The huge amount of choices in terms of languages, technologies and other such things can stress out any beginner. Fortunately, you can find an answer using one of the most comprehensive technology surveys: the Stack Overflow Insight. The 2020 edition is filled with all sorts interesting information but, especially for newcomers, the most important section is the one covering the most popular technologies and programming languages.
So, what are the most used programming languages? 🤔
Top 5 mixes web and desktop technologies
The last spot on the podium goes to SQL (Structured Query Language). This technology takes a backseat to other, full-fledged programming languages as it is used to communicate with databases. Implementations include Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL, and many others.
On the fourth position is a proper programming language, however, in the form of Python. It became popular for basic scripting and for its huge array of helpful libraries, but now it’s being used extensively in data analysis as well as machine learning.
Second half features more choices
In sixth place we find Bash/Shell/PowerShell. This trio of related languages allow users to interact with operating systems like Windows, Mac, or Linux through native instructions. If you want to create new folders or files, manipulate existing ones, or other types of operations, these are essential, since they do not rely on other things being installed.
Lucky number seven finds C#. The Microsoft-developed programming language is a favorite with companies relying on the ecosystem provided by the software giant. The fact that it is opening up more and more on other platforms, like Linux, is also boosting its popularity nowadays.
On the eighth spot is PHP. The language may have its fair share of critics but there are still many websites, including this one, that use platforms based on PHP, such as WordPress. Frameworks such as Laravel also make PHP pretty popular as they remove a lot of the language’s problems.
Finally, closing out the top 10 is C++. A popular choice among programmers that want to manage a system’s memory directly and get the fastest execution time out of their applications.
What to learn? 👨💻
To figure out what to language/technology you should learn, start with a basic question: do you want your work to be visible in a browser or on a computer?
Once you accumulate experience, you can then try out TypeScript, which is used by web frameworks like React. You can also go the more old school route and try out PHP alongside a framework like Laravel.
If you want to build an application that runs on a desktop, then you can easily use traditional programming languages like Python, Java, C#, or C++. You can even start out with small scripts using Bash that just do file-based operations.
Good to know no matter what
There are also some technologies that are good to know no matter what you decide on doing. The most important is SQL. Once your application goes beyond “Hello World” levels of complexity, you will need to store information and retrieve it. As such, a database and a method of communicating with it (through SQL) is essential.
There are many programming languages and technologies out there. Choosing can be hard, so try to go with the most popular ones, as shown above. While it’s true that you will have competition from others trying to apply to the same jobs for those languages, you will also be able to easily find tutorials, resources, and help.