If you want to make a career out of programming, there are a few essential languages you must learn. Being unaware of them or having little or no proficiency in some of them is simply not an option.
If you take a look at the programming domain a little closely, you will realize some of the ‘must learn’ languages have remained the same for many years now. Obviously, these languages have evolved over the years, but the languages that were commonly used say 3 years ago still top the popularity charts today.
Budding programmers (and even experienced ones) are told to improve their ‘C’ skills; Java still seems to be the language of choice when it comes to web based content development and so on and so forth.
The question that comes to mind is – aren’t there any programming languages out there that can give these “old warriors” a run for their money? Or even after a decade we will still be using an updated version of Objective C, PHP or some other language that forms the bedrock of programming today?
The good news is there are plenty of new (and not so new) programming languages out there with plenty of potential and which slowly but surely are entering the mainstream. Some of these are derivatives of existing languages and are trying to plug their holes. There is very little doubt these languages have it in them to shake up the world of programming.
What’s more, the focus of these languages is on making their application simpler for programmers. Not unlike the tools that are making development of mobile apps easier, even these programming languages are trying to make programming super easy and convenient.
Let’s take a look at four such languages:
This is a hot new programing language that is being adopted by some of the big names in the industry, including Facebook.
While D started off as a reimagining of C++, it has evolved into a whole new language with a distinct identity of its own. It will also be fair to say that it has been inspired by other languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, Eiffel and C#.
The idea behind D is to do what C++ can’t.
It can be called a coming together of the best of what complied and dynamic languages have to offer, primarily performance, safety and power of expression. With D, it is possible to easily write code that is portable and memory safe. What’s more, it doesn’t need a preprocessor and it can handle Unicode extremely well.
You will be hearing a lot about D over the years. It is efficient, has tremendous modeling power and triggers productivity.
The fact that Google has contributed to Dart, means this language can go places. Dart has been specifically developed to help programmers build structured web apps and offers all help including libraries, virtual machine and tools.
While this language has been around for a few years now, it has just begun to find its footing amongst developers; this is illustrated by the fact that it figures in the list of top twenty programming languages, which means its use is picking up steam.
The man behind Ceylon, Gavin King is the creator of the Hibernate Java persistence framework; he knows everything there is to know about Java, what makes it tick, its grey areas and where it falters.
So, you would think that if there is anybody who can create a language that is even “better” than Java it is Gavin King.
Well, that’s what he and Red Hat are aiming to do.
We have always wondered whether a language will emerge that will “kill Java” or at least be “thought” of as a credible replacement for Java. Well, Red Hat, to put it more specifically, Red Hat engineer Gavin King, thinks Ceylon is that language.
At least it’s aiming to be that language.
But thinking of Ceylon as a language that is wholly separate from Java is erroneous as it depends on the Java runtime environment. So, yes, Java has a huge role to play in Ceylon, but where this language differs is the fact that it subscribes to regular syntax and tries to cut down on code verbosity.
Also, it aims to offer developers a forward thinking SDK and whose class libraries are up-to-date and problem free. Ceylon is a language that is being fuelled by the passion of people who seek to address the limitations of Java. But, can it replace Java? Only time will tell!
Is Scala better than Java? Why do developers use Scala? Which language should I use, Scala or Java? Such questions are the subject of intense discussions on developer forums, which essentially gives an indication that developers are either adopting the use of Scala or thinking about using it. Although it’s been around for ten years now, and is still considered a second-tier language, it’s a language that has immense potential.
Developers who have been using Scala say it’s more productive as it’s concise and uses more functional programming style. It also provides programmers comprehensive closure and collections support. The great advantage of Scala is that it goes beyond introducing a collection of functional idioms over existing object oriented programming languages and offers a potent mix of object oriented and functional programming in a single paradigm.
These languages can have a disruptive influence on the world of programming as we know it. Whether they will actually go ahead and perform as per their potential remains to be seen. The good news is that many of these languages are backed by passionate individuals who see a lot of promise in them. This means there is every chance these languages will have a huge role to play in software and applications development in the near future.