Technology has refined our lives in unimaginable ways. From the biggest projects such as designing a multi-story complex to the smallest of features, such as recording an audio message, it depends on computer technology for its efficient fulfillment. The concept of computer programming began as a tentative new field in the nineties and has now grown into a multi-disciplinary domain that finds application in almost every industry. As our technologies grow refined, so do the sources responsible for bringing us these technologies. The programming world took its baby steps with the earliest programming languages, such as FORTRAN and Lisp, but now we have more than a dozen highly efficient and well-defined languages at our disposal, each with its own respective set of applications and advantages.
As the years go by, languages fall and rise in prominence, but what languages hold sway in 2022-23? We are here to answer that question. Compiled below is a well-researched and updated list of the best 15 programming languages you must learn to maintain an edge in 2022-23.
- Python: Conceived in the late 1980s by Guido Van Rossum at Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica, Python has grown in popularity rapidly in recent years, mostly due to its simple and easy-to-learn syntax. It is not only flexible but also an object-oriented open-source programming language that finds application in several domains such as android development, web development, data analysis, data visualization, and so on. Python programmers can expect many career opportunities such as Data Analysts, Machine Learning Engineers, Software Developers, etc.
- Java: Java is another well-known open-source, object-oriented programming language founded by James Gosling in 1995. It owns features such as optimum performance, efficient memory management, and strong security, which are responsible for its widespread use. Used for android as well as web development, embedded systems, and enterprise applications, its applications are unending. This language can open doors to many job opportunities such as DevOps Engineer, Solution Architect, Business Analyst, Software Developer, etc.
- C++: C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup of Bell Laboratories in the early 1980s and is an improved version of the C language. Several built-in libraries give us the fastest execution while writing code, making it the best choice in competitive coding. Finding applications in building operating systems, games, web browsers, embedded systems, compilers, and more, C++ is one of the most widely preferred languages to date. The career opportunities in this language include Software Developer, Programming Architect, Competitive Programmer, and so on.
- C: Founded by Denis Ritchie in the 1970s, C, also known as the predecessor of C++, is still a widely influential language. Often regarded as a good foundation for entering the world of programming, it employs lengthier code than other languages and thus helps build fundamental concepts. C, like C++, can be used to build games, web browsers, database management systems, etc. Experts in C can hope to become Game Programmers, Software Developers, Quality Analysts, and similar professionals.
- R: Designed by statisticians Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman, R first appeared in 1993. Procedural, object-oriented, reflective, and imperative, R is primarily used by data scientists and data analysts. Preferred when building financial models, this open-source language has effective data handling, cross-platform compatibility, and extensive storage facilities. The domain of R language offers an extensive list of opportunities such as Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Geo Statistician, Data Visualization Scientist, and so on.
- C#: A young addition to the programming world at nearly 20 years of age, C# was founded by Anders Hejlsberg and boasts extremely fast execution and compilation of code. It can be used to build web forums and windows applications and design virtual reality games, 3D games, and other such gaming modules in the gaming industry. Becoming a C# expert will open doors for you in the fields of Cloud Solution Architect, Application Developer, Senior Software Engineer, and so on.
- Golang: Go, short for Golang, has been introduced by Google, and it is a language rapidly growing in prominence. Statically compiled and typed open-source language has a powerful standard library and good concurrency and testing support. It can be used to build cloud-based or server-based applications, and can also be employed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. After mastering Golang, you can become a Backend Engineer, a Development Engineer, a Golang Developer, and so on.
- Ruby: Founded by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995, Ruby is an object-oriented scripting language similar to Python and PERL. It is used in frontend development, backend development, and data analysis. Open source and with an easy syntax, Ruby is used in automation, web scraping, static site generation, command-line tools, and data processing. Once you grasp this language, you can apply for jobs such as Senior Android Engineer, DevOps Consultant, Ruby Developer, etc.
- PHP: PHP was designed by Rasmus Lerdorf in the fall of 1994 and is known for its efficient database management, data encryption, and generation of dynamic page content. Used in backend development and to build data-heavy, dynamic apps, PHP is the building block behind eighty percent of websites. Although it has dropped in rank, it is still a functional and dependable language. By mastering PHP, one can become a PHP Developer, Backend Developer, Software Engineer, and so on.
- Swift: Found in 1973, Swift is a block-structured object-oriented programming language with concise and fast iterations and generics. Enhancing readability, dynamic libraries, and faster speed results in reduced application size and better performance. Used in domains such as the Internet of Things, Deep Learning, mobile development, and building Apple products, it is a general-purpose language with endless applications. Swift is used in the fields of iOS Developer, Continuous Developer, Mobile Developer, Swift Engineer, and so on.
- MATLAB: Short for Matrix Laboratory, MATLAB was founded by Cleve Moler and Jack Little and made its debut in 1984. It is a language that has many paradigms and provides a numerical computing platform. Used in data analysis, artificial intelligence, and numerical computing, it also lends assistance in image analysis, app building, scientific visualizations, and so on. Though harboring an expensive license, once mastered, you can use MATLAB to become a Quantitative Engineer, MATLAB Developer, Bootloader Developer, Software Engineer, Robotic Engineer, etc.
- Scala: A combination of object-oriented and functional programming, Scala was designed by Martin Odersky in 2004. A JVM-based language like Java, it finds applications in the fields of web development and android development. With features such as type inference, singleton object, and immutability, Scala can be used in data processing, distributed computing, and building strong statistic systems. By mastering Scala, one can hope to become a Scala Software Engineer, Data Engineer, Big Data Developer, and so on.
With this, this detailed and comprehensive list of the best 15 programming languages concludes. While languages rise and drop in popularity with time, it is essential to remember that each has its own set of pros and cons and applications. Hence, when pursuing a particular language, one should always keep their end goal in mind. For example, while Java is great for web development, if your end goal is to become a distinguished competitive coder, you may benefit more if you take up C++ instead, and vice versa. On the other hand, if you are new to coding and have no particular end goal in mind, it still poses little problem. The world is rapidly growing, and almost every language has a stable and profitable application in the industry. Choose what works best for you, give it your all, and you’ll see great results in no time.