Clockwise from top left: C, JavaScript, Elixir, Pharo, Golang, Java, Python

Seven Programming Languages That Every Beginner Should Consider


Here’s a bird’s eye view of several important programming languages that every beginner should be aware of…

Number One: Java

Why? Because of the JVM and Android. The Java Virtual Machine (or JVM) is one of the greatest programming technologies in history. It has made Java the most widely used language in the world (after C). The JVM is cross-platform (“write once, run everywhere”). The JVM takes care of memory management through garbage collection. The JVM is enormously fast to execute code. The JVM has a rich ecosystem of libraries, frameworks and tools. It is so enviable that numerous other languages have been created for the JVM such as Scala, Groovy, Clojure, Kotlin, Jython, JRuby, Jabaco (Visual Basic), Rakudo Perl 6, Armed Bear Common Lisp, Renjin (R), Frege (Haskell), Gosu, Redline Smalltalk, etc.

Android is the world’s most popular mobile OS, and Java is its chief programming language.

Java is the enterprise standard programming language, and Spring is the most widely used web framework. Java offers the most job opportunities of all languages, according to Indeed.com.

Number Two: Python

Why? Because it’s the friendliest of the major programming languages. It has a clean, readable syntax. Not surprisingly, Python is the most popular language taught to university freshmen.

Python is enormously popular in data science, machine learning, and numerical/scientific/financial computing. It’s widely used for embedded programming and IoT (Internet of Things). It’s the language for Raspberry Pi.

Python offers the second most job opportunities, according to Indeed.com.

Number Three: JavaScript

Why? Because it’s the native language of the web browser, and the web is all-pervasive. JavaScript offers the third most job opportunities.

Number Four: Go (or Golang)

Why? Because it’s the fastest-rising programming language in history, going from zero to Top Ten in just three years. Go is very small, simple and easy to use. It compiles blisteringly quick giving the language a “dynamic” feel. It compiles to fast native code. It has excellent support for concurrency through goroutines and channels. It has support for object orientation through interfaces. It’s garbage-collected. Google designed Go for reliable and large-scale software engineering, and it delivers.

Number Five: Elixir

Why? Because it’s a lovely functional language with a nice, clean and easy syntax. Elixir is based on Erlang’s exceptional BEAM technology (highly concurrent virtual machine). Of course, it’s garbage-collected.

Number Six: Pharo

Why? Because Pharo is Smalltalk modernized for the Twenty-First Century. Pharo is supremely simple and easy to learn. It only has six reserved words! The complete syntax can fit on a post card.

Thus, Pharo presents practically no cognitive load while programming. This makes it a very fun language to use.

Pharo is also the most productive programming language in the world, thanks largely to its remarkable live coding and debugging IDE.

Number Seven: C

Why? Because it underpins the entire IT industry. C is used to write most of the operating systems that we rely on (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS). It is still used by most programming languages as an ancillary language for low-level hardware access.

Epilogue

These seven programming languages are the ones that I believe will be most helpful to you in your future IT career. Some are important by virtue of job opportunities. Some are important because of the increasing impact of multi-core processing and concurrency. Some are important just because they’re good teaching languages. One, in particular, is important because you have practically no choice when it comes to front-end web development.

And one is the most fun you will ever have in programming.