The world needs computer programmers. Every country is jostling for as many computer programmers as they can get their hands on. Work hours are flexible, job opportunities plentiful, and pay is constantly rising. But, how does one start programming and which programming language is the best for general custom software development?
Let’s take a look at several programming languages, why they were created, and their advantages.
C# (pronounced “C sharp”) is a 2000 revamp of C, the granddaddy of programming languages. Microsoft developed C# out of C, a sturdy but rigid programming language that hails from 1972.
The advantages of C# are flexible automation and synergy with Microsoft’s .NET Framework (pronounced “dot net”). In short, C# is optimized to work on Windows, Linux, and Mac, allowing for productive cross-platform custom software development.
Created in 1985, C++ was imagined as a spinoff and a slight upgrade of C. The name itself is an inside joke, since “++” after a variable in C means “increase this by 1”.
The main advantage of C++ is support for different programming styles. A programmer can tweak as many functions as desired to make C++ code synergize with other programming languages.
Developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995, Java was imagined as a universal, portable programming language. For example, Java can be used to program smart cards as well as bank workstations.
The advantages of Java are platform independence and scalability. Java can be used to write Android apps as well as corporate software that runs on huge networks.
Python is a modular programming language created in 1990, with the original intent being to make tedious tasks fun.
Python excels at data scrapings, such as downloading thousands of Wikipedia articles containing a keyword, or hundreds of images of a certain size scattered across a website.
The main advantages of Python are that it’s optimized for human readability and easy to expand with extensions.
Python comes with some core functionality and offers a whole slew of extensions that each programmer can mix and match. It’s even possible to combine the strengths of several computer languages using some of the extensions.
HTML was first created in 1993, since becoming a core standard of the modern internet. HTML uses a very simple system of tags, such as, to create text documents that a browser can parse and display as a webpage.
The advantages of HTML are it’s broad applicability and ease of use. Everything from hyperlinks to images have a dedicated tag in HTML, allowing fine-grained control of webpages, though not all tags are equally supported by browsers.
HTML of any webpage can be viewed by using the “View Source” browser option on any webpage.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a programming language that’s an adjunct to HTML, and loaded into a webpage from a separate file. CSS is used to define colors, fonts, and styles within a webpage.
Though HTML has enough tags to do that without CSS, programmers encourage using CSS for better compatibility. For instance, a webpage created in 2020 might be viewed in 2030 by a browser that doesn’t support some HTML tags.
The main advantage of CSS is the ability to manage colors, fonts, and layouts across thousands of web pages with a single file.
Rust stems from the C family of languages and was developed in 2010 by Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, with Brendan Eich as a contributor. The focus of Rust is on network security and resource allocation to create the least amount of vulnerabilities possible.
The advantage of Rust is that it can be used to create tiny network components running on small devices where security is crucial, but resources are limited.
For example, internet-of-things devices might use Rust.
The main advantage of PHP is server-side custom software development, but newbies beware. PHP is perhaps the hardest programming language out there because the evolution of PHP wasn’t planned or structured. This led to inconsistencies between major PHP releases.
Perl was designed in 1987 as a proof-of-concept programming language. Today, Perl is used for custom software development where several large systems need to interoperate.
Examples include the IMDB website and the DuckDuckGo search engine.
The main advantage of Perl is the ability to glue different, normally incompatible, components together. It’s an amazing tool for administrators since it can do in one line what other languages take reams of code to accomplish.
Every computer programming language has its advantages, making it suitable for a different task. However, it’s not possible, or necessary, to know all of them. All it takes is one or two.
Out of the ten computer programming languages described here, it’s the C family of languages that have proven most useful for custom software development, creating the foundation upon which all other programming languages rest.
For example, Windows is written in C, C++, and C#, but so is Unity, a cross-platform video game engine. All programming languages create tools, but it’s only the C family that has created tools, that create more tools all the way down.
In the C family, C# is the core programming language that will lay the foundation for the technology of the future, making it a programming language every aspiring programmer should know.