Starting out in software development can be super confusing without having a proper guide that helps you choose where to start from and which languages are suitable for you depending on what your goal is by learning the skill.
With a plethora of languages to choose from, you might as well lose direction and stop before you even make your first application. The list below is fabricated keeping in mind some very important factors in the sphere of software development like demand, use-cases, and popularity. And it contains various uses which include mobile app development, game development, web development, and desktop application development.
Python sits at the crest as one of the most user-friendly languages ever. It has a very understandable syntax which is clear and intuitive. Being an open-source language, Python covers various applications making it very versatile and powerful than most other languages.
The Django framework, which is an open-source framework for back-end web development is written in Python. Django was used in the development of Instagram, Mozilla, and Spotify platforms. Other popular frameworks include Flask and Pyramid.
Packages like NumPy and SciPy are used for computing, mathematics, and engineering purposes. Python libraries like OpenCV, Scikit-learn, and TensorFlow are used to build programs in facial recognition, image processing, computer vision, and machine learning as a whole.
Java has been a programming language that has been known to people even if they aren’t familiar with programming. Very large organizations still work on Java as it is a stable, cross-platform and high-performance language. The applications of Java are vast as it is used in android applications, e-commerce stores, financial applications, game development, etc.
Google has used Java to create the android development framework of Android Studio. Spring Boot is a popular framework of Java that has gained popularity over recent years. It is also in high demand due to the portability and scalability across various platforms. It is backward compatible, has the best security features, and also strong memory management.
Kotlin is a Google supported cross-platform language dedicated to operate between Java and run on the Java Virtual Machine or JVM. Lately, Kotlin has become one of the most liked programming languages according to the Stack Overflow Survey. One of the critical factors of Kotlin’s sudden rise is the compatibility of the language with Android Studio. In 2017 Google announced Kotlin as the official Android Development language.
You can find Kotlin works with all Java libraries and frameworks allowing it to run competently with Java. Kotlin has better code readability and gives a better programming experience overall. According to GitHub stats, the number of Kotlin contributors to projects on the platform has doubled over the last year which makes it the fastest-growing programming language. Some companies that use Kotlin are Pinterest, Basecamp, Uber & Foursquare.
Ruby is a programming language that originated in Japan made for making coding fun. The popularity shift of Ruby was with the rise of Ruby on Rails, a framework for full-stack web application development. One of the very few disadvantages of Ruby is that it is a dynamically typed language and it is not easily maintainable. Due to it’s vast flexibility, it is also slow-paced and also became one of the sought after skills in the development ecosphere.
It is a language that allows the developer to do more with a few lines of code. Many of the Silicon Valley startups have used Ruby, for example, Twitch, Airbnb, and GitHub. Some of the open-source projects that use Ruby include Metasploit Framework, Discourse & Homebrew.
Being on the latest entries in the list of programming languages, Golang is a simple, secure, open-source programming language that combines both functionality and object-oriented programming. It has a wide range of inbuilt tools for development.
Go is versatile, being beginner-friendly and powerful at the same time. It is a simple language similar to Python. Some of the popular frameworks of Golang include Martini, Gin, Beego, and Revel. The use cases of Golang include Big Data, Cloud Computing, and other large scale applications.
It has been optimized for the best performance and efficiency by Google. Efficient concurrency handling, multithreading are some of the important features of Golang and it is used by companies that are heavily dependent on distributed systems.
Some of the popular projects created by Golang are Docker, Ethereum, Hugo, and Kubernetes. Large companies like Jabong, Twitter, Razorpay, and Dropbox use Golang.
C++ is the root of other programming languages like Java and C#. It has a structured approach and is a powerful programming language. Both C & C++ are considered to be high performance-based and are used for projects which prioritize performance capabilities.
Various applications of C++ include computer graphics, game development, mobile apps, and performance-intensive programs. Some of the generic libraries and frameworks of C++ include GTK++, Qt, Wx-Widgets, etc. Like Java, C++ is continuously updating and adapting itself with changes to the technology ecosystem. C++ is one of the few programming languages that give full access to the hardware of a device it is running on, for example, the GPU, Cloud, Mobile Devices, Microcontrollers, etc.
Adobe Photoshop, MySQL, and Google Chromium are some of the applications that use C++. Big companies like Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, and Google make the best use of C++ for creating their products. Microsoft Windows, Chrome are two of the most popular projects made using C++.
Swift is the programming language created by Apple to create iOS applications. As the use of iOS applications is huge, Swift has a major impact throughout the past several years. Even though there is a rise of Flutter & React Native which can be used to make iOS applications, Swift holds the ground with its exclusive features. Some important features like payments can only be developed using the Swift programming language.
Swift has various use cases like iOS application development, TvOS development, macOS development, and the whole Apple ecosystem. It needs lesser code which enables existing programmers from other languages like Java, Python, and C# to migrate to Swift conveniently. Other features of Swift include dynamic libraries, lesser application sizes, and better syntax readability.
Two of the most popular frameworks of Swift include Cocoa Touch and Cocoa which are based on app development. Swift is used in different iOS apps like SoundCloud, WordPress, and Mozilla Firefox.
Scala as the name suggests is a language aimed at achieving scalability. It was one of the attempts to rewrite Java while reducing its drawbacks. Some of the advanced features that Scala includes are pattern matching, string comparison advancements, and mixins.
Scala can be used in web application development, mobile app/game development, or software development as it is a versatile language. Big companies like Linkedin, Apple, and The Guardian use Scala in their code.
Rust is a multi-paradigm programming language that is statically-typed. It is mainly focused on achieving safety and performance. It was introduced to solve the issues that programmers had with C and C++ like memory errors and creating concurrent tasks. Rust has many advantages like easy concurrency and no-cost abstractions.
Packed with cross-platform command-line tools, Rust allows developers to use it for distributed services, embedded devices, and systems programming. It is a much modern and better-designed language than other existing programming languages.
Companies that use Rust include Sentry, Dropbox, Qiwi, and Mozilla. Rust has one of the best memory safety features and the language reduces many vulnerabilities.
Even though there are various ups and downs of each programming language, it is up to you to actually decide on which programming language is suitable for you. It is a matter of convenience and what you are aiming for. This will give you an idea of what language you are comfortable building projects with. Have a good time coding!
Monica Ross is a content writer and manager at Devathon – One of the leading web and app development company. She writes mainly on web development, mobile app development, AI, and technologies around them.