With all the popular programming languages and frameworks available, some aspiring developers may not know where to start. Which languages are popular? Which one can get me a job? Which will still be around in 10 years?
No language is perfect for every task; some work better for mobile, others for front-end web development. To determine the most popular languages currently, we'll use the TIOBE Index, a monthly ranking of programming language popularity. With the TIOBE ranking, we can determine which languages are consistently popular with developers and employers. Our ranking does not follow TIOBE's to the letter, mainly because ours accounts for both the ease of learning the and most popular uses for each language. Rest assured, every language listed here is a popular, consistent choice for developing websites and web-based applications.
Start with a language, learn its basics, then move on to a framework or library. Learning a framework first seems easier in the short term, but your abilities and productivity will ultimately suffer if you don't understand the logic underlying your framework's language. Learn the language first, then you can pick and choose frameworks according to your needs.
Java has been a consistently popular choice for decades, and continues to hold the top spot many years after its initial release. Java has seen a resurgence amongst aspiring developers because it's the basis for Android mobile development, offering a new and exciting use for this classic language. As the rankings show, Java has been around for a while, so isn't going away anytime soon. You can rest assured that Java will continue its reign, particularly as more and more of the Internet moves towards mobile interaction.Suggested Reading: Java: A Beginner's Guide, Seventh Edition
Languages to avoid:
C or C++
C and its variants,
notably C++, have been popular for much longer than any of the other
languages on this list, and continually rank in the top 3 on popularity lists.
So why are we telling you not to learn these? They're too high level for a
beginner, and have a much more difficult learning curve. Many of the other
languages featured are kinder to the inexperienced developer, and will forgive
mistakes and errors. C is known for being much less forgiving, and one
misplaced code can break entire programs, with no indication of where the error
Nobody is saying you cannot learn C first, it's just much harder. Concentrate on a beginner language, like the ones listed above, and moving to advanced languages like C will be be much easier.
Apple's C variant is called Objective-C, and formerly powered all native Apple apps. Objective-C was a C variant, and added Object-Oriented Programming features to the C language in a manner similar to C++. This language had many flaws, but was used by Apple 30 years until June 2014. Since then, the standard for Apple native development has been Swift, a language designed to overcome many of the shortcomings of Objective-C. Anyone interested in iOS development (mobile or desktop) will want to start with Swift. Swift is also said to be more friendly to beginning developers.
Much like Apple, Microsoft has also changed languages in recent years. Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Microsoft native apps were programmed in Visual Basic, a variant of BASIC. In 2008, Microsoft unveiled C# (pronounced "C sharp"), yet another variant of C. C# is frequently used with the .NET framework to create native applications. While this is the new standard for Microsoft, C# suffers from many of the same shortcomings as other C variants: it's a difficult language for beginners. Developers who want to work with Microsoft technology should not be scared off altogether, but should consider learning the basics from another language before attempting C#.
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