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The Roc Search Blog

The Definitive List of Today’s Most Popular Programming Languages

05 September 2017

Have you ever thought about how dependent we are on electronic devices? Our phone, our car, our bank, our job – nearly every aspect of our lives depend on them. In fact, we don’t depend on the actual device but on the computer code that makes it work. Having computer coding skills is becoming a key requirement for business people who work with data, marketers who create websites, engineers who build products or scientists who conduct research.


Research done by Glassdoor in 2016 shows that 8 of the top 25 jobs in the US are technology related. And six of these jobs require coding skills. In fact, programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average (Burning Glass).


So to future proof your software or your career, you must hone your coding skills on those programming languages that are in high demand. And to help you decide what programming language you should focus on, here is the definitive list of today’s most popular programming languages, as well as 5 new up and coming programming languages that are considered to be the “new kids on the block”.


Today’s most popular programming languages


  • HTML: HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the most basic building block of the Web. It describes and defines the content of a webpage. CSS is used to describe a webpage's appearance/presentation. HTML5 was published in October 2014 to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia.


  • JavaScript: JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language in the world. It can be illustrated by “if this, then that”. The latest version of JavaScript is launching in late 2017. It’s good to learn jQuery once you understand JavaScript. This is a library of different ‘plugins’ to add to your code which saves you time and makes it much easier for you to add a feature.


  • Java: Java is a general-purpose computer programming language that is specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere" meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation.


  • SQL: SQL (Structured Query Language) is a computer language aimed to store, manipulate, and query data stored in relational databases. According to ANSI (American National Standards Institute), it is the standard language for relational database management systems.


  • C#: C# (‘see-sharp’) is a widely-used programming language. It’s not only limited to Microsoft’s .NET Framework. It’s also used for iOS/Android Apps with the technology from Xamarin and Windows applications. Version 7.0 has been released in 2017 with many new features.


  • Python: Python is an object-orientated language that closely resembles the English language. This makes it a great language to learn for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. Example sites that use Python are Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and NASA. Python 3.6 was released in December 2016.


  • Ruby on Rails: Ruby is a programming language. Like Java or the C language, Ruby is a general-purpose programming language, though it is best known for its use in web programming. Rails is a software library that extends the Ruby programming language. Hence the name Ruby on Rails.


Up and coming programming languages


  • Elm: Elm is becoming popular within the JavaScript community, primarily among those who prefer functional programming. It is a domain-specific programming language for creating web browser-based graphical user interfaces. Elm is purely functional, and is developed with emphasis on usability, performance, and robustness.


  • Rust: Rust is a systems programming language meant to replace a lot of C and C++ development. The language was created at Mozilla, who is looking to give web developers that are forced to write low-level code a better option that's more performant than PHP, Ruby, Python, or JavaScript.


  • Kotlin: Kotlin is a programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine and also can be compiled to JavaScript source code. While the syntax is not compatible with Java, Kotlin is designed to interoperate with Java code and is reliant on Java code from the existing Java Class Library. At Google I/O 2017 it was declared as one of the official programming languages for developing Android applications along with Java and C++.


  • Crystal: Crystal is aimed at the Ruby community, with a syntax that is similar to Ruby's. As the already large number of Ruby-based start-ups continues to grow, Crystal could play a key role in helping take those applications' performance to the next level.


  • Elixir: Elixir is a functional, concurrent, general-purpose programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine. Elixir builds on top of Erlang and shares the same abstractions for building distributed, fault-tolerant applications. Elixir is used by companies such as Pinterest and Moz.


Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about initiatives to teach our kids to code? These are the programming languages they ultimately will be learning. And at ROC Search, these are the programming languages we are looking for when we interview Tech candidates. So if you want to future-proof your tech career, make sure you are experienced in one or more of these languages and are up to date with the latest releases and functionalities. And if you feel like changing the direction of your career, there are plenty of online sites where you can learn how to code. This may be the time for you to take that first step. Why wait?

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