One question that every beginner developer faces is where to start? Because the options are almost endless, so how can a person decide on one and say this one is the most suitable for me, my interests and career goals.
Well, there’s no one right answer to this question, but there is also no shortage of best programming languages lists ranking languages according to different criteria.
In the article, I’ll do my own ranking of the top programming languages of 2019 by referring to the following lists:
- The State of the OCTOVERSE (an annual report released by GitHub)
- The Top Programming Languages 2019 list (released by IEEE Spectrum)
- Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019
So, let’s dive in…
At number one in the IEEE Spectrum’s list & Stack Overflow’s most wanted languages, and at number two in the State of the OCTOVERSE, Python is widely accepted as the best programming language to learn first, because its fast, have a clear, intuitive syntax, and is easy-to-deploy.
Furthermore, it provides excellent library support and has a large developer community, and even conferences and meetups dedicated to it. Referred to as the “fastest-growing major programming language” by Stack Overflow, Python provides excellent starting point for beginners.
Enterprise workhorse and until recently Android favorite, Java is at number two in the IEEE Spectrum’s list, at number nine in the Stack Overflow’s most wanted languages, and at number three in the State of the OCTOVERSE.
Developed in 1995, Java can be used to create mobile & web apps, games, and database-driven software. It is 99% object-oriented, robust, highly cross-platform compatible or platform independent, have a syntax that is clear, intuitive and almost similar to the English language and is very similar to C++ and C#, thus allowing developers to easily switch between the languages.
Moreover, it’s known to be extremely stable, hence why open source language is widely used for building enterprise-scale web applications. Companies like Twitter and eBay are using it. So, if you are looking for a development based job at a large enterprise, Java is the language that you should learn.
An extension to the C language, C++ is at number four in the IEEE Spectrum’s list, at number seven in the Stack Overflow’s most wanted languages, and at number six in the State of the OCTOVERSE.
C++ was developed at Bell labs in 1979. Bjarne Stroustrup created it while he was working on his PhD thesis, as a way to add additional features to C. Decades later it’s still widely used, as it’s the core language in many OSs, browsers, and games.
Furthermore, due to its speed and stability it is the most popular language of choice for competitive programmers across the globe. It also provides Standard Template Library (a pool of ready-to-use libraries for numerous data structures, arithmetic operations, and algorithms). Its library support and speed make C++ a popular choice in the HFT (High-frequency trading) community as well.
It’s at number seven in the IEEE Spectrum’s list, at number ten in the Stack Overflow’s most loved languages, and at number five in the State of the OCTOVERSE.
C#, pronounced “C-sharp,” is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language developed by Microsoft in a team led by Anders Hejlsberg. Similar to Java, it is widely used for backend programming, building games (using Unity), developing mobile apps and lots of other use cases.
C# has a variety of features which makes it easier to learn for the beginners. The code is consistent, and logical as compared to C++.
It’s also supported by Visual Studio Code (Microsoft’s free code editor), which is the top open source project on GitHub.
Positioned at number ten in the IEEE Spectrum’s list and at number three in the Stack Overflow’s most wanted languages, Go aka Golang is a statically typed, compiled programming language designed at Google that provides you high performance like C/C++, super efficient concurrency handling like Java and fun to code like Python/Perl.
Despite the above similarities, this free and open source programming language is still very different from other object-oriented languages. Following are some of the special features of Go:
- It is a statically typed compiled programming language (as mentioned above).
- Go supports built in concurrency model with the help of GoRoutines.
- It has built in memory safety and garbage collector.
- Strings in this language are UTF-8 encoded by default.
- When compared to other compiled programming languages, Go has simpler syntax.