Top 20 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024

16 February 2024
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Imagine yourself commanding machines with words, creating very complex systems that can come to life through your spoken word and develop complete digital worlds. No, we are not talking about science fiction but programming in our daily lives.

Programming languages are just like the normal languages we use to communicate with computers; they enable us to instruct this sophisticated machinery on what it should do and how it should do that.

However, for novices, this programming world looks terrifying, full of enigmatic icons and strange expressions. Do not despair! Your map awaits you so that you can know and select even equipment for your own superpowers of software development. So, let’s get ready for this thrilling ride together!

What is a programming language?

Programming languages may seem intricate, but essentially they are just tools we employ in speaking to computers. We speak English to give commands to our fellow human beings, likewise, a programming language is used to pass instruction codes to a computer. In each language, there are its own rules as well as symbols, just like my language grammar works.

Top 20 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024

Think of it like writing recipes. With instructions and ingredients (data), you create delicious dishes (programs). Programming languages follow similar principles, using instructions and data to create digital applications, websites, and more.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Human languages: we use English, Spanish, etc. to tell others what we want.
  • Programming languages: we use Python, Java, etc. to tell computers what we want them to do.

Programming languages can be:

  • Structured: they have rules and syntax to ensure clarity and avoid confusion.
  • Precise: each instruction needs to be exact, as computers understand things literally.
  • Versatile: different languages have different strengths, making them suitable for different tasks.
  • Translatable: while computers have their own language, programming languages act as translators, converting our instructions into something the computer can understand.

In short, programming languages are communication tools that bridge the gap between our ideas and the digital world. They open doors to exciting possibilities, allowing us to bring our creations to life!

Major types of programming languages

The world of programming languages is vast and diverse, each with its own strengths and quirks. Let’s explore some major types to give you a better understanding:

Procedural

Imagine a recipe with clear steps. Procedural languages, like C, Pascal, and FORTRAN, follow a similar approach. They break down tasks into a sequence of instructions, one after the other, like a chef following a recipe.

Example: In C, you might write code to calculate the area of a circle:

float radius = 5.0; float area = 3.14159 * radius * radius; printf(“The area of the circle is: %.2f\n”, area); 

Top 20 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024

Functional

Think of building blocks snapping together. Functional languages, like Haskell, Clojure, and Lisp, focus on independent functions (like blocks) that solve smaller problems. These functions can be combined to create larger programs, similar to building a complex structure with individual pieces.

Example: In Haskell, you could define a function to calculate the factorial of a number and use it later in your program:

factorial n = if n == 0 then 1 else n * factorial (n-1)

Object-oriented

Imagine objects with their own properties and abilities. Object-oriented languages, like Java, Python, C++, and Ruby, model real-world objects. You create “objects” with data (properties) and functions (abilities) that interact with each other, making code more organized and reusable.

Example: In Python, you could create a “Car” object with attributes like color and speed, and methods like accelerate and brake.

Top 20 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024

Scripting

Think of quick notes or shortcuts. Scripting languages, like Python, Perl, and Bash, are often used for automating tasks or small programs. They are generally easier to learn and use than other languages, making them good for beginners or quick fixes.

Example: In Python, you could write a script to automate downloading files from the internet.

Logic

Imagine solving a puzzle with clues. Logic languages, like Prolog, use logical rules and relationships to solve problems. They are often used in artificial intelligence and expert systems, where reasoning and deduction are important.

Example: In Prolog, you could write code to determine if a given word is a palindrome (reads the same backward and forward).

Imperative

Imagine directly controlling a machine. Imperative languages, like C and C++, give programmers precise control over how the computer executes instructions. They are often used for system programming and tasks requiring fine-grained control.

Example: In C, you could directly manipulate memory addresses and perform low-level operations on the computer hardware.

Top programming languages in 2024

Programming is a constantly evolving niche, with new technologies and trends shaping the landscape. So, what languages are at the forefront in 2024? To answer that, let’s take a pulse of the industry.

Current trends

  • Data science & AI: the ever-growing demand for data analysis and artificial intelligence fuels the popularity of languages like Python, R, and Scala.
  • Cloud computing: as businesses migrate to the cloud, languages like Go and JavaScript (Node.js) are in high demand for scalable and efficient cloud applications.
  • Mobile development: the ubiquitous presence of smartphones keeps languages like Kotlin (Android) and Swift (iOS) relevant for building engaging mobile apps.
  • Security: with rising cyber threats, secure coding practices and languages like Rust are gaining traction.

Now, let’s dive into some of the most sought-after languages in 2024, keeping these trends and demands in mind.

Top 20 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024

Machine code languages on colorful elements – Programming concept

C and C++

C and C++ are powerful, low-level programming languages known for their speed and efficiency. C is often used for system programming, while C++ adds object-oriented features. Both languages are widely used in operating systems, game development, and embedded systems.

C#

Developed by Microsoft, C# is a versatile language used for building a variety of applications, including desktop, web, and mobile apps. It combines the power of C++ with the simplicity of Java, making it popular among developers.

CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to style web pages written in HTML. It allows developers to control the layout, fonts, colors, and other visual aspects of a website, enhancing the user experience.

Go

Go, also known as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled language developed by Google. It emphasizes simplicity, efficiency, and concurrency, making it ideal for building scalable web services and distributed systems.

HTML

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard language for creating web pages and web applications. It defines the structure and content of a webpage, including text, images, and links.

Java

Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language known for its portability and versatility. It is used for building a wide range of applications, from enterprise software to mobile apps and games.

Javascript

Javascript is a dynamic, interpreted language primarily used for client-side web development. It enables interactive web pages by adding behavior and interactivity to HTML and CSS.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a modern, statically typed language developed by JetBrains and officially supported for Android app development by Google. It offers concise syntax, null safety, and interoperability with Java, making it a popular choice for Android developers.

Matlab

Matlab is a high-level programming language and interactive environment designed for numerical computation, data analysis, and visualization. It is widely used in engineering, science, and mathematics.

NoSQL

NoSQL is not a specific programming language but rather a category of databases that do not use the traditional relational database model. NoSQL databases offer flexible schema design and are designed to handle large volumes of unstructured data.

Perl

Perl is a versatile, interpreted language known for its powerful text-processing capabilities. It is commonly used for system administration, web development, and network programming.

PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language used for web development and building dynamic web pages. It is widely used in conjunction with HTML to create interactive websites and web applications.

Python

Python is a high-level, interpreted language known for its simplicity and readability. It is used for a wide range of applications, including web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and scientific computing.

R

R is a programming language and environment specifically designed for statistical computing and graphics. It is widely used in data analysis, statistical modeling, and visualization.

Ruby

Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented language known for its simplicity and productivity. It is often used for web development, particularly with the Ruby on Rails framework, which emphasizes convention over configuration.

Rust

Rust is a systems programming language developed by Mozilla known for its focus on safety, performance, and concurrency. It is designed to prevent common programming errors such as null pointer dereferencing and memory leaks.

Scala

Scala is a statically typed language that combines object-oriented and functional programming paradigms. It runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and is used for building scalable, high-performance applications.

SQL

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used for managing and manipulating relational databases. It is used to query, insert, update, and delete data from databases.

Swift

Swift is a powerful, open-source programming language developed by Apple for building iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS applications. It offers modern syntax, safety features, and performance optimizations.

TypeScript

TypeScript is a superset of Javascript that adds static typing and other features to the language. It is designed to improve the development experience and scalability of large Javascript projects.

Conclusion

Remember, the programming world is a vast and exciting landscape. While this guide has highlighted some popular languages, the perfect one awaits you based on your unique interests and goals.

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