There are many reasons to favour one programming language over another, and although posts like this can seem to make light of the subject, it can be a pretty important decision if you’re looking to choose a programming language to enhance your software development career prospects.
It’s always useful for developers to keep abreast of commercial requirements, be that through word of mouth, software development companies’ careers pages or by keeping an eye on IT recruitment boards. Although it’s tricky to predict exactly which languages employers will be looking for in the future, it does help to keep an eye on current trends to help try and predict future skills requirements.
Alternatively, you may be researching alternative languages purely for the love of learning. In this case it’s good to think about the type of work you really enjoy doing most, and which skills are likely to be most in demand in the type of projects that you’d be most excited to work on.
Whether you’re a complete beginner looking for high earning software development opportunities, currently developing and looking to future-proof your career or simply adding some new strings to your current coding bow, here are some suggestions.
Stack Overflow’s ‘Most Wanted’ language of 2017, used in thousands of global business systems including Google. Python is also a keystone of the complex computing and processing systems at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic.
Python’s simple and consistent syntax and large standard library makes it a logical choice for beginners and it’s becoming more popular, possibly because of the growth in demand for machine learning developers.
Released by Apple in 2014, Swift is the weapon of choice if iOS and macOS development is your bag. This powerful programming language is described by Apple as ‘easy to learn’, ‘interactive and fun’ and produces software that is ‘lightning fast’.
If you’re interested in exploring it further check out Swift Playgrounds for iPad for interactive lessons with minimal typing.
Preferred by experienced developers and designed with security in mind is Rust. Probably not one for absolute beginners, but this Mozilla sponsored winner of the ‘Most Loved’ language in Stack Overflow 2017 is rising in popularity and definitely one to watch in 2018.
Loved by startups for fast, scalable builds and considered so accessible that even complete beginners can be up and running with it in literally minutes, Ruby is loved by developers for ease of use and popular with clients who appreciate its speed. Businesses built on this framework prove testament to its reliability, with global names such as AirBnB and Bloomberg making use of it.
Not quite making the top ten lists yet but tipped to be seen more widely through 2018 as the need for data analysis and visualisation grows, R ‘is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics’. Currently in 11th place in the May 2018 TIOBE Programming Community Index.