One of the challenges for people pursuing a career in programming is deciding which languages to learn. With so many languages used for different purposes, choosing the ones you want to study will depend on the specialty that most interests you as well as on job demand. A report released on Tuesday by programming course site CodingNomads looks at the "best" programming languages for 2022.
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If you're excited by the data and logic side of coding, you may wish to learn Python, Java, C, C++ or C#. If you're jazzed about visual design and user interfaces, TypeScript might be up your alley. And if you're looking to develop mobile apps, you'd want to check out Java for Android, and Swift or Objective-C for Apple's iOS.
Aside from satisfying your own professional interests, you naturally want to select a language that's in demand among employers and promises a good salary. In this regard, CodingNomads examined the most popular languages based on job postings and on salary.
As a general purpose, server-side language, Python is used for a variety of tasks from simple scripting to advanced web applications and artificial intelligence. For developers interested in data science or machine learning as well as overall software development and web development, Python is the best language to learn, according to CodingNomads.
"While Python has been around for decades, the demand for Python skills in 2022 will continue growing exponentially thanks to its use in the booming industries of data science, machine learning and AI," said Ryan Desmond, co-founder and lead instructor at CodingNomads. "In addition, Python is considered one of the easiest, most powerful, and most versatile languages to learn, making it popular amongst companies, developers, and aspiring developers."
A respected and time-tested language, Java is widely used by organizations around the world. Java is the main language behind Android, which owns an 85% share of the mobile market. It's also the most popular language for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Java is considered harder to learn than Python but easier than C or C++, according to CodingNomads. The main reason is that Java improved on C, and Python improved on Java. On the plus side, once you master Java, learning something like Python will be much easier. Anyone who wants to pursue a career as a general software engineer or mobile developer and doesn't mind the challenge would do well to study Java.
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One popular language described in the report is SQL. Not listed among the top 10, as it's more a querying language than a programming language, SQL boasted more job postings than all the other languages on the list in both the U.S. and Europe. No matter what programming language you use, you'll typically use SQL to talk to databases. Therefore, learning this language is a good idea for most software developers.
Whichever languages you choose to study and pursue, CodingNomads offers an especially useful piece of advice.
"While several of the languages on this list would be great programming languages to learn, one of the most important and impactful things you can do while learning to code is to learn one language really well before attempting to learn another," CodingNomads said. "If you try to split your time learning multiple languages at once, it will take you a very long time to get proficient at any of them. Whereas if you focus and get really good at one language, it will be easier to pick up additional languages in the future."
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