Programmers turn coffee into lines of code

Three Programming Languages to Learn

Reasons why they are important

Tefo Mohapi
Jun 17, 2013 · 2 min read

Thanks to the popularity of the Internet and the advent of smartphones programming has become a “cool” skill to have and acquire.

With so many programming languages available, it can be a daunting task to decide which ones are important for web and mobile application development based on their possible usage and availability of jobs. The below list is applicable to those looking to broaden their skills and those new to programming.


Originally developed by Sun Microsystems’ James Gosling and his work colleagues, Java is an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language derived from C and C++ although it has a slightly more basic object model.

Java is important considering that once you have written your code it runs on any electronic device that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) including Android devices that run Dalvik. Dalvik is a process virtual machine that runs on Android devices. It comes with a tool that allows for the conversion of Java .class files into .dex format so they can be compiled and run on Android devices, keeping with Java code being “write once, run anywhere”.

Java’s platform independence coupled with the demand for Java programmers makes it one of the top languages to learn.


Although not a programming language in the true sense of the phrase but rather a scripting language, it has come a long way in recent years.

PHP is a server side scripting language ensuring that it is user platform independent. It is also best for web and mobile applications as it was built from the start as a language that supports web protocols. Add to this that web and mobile applications are becoming more and more API driven then PHP possesses some characteristics that makes it one of the best candidates for programming web and mobile apps.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails has gained massive popularity in recent years owing to its simplicity and its focus on productivity. It is relatively easy to learn and is rather an open web application framework written in the object oriented programming language Ruby, rather than being a traditional programming language itself.

Ruby on Rails — or RoR for short — has a routing system that is independent of a web server and allows such things as the following “straight out of the box”; communicate and query a database and the creation of applications with ability to gather information from a web server.

I. M. H. O.

The Editorial Page

    Tefo Mohapi

    Written by

    Blogger for ITWeb Africa & The Next Web. “Chief Nerd” at KasiMp3 & Terrus Infosys —

    I. M. H. O.

    The Editorial Page

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade