Six in-demand programming languages: Getting started (free PDF)

Given the vast number of programming languages in use today, determining what to focus on can be a challenge. This guide, based on the top technologies listed in StackOverflow’s 2018 Developer Survey and RedMonk’s Programming Rankings, offers a concise look at six languages that are currently popular.

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Determining which programming language will best meet your needs can be daunting for new developers. To shed light on this question, developer hubs such as Stack Overflow and GitHub release data on the most popular languages on their platforms. Below are the programming languages that have topped the biggest developer surveys and roundups in 2018. Here’s what you need to know about each language, the jobs that require them and how to begin learning them.

1. JavaScript
What is it used for? While JavaScript originated as a web-scripting language, today it is used on everything from node.js backend servers to internet of things devices via Node-RED. That said, most jobs asking for JavaScript are web-related.
Historically, JavaScript had a chequered reputation, due to unpredictable behavior and its idiosyncratic approach. However, more recent releases of the language have addressed some of these concerns, and derivatives such as TypeScript allow developers to build larger and more complex programs.

Typical jobs: Web developer, full-stack developer, front-end developer

Tutorial for getting started: The official Mozilla tutorial

Alternate language: There are numerous JavaScript spinoff languages, although use of TypeScript is growing fast and with a bit of effort can be used in place of JavaScript.

Online communities: Stack Overflow and the Learn JavaScript and JavaScript subreddits

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