The two most hated programming languages among developers

Coding is intrinsic to the job of a developer, but find out what they really think about some of the most common programming languages.

The top programming languages of 2019: Python is number one, say engineers
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As more organizations turn to data analytics for optimizing operations, developer demand only heightens. Working with programming languages is embedded in the job, with Python, Java, and JavaScript being some of the most widely used. 

SEE: Programming languages: Which was most popular each year? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

While those languages might be popular among organizations, that does not mean they are the most loved by programmers themselves. Java and JavaScript were actually two of the least favored languages, according to professional developers. 

"This may be an unpopular opinion due to JavaScript's immense popularity, but it's often quite a mess to work with in reality," said Jack Mannino, CEO of nVisium, an application security provider.  

"By design, JavaScript encourages anti-patterns such as the use of global variables and JavaScript's type coercion approach often baffles developers when the results are unexpected," Mannino said. 

As for Java, "the code is unsustainable; it becomes quickly convoluted and hard to maintain," according to Thomas Hatch, CTO and co-founder of SaltStack, an intelligent IT automation software provider. "The irony is that it was designed with the goal of making it easy to maintain with large teams." 

Every programming language has its own purpose, and oftentimes the language usage depends on the context of what the developer is programming, said Katie Levy, a senior software engineer at Intuit. 

"It all depends on what you need to do," said Will Goode, lead instructor at Coding Dojo. "If I wanted to write more performance-optimized applications to run on an OS, I'd appreciate a lot of what C++ gives me. If I wanted to write an OS kernel, I'd appreciate what I can do with C. And if I wanted to write code that needed to access special instruction sets of my hardware, Assembly would be great."

However, there are common qualities that make one language better to work with than another. 

Qualities of a good programming language 

"An ideal programming language has straightforward syntax, a strong set of core libraries, and doesn't bury you in unnecessary complexity," Mannino said. 

"A good language provides you with enough flexibility to solve problems in different ways, but also provides you with easily implemented features in the event you want to default to the language's opinionated implementation," he added. 

At its core, a solid programming language is one that is easy to work with. 

"Why do I really dislike Java? Because I am not very good at it. Very few languages are fundamentally good or bad, the creation of a programming language is so complex that you quickly need to start to make compromises," Hatch noted. 

"The best quality of a language is that it is understandable, that the developer knows it, and the developer can easily communicate to another developer how the program is constructed,"  Hatch said. 

Python was the clear crowd favorite amongst most of these developers. 

"The best language is usable, consistent ,and transferable to other developers; simplicity wins! The whole point of a programming language is to get the most out of the computer and the developer. If it can do this, then it is a good language," Hatch said. 

"This is why I like Python so much--it is easy to develop with; and, few Python developers write code that is difficult to pass on to another developer," he added. 

For more, check out Developers: 7 free guides on popular programming languages on TechRepublic. 

This article was updated on March 31, 2020.

Also see 

How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Implementing DevOps: A guide for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Telephone interview cheat sheet: Software developer (TechRepublic Premium)
Programming languages: Developers reveal most loved, most loathed, what pays best (ZDNet)
It takes work to keep your data private online. These apps can help (CNET)
Programming languages and developer career resources (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

Programming language concept. System engineering. Software development.

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