elegant websites, PHP has become another sought after language, since you can easily embed PHP code within WordPress templates. It has provided the backend for the likes Facebook, Wikipedia and Yahoo. It also provides frameworks like Laravel and Drupal, that help build scalable and secure websites. So, it’s a good idea to learn PHP as there will always be a need for PHP developers in the coming years. A PHP developer can earn over $75,000 on average in a year.
- Works well with databases, file systems, images, etc.
- Helps code secure applications
- Ideal for server-side scripting
- Limited scalability
C and C++ are two of the oldest programming languages and have sustained to date as two of the best programming languages to learn. The languages are quite low-level and have quite a steep learning curve. But once you’ve mastered either one of these, you will achieve a deeper understanding of how languages work. And learning other languages will be a lot easier after that. Since these two languages help you get very close to the computer hardware, they remain popular for building games, virtual reality applications, and especially for programming embedded systems. They also form the basis for other popular languages like C# and Objective C. Owing to their versatility, these two languages promise to stand the test of time and will always be in demand for a variety of sectors including Banks, Retail and Finance. A C++ developer can earn more than $80,000 a year.
- Highly efficient
- Provides a deeper understanding of how programming languages work
- Low-level language so has a fairly steep learning curve
To sum it up
Like and share the article if it has helped you to decide on which direction to take to kickstart or continue a great career as a programmer. Till next time!