Best programming languages to learn
January 10, 2020

Software Development

How to Choose the Best Programming Language to Learn in 2020

By Pavel Kukhnavets

Beginning your path into the coding world, you have to answer the question of the best programming language to learn. This choice should be based on your specific interests, knowledge, skills and the type of software development you want to get into. 

What is the best programming language in 2020? What is the easiest programming language to learn? What are the current trends in this area? Finally, how to make the right choice if you are looking for the best option for your specific needs. To understand this, we have combined the most popular programming languages that are worth your attention. 

The very brief review of popular programming languages may look like this: 

  • JavaScript looks appropriate for front-end web development.
  • Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript or Ruby are good for back-end web development.
  • Swift, Java, and C# are typically chosen for mobile development.
  • C++ and C# seem great for game development.
  • Java, C++, and Python will help you in creating desktop applications.
  • C and Rust are the choices of those who work with systems programming.

However, let’s dwell on each position separately and in more detail.

Programming languages. Cuspy review

Best Programming Language to Learn for Different Jobs

JavaScript

Yes, it is worth starting with this programming language, as there is probably no software developer nowadays who has not used JavaScript in some way. 

Many researchers confirm that JavaScript is the most popular language among software developers all over the world. One of the studies, Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey reports that last year, above 70% of respondents said that they had used it.

JavaScript is widely used for front-end web development needs. Developers of most of the popular sites, (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, etc.) trust JavaScript and create interactive web pages and display their content to users. You may also use additional libraries and frameworks aimed to make JavaScript development more convenient. 

JS is primarily a front-end language run on the browser; however, you may use it on the server-side via Node.js to create scalable network applications. Developers consider JavaScript as one of the friendliest programming languages for beginners as it provides a flexible syntax and works across all major browsers.

Java

Java is a general-purpose programming language that has been known for more than 20 years. “Write once, run anywhere” is the philosophy of the language which has been ensured its popularity.

Java looks really compatible because you may simply write Java software on any device, compile it into low-level code, and execute on any platform equipped with a JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

By the way, Java is the most common language for developing Android apps, as it is the official basis for the Android operating system. It is also favored by various enterprises that use Java for creating apps and back end systems. People also admit the versatility and ubiquity of Java, that’s why it is commonly used by beginners.

Swift

Swift is a relatively new language that was first announced by Apple in 2014. It is a good place to start for everyone who is addicted to Apple products and mobile app development.

Despite youth, the popularity of this programming language is growing rapidly. Now it is ranked as the 13th most popular language by the pull request (State of the Octoverse report).

Swift looks good for creating powerful native iOS, macOS and Linux applications. It looks faster, easier to debug and more streamlined than its predecessor Objective-C. Being built from the ground to match the modern iOS development environment, Swift has been successfully optimized for this aim.

Python

Many software engineers consider Python the most user-friendly programming language of any on this list. The syntax of Python is quite clear and intuitive. It contains a variety of apps that make it a versatile and powerful solution when choosing the best programming language. 

For example, the Django framework that is written in Python is easy to use and feature-rich which makes it appropriate for people interested in back-end web development.

We can find successful examples of applying Django on such sites as Spotify, Instagram or Mozilla. Besides, Python offers other outstanding packages such as NumPy and SciPy. They are used in scientific computing, engineering, and mathematics. All this makes Python a great choice for the academically inclined individuals.

PHP

PHP is also known as solid programming language among web developers. 83% of websites are powered by this server-side scripting language. For example, it was used as a back-end tool for such websites as Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Facebook. 

Developers also choose PHP for the role it plays in the WordPress content management system. It helps to make development accessible to everyone.

You may use PHP for different objectives, including creating cookies, collecting and verifying form data, and displaying dynamic content. The language proposes handy frameworks (Laravel and Drupal) that help programmers to create applications faster and make them more scalable and secure.

In general, this practical language will suit you if you want to perform as a freelance web developer.

C/C++

Another popular option is C. It is considered to be the old-school programming language, however, it is still alive. C remains popular for building specialized high-performance apps because it allows getting so close to the computer’s inner workings.

The language was introduced in the 1970s. Despite the steep learning curve, it has a confident influence on the computer programming landscape. You may find dozens of programming languages that have been derived from C or heavily influenced by its syntax and paradigms. This language is also known as the basis for the Linux operating system.

C++ is one of the most successful direct successors of C programming language. There are many of the same advantages as C has, but C++ is an object-oriented language so it looks like the better option when developing higher-level apps.

C#

C# (C Sharp) is an object-oriented language for general purposes built on the foundations of C. The language was designed by Microsoft for building the apps as part of its .NET framework.

Choosing C#, you’ll get a syntax similar to other C-related languages (as C++). That’s why it will be quite easy to pick up if you’re coming from another language in the C group. 

Mobile developers widely prefer C# for building cross-platform applications on the Xamarin platform. Learning C# also looks suitable if you are interested in VR development. The language is recommended for creating 3D and 2D video games.

Ruby

Ruby is used as the basis for the popular Ruby on Rails web application framework.

This scripting language looks quite friendly, intuitive and helpful for user communities, that is why it often used by the beginners. Ruby is known for its straightforward syntax and direst association with such global businesses as Shopify, Bloomberg, Twitter, and Airbnb.

Rust

Rust stands a little apart on the list of the programming languages but it does not mean it’s not a beneficial language to learn. Actually, Rust was really popular in 2019 and 83.5% of Rust developers said in one survey that they want to continue working with it.

Rust looks good primarily for low-level systems programming. It emphasizes writing “safe code” and prevents programs from accessing parts of memory that they shouldn’t (that can cause unexpected behavior).

Such famous companies as Dropbox and Coursera, are already starting to use Rust internally, understanding all its advantages and prospects.

Final words

Can you now define what programming language is better to learn? Trends and popularity contests are helpful, but deciding which programming language to learn, do not forget to dive deeper to understand what your company and you really need. 

Perhaps the best programming language to learn in 2020 for you is the same as it was a couple of years ago – it depends on many individual factors. Learning one of these languages, you’ll be in a profitable position not only for this year but in the years to come.

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