Career Advice

4 Best Coding Languages to Learn

Paul Brown
15.03.2022 Published: 15.03.22, Modified: 15.03.2022 16:03:54

Choosing a career in technology is hard. From software development to the latest in hyper automation, tech trends are evolving everyday. The only way to stay in the game is to stay on top. Coding and programming languages are one of the areas where preferences change all the time. With so many languages to choose from – each with its unique strengths and weaknesses – it can be hard to decide which to learn.

Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of the 4 best programming languages to learn in 2022. We discuss how they’re used, and the pros and cons of each. We’ve even included an Easy to Difficulty rating scale and a Popularity scale to help you decide. You’re welcome!

4 Top Programming Languages to Learn

1. Python

What is Python?

Python is a general-purpose programming language with a wide range of capabilities including web and software development, automation, and data analysis. What sets Python apart from most other programming languages is that its syntax uses elements from natural English. This makes it easy to read and learn by both developers and non-developers.

Being a ‘general purpose’ programming language Python is super versatile with a range of capabilities that aren’t restricted to a specific problem. This makes Python one of the most popular programming languages among coders. Almost anyone can use it! So, why learn Python? Read on.

What is Python used for?

Python has had multi-domain applications. Netflix’s recommendation engine that shows you film, and TV suggestions based on your viewing history was made with Python. Fun fact: Netflix spends a cool $1 billion annually on this tech! Also, the software that powers self-driving cars was made with Python.

Here are some applications for Python:

Python is perhaps most commonly used in data science applications. This includes everything from data visualisation – like pie charts, bar graphs and 3D plots – to data analysis. Python also has libraries like TensorFlow and Keras which allow you to write codes for data analysis programmes more quickly and efficiently.  

Python can be used to automate a series of repetitive tasks like renaming files and sending scheduled emails or text messages. The process of writing code with Python to automate tasks is also known as scripting. You can use automation to scan large volumes of data to check for errors or duplicity. You can also automate the search and download of online content.

Python is also popularly used in web development. This includes the back-end functions of web development including URL routing, data transmission between servers and overall security. Common frameworks for web development within Python include Flask and Django. Software engineers, DevOps engineers and full stack developers are some roles that routinely use Python for web development.

Developers can use Python for automating the testing of new software. You can check for bugs and test new features more efficiently.

Pros and Cons of Python

Easy to use- simple syntax makes it ideal to read and understand by beginnersNot well suited for mobile computing
Versatile- can be used for multiple applicationsUnderdeveloped database access layers
Open sourceRun-time errors due to dynamically typed code
Growing archive of libraries and modulesUses large amounts of memory. Not suitable for memory optimisation

2. JavaScript

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language used to implement all the dynamic features of a web page. From 2D and 3D graphics to interactive elements and all other timely content that’s displayed on a web page – is likely implemented with JavaScript.

In the hierarchy of standard web technologies, JavaScript takes the third layer following HTML and CSS.  

What is JavaScript used for?

Developers use JavaScript to create dynamic on-page content that users can see and interact with. Before JavaScript web content was mostly static. Now when we click on a button and have a side panel come up, or any other animation or graphics, that’s done with JavaScript.

JavaScript is also routinely used in back-end development. This involves writing the code that runs on web servers. For example: when you open a page on a browser, it makes a call to the remote server. The code on the server side then analyses the page’s URL to find and serve the information requested by the user. JavaScript’s framework Node.js is very popular for back-end development.

JavaScript’s capabilities also extend to building 2D and 3D games that run on web browsers. You can now create complex games with advanced graphics and animation. What’s more: with JavaScript’s Phaser.js framework you can design powerful games right from your browser.

One of the benefits of learning to code is that coding forms the basis for all wider tech. Libraries like TensorFlow allow JavaScript developers to create AI and machine learning models. The predictive analysis capabilities of AI and machine learning can forecast future trends based on historical data. They can also segment data and images.

Pros and Cons of JavaScript

Ability to support all modern browsersJavaScript code is visible to everyone- causing security concerns
Compatible with most other languages and can be used for multiple applicationsDebugging is not as efficient as other C+ or C++ editors
Lots of available resources to support learning and mastering JavaScriptDifferent browsers interpret JavaScript differently. This makes it harder to write cross-browser code
Can build rich interfacesA single error can stop the rendering of a website’s entire JavaScript code

3. SQL

What is SQL?

SQL (pronounced Sequel) is a programming language that is used to communicate with relational databases. These are databases where data is stored in columns and rows that allow you to analyse data in relation to one another.

It would take very long to access large databases without SQL. SQL uses keywords known as SQL statements to easily access and edit relevant data. The main functionality of SQL is CRUD. This is an acronym for Create, Read, Update, Delete.

What is SQL used for?

SQL is commonly used for back-end updates and data processing on websites. Facebook routinely uses SQL for these purposes. Given its use in communicating with relational databases, SQL is used by most companies that need to store and access relational data. This includes social networking sites like Twitter, banking apps like Revolut and more.

SEO analysts usually work with large volumes of data to analyse web traffic. It’s more efficient to use a database instead of an Excel sheet to store this data. SQL can then facilitate accessing this data in a more time-efficient way.

Business Analysts also work with large volumes of data which they analyse and sequence to provide relevant business advice to companies. These databases require SQL for optimum accessibility.

A software engineer builds software for computers systems as well as apps. Most software engineers are versed in multiple programming languages and one of the popular ones is SQL. Given the nature of the job software engineers use SQL at some point or another to access relational databases.

Pros and Cons of SQL

Quick access to large volumes of dataComplex interface
User-friendly languageSome versions are expensive
Standardised language provides a uniform platform for all usersConstant need to update hard drive space as data volume grows
Portable – can be used on laptops, PCS independent of operating systemsDoesn’t grant full control over databases due to hidden business rules

4. C++

What is C++?

C++ is a general-purpose programming language. It is used to build large infrastructures that are run on limited space and energy resources. C++ can directly make changes on the machine that it is run on.

This allows developers to edit and perfect their codes to run smoothly in all environments. This is regardless of hard drive storage or the power supply to run the application. For these reasons C++ is one of the top programming languages chosen by developers.

What is C++ used for?

C++ is used in all major operating systems including MacOS and mobile operating systems like iOS. Operating systems should be fast and capable of managing system resources. C++ allows developers to edit their codes to make even the minutest elements of an OS more time efficient.

C++ is used to build major databases like MySQL that are popularly used by applications like Netflix and YouTube.

C++ is used to build back-end code for popular web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Back-end code as we know involves getting data from remote servers and displaying the relevant content on the web pages. C++ facilitates the speedy transmission of this data.

Google’s search engine uses C++ to make sure search results are displayed in minimal time. It also uses C++ to power its AI and machine learning algorithms to ensure you get the most relevant results.

Pros and Cons of C++

Portability – can be run on different platformsComplex to learn
Allows low-level manipulation of dataDoesn’t support built-in code threads – can make the process slower
High scalabilityNo garbage collector to filter out unwanted data
Offers large community support for learningLow flexibility – C++ is very rigid about syntax so minor fault shows multiple errors

To know more about coding and how to kickstart your career in tech, check out FDM’s software development programme today.