Decoding Programming Languages

Lots of people are learning to code independently, but with so many programming languages available, it’s difficult to know where to start.

Aspiring coders must choose between dynamically-typed languages like Javascript, Ruby, Python and PHP, which are more flexible, and statically-typed languages like Java, C, Objective-C/Swift, C++, C#, and SQL, which are generally considered “more scalable, stable, and maintainable” according to Code Mentor. This infographic gives a useful overview of the most popular languages.

What Code Should You Learn? - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog


Code Mentor identified the highest earning coding languages. Objective C topped the list, followed by Java, Ruby, Python, and C++. Next were C, Javascript, C#, and SQL, with PHP coming in with the lowest salaries overall. There was a USD16,000 gap between the highest and lowest average salaries. However, notably, languages like Python and C++ have much higher starting salaries, even though their earning potential is slightly lower than with C and Java.

Overall, Java, Javascript and SQL were most in-demand, though for startups this list changes slightly to Javascript, Python, and Ruby.

Ultimately, it depends on your goals as a coder which languages you learn, although it seems that to be employable you should know at least two well. According to Laurance Bradford of and Code Mentor, front-end web developers definitely need to know HTML, CSS and Javascript, while data science requires Python. Working in SQL is a safe choice for fairly easily finding employment.

Some jobs do prefer “full stack” developers, meaning those that understand servers, networks and hosting; data modeling;

Craig Buckler, a freelance web consultant, alongside comments on articles from sites like lifehacker, advise learners to pick a project they’re passionate about and simply learn whatever language best suits this particular endeavor. This hands-on approach maintains motivation and helps solidify coding concepts, while helping the student build his/her portfolio.

At a recent Code Bar event, a Not on the High Street employee mentioned that, in the end, it doesn’t really matter specifically which language you learn. Programming languages are constantly changing and it’s more important to learn how to think in the appropriate analytical way so you can easily learn new languages. The event organizer added that, right now, AngularJS is particularly popular, but the upcoming new edition is rumored to be so different from the previous version that users will practically have to learn it from scratch anyway.

In the end, it’s more important to pick a language you like and can stick to learning, than to choose the trendiest coding language. It’s the constant learning that attracts so many to coding that students should embrace in their learning journeys.

Source: Laurence Bradford, Learn to Code with Me; Yi-Jirr Chen, Code Mentor; Tori Reid, lifehacker; Craig Buckler, Sitepoint;