It’s hard to overstate the importance language plays in our lives. Whether verbal or non-verbal, language is how we convey not only our basic needs for survival but also our complex thoughts and ideas.
Coding languages are no different. It may be through the medium of computers, but these languages are used for the exact same reason. Code is a developer’s way of logically breaking down a thought or an idea and rebuilding it in a language that enables them to clearly communicate it to others.
In a 1995 interview Steve Jobs described coding language as a mirror to his thought process and said “everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.”
The UK Government certainly agreed with Jobs’ assessment that everyone should learn how to code. In 2014 England became the first country in the world to mandate teaching coding to children at primary and secondary schools. Every student from 5 to 16 years of age now learns how computers work and the basics of programming.
So, whether you are a coder looking to add another string to your development bow or you’re looking to break into web development, learning a new coding language is always going to be a valuable investment of your time.
Which coding language should I learn?
With approximately 700 different coding languages in existence it can be difficult to know which ones you should learn. After all, each language is designed for a slightly different purpose and some seem to be more popular than others.
But, just like in high school, popularity doesn’t always last. So, if you want to stay on the cutting edge of the programming industry it’s important to keep track of what the most popular programming languages are.
And, it just so happens we’ve put together a list of the 5 most popular coding languages to learn in 2020.
Front-end web development
It’s not surprising it’s so popular, as it plays a major role in front-end development, is compatible with all major browsers and can even be used server-side through Node.js. What’s not to like, huh?
Elm gives developers benefits that you can only get from a functional language, like no runtime errors, reliable refactoring and automatically enforced semantic versioning. With this language you can build user interfaces and add features quickly and refactor thousands of lines without the background anxiety that you missed something important.
According to Czaplick, it is quite common for Elm programmers to say they never felt so confident while programming.
Released by Guido van Rossum in 1991, Python was designed with an emphasis on code readability. It uses clear and
expressive syntax, making it easier to learn than some of the other coding languages.
Some call Python the Swiss Army knife of coding because it allows you to do so many things. It’s a versatile and powerful language that lends itself well to scientific computing, machine learning, and engineering. Hence its use by Nasa and Google.
Another great thing about Python is that due to the age of the language there are well established support pages and forums out there filled with experienced coders who can help you get to grips with anything you get stuck on.
Created in the last decade by tech giant Google, Go has seen an increase in popularity in the last few years and was even voted the 13th most popular programming language in Stack Overflow’s, 2019 Developer Survey. On the face of it, this may not seem impressive, but remember that there are around 700 languages so it is a great achievement.
Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable and efficient software. Simplicity was key for Google when creating this language. With thousands of developers working on their very large code base, they needed a language that could be easily understood by other developers and easy to modify and maintain.
It’s a great language to learn for building web servers, data pipelines, and even machine-learning packages.
This is definitely one to have on your ‘to learn’ list.
If you are interested in developing Apple iOS or MAC OS apps, Swift is the coding language for you.
When you consider that 90% of mobile time is spent on apps it’s perhaps not surprising that Swift has been growing in popularity since its inception in 2014. It is a language that was designed to be beginner friendly, easy to understand and fun to learn.
Another great thing about Swift is that it is a statically typed language which means that it’s easy to maintain your code and much faster than other dynamically typed languages like PHP or Ruby.
All in all, a great language to learn for anyone wanting to enter the world of mobile app development.
Ready, set… code
Learning a new coding language will help you stay on the cutting edge of your industry and advance your career. Afterall, in order to be in-demand, you have to learn in-demand languages.