Top 5 Popular Programming Languages in 2021
In this article, you will find out which programming languages will be popular in 2021, their differences, and where they can be applied.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Without programming languages, the world as it stands would simply not exist. Imagine living without computers, digital technologies, and the Internet with Instagram and TikTok. It would seem very difficult, if not impossible.
All languages have their purpose. Some are used for writing mobile applications, others for working with microcontrollers, and others for creating desktop programs or analytics. But, there are also cases when one problem can be solved using different languages.
The History of Programming Language
When programming languages did not exist, the first programmers wrote instructions for operating machines in numbers. They had to memorize a table of machine codes, not a few basic algorithms and principles of the language, as it is now. A little later, compilers appeared that made life easier for programmers. Compilers are programs that translated the words of programmers into machine code. Assembler became the first programming language.
Assembler is the lowest-level programming language focused on a specific type of processor, considering its features. The lowest does not mean bad. It means that the language operators are focused on specific processor instructions and are close to machine code. The emergence of the Assembler language greatly facilitated programmers’ lives, since now, instead of zeros and ones, they could write a program with instructions consisting of characters close to a common language. This language was a breakthrough in programming and was popular because it allowed writing small programs. The program written with Assembler started and ran slower than machine code, but writing the code was much easier. It is how the active development of programming languages began.
In the 1950s, the first algorithmic language was developed for the personal needs of IBM. It was named FORTRAN. By that time, there were already several languages that convert arithmetic expressions into machine code. Still, it was the creation of FORTRAN that was considered a transition to the paradigm of algorithmic languages. The new language made it possible to carry out calculations only by writing an algorithm using input/output operators and conditionals.
After that, ALGOL, PL/I, and Simula-67 appeared. In the 1970s, the popular languages were Pascal and C.
New programming languages now appear with enviable regularity. Many companies develop their own languages, and Individual developers also experiment with this. At the moment, there are between 1,000 and 10,000 programming languages. This is because of the different meanings put into the concept of a programming language. Programming languages are classified according to various criteria: functionality, describing entities, way of implementation, and other parameters. It also matters how to classify varieties of one language: as separate languages or not.
The Top 5 Popular Programming Languages in 2021
Knowledge of several popular languages allows you to quickly and efficiently perform the assigned tasks facing developers. Also, knowledge of more than three programming languages makes you an irreplaceable specialist. By learning new programming languages, you can deal with programming projects for resumes and replenish your professional portfolio.
We will look through the top 5 most popular programming languages that you will need in 2021.
This is one of the easiest to learn and fastest-growing languages in terms of popularity. It is used to create web pages, gaming platforms, bots, and various applications. Python even participates in the creation of artificial intelligence.
Python is a good choice for new developers because it is simple, easy to learn, and versatile. Even though it appeared not so long ago, it has already gained popularity because it offers more understandable solutions than other programming languages.
Key features of Python:
- cross-platform solutions
- an open-source, object-oriented language
- asynchronous coding design
- access to several modules
- used for ML and AI, desktop and web apps
- implicit typing
Java is a versatile and sought-after option in the field of web development. Millions of programs have been written in this language, and new ones continue to be created, which guarantees its popularity for many decades to come. The language works on any platform, allowing you to write various applications and graphic widgets at the expense of its capabilities, and feels great in all known operating systems. It is used to develop server, web, client, mobile applications, games, and scientific research. It also allows you to understand the basic principles of programming through well-organized work with memory and peripherals.
Key features of Java:
- high stability
- stable environment
- portable across operating systems
- high-quality code compilation
- difficult language
- reduced performance
- data validation functionality
- access to several frameworks
- compatible with several programming languages
- there are no hard and fast rules, which makes it easy to make mistakes;
- low level of security.
C# is an object-oriented programming language that is very powerful and technical. It is best suited for numerous templates and high-performance programs since it has many programming functions such as indexers, assembly versioning, available integration with Windows, and Microsoft products. It is also suitable for those who want to develop computer games. You can create games on the Unity 3D engine if you study it.
Key features of C#:
- deeply integrated with Windows
- supports native resource-management idioms
- dynamic variables
- enumeration support
- priority focus on the Windows platform
PHP is a server-side programming language used to create dynamic web pages and static sites. It is trendy for the beck-end due to many built-in tools and modules for developing various applications. It is open source and licensed. Website development in PHP is available for both experienced developers and beginners. PHP is a simple language. You can make your blog in just two to three weeks of learning. Plus, on a freelance, it is more in demand.
Key features of PHP:
- open-source server-side scripting language
- short learning curve
- in-built support for working with MySQL
- used primarily in web development
- weak typing
- awkward standard library
What Professions Require Knowledge of Programming Languages?
The "programmer" profession is very general and gives a superficial idea of what exactly a person is doing. There is a wide variety of fields and specialists within the IT field.
According to Yana Trihub, Founder, CEO of GetCoverLetter, “There are many areas in the IT industry where a programming language can be useful to you; development of sites, programs, and applications, web design, etc. Or maybe you are changing your profession and need new skills and knowledge. Along with knowledge of languages comes a positive effect on a person’s salary level."
Now, let's take a closer look at what specific cases we need programming languages.
It takes two web developers to create a feature-rich, well-functioning small site. The first developer makes sure that the part of the site that the user sees works correctly: buttons are pressed, prompts pop up, the scroll bar works. They are known as a frontend developer. The specialist is responsible for ensuring that the site interface works correctly and looks the way the designer intended. The second person, the backend developer, is responsible for ensuring that your messages are sent to the exact address, the viewing history of your videos is saved, and you see how many likes your subscribers have put on the new avatar. For all these functions to be performed, you need to know how the Internet works and how to work with the database.
Some specialists work on creating both parts of the site, and such a programmer has a full-stack developer profile.
IOS developers and Android developers create mobile versions of websites or applications. Depending on which operating system you are working with, you will have such a direction.
Data Scientist is responsible for special algorithms, so-called recommender systems. A specialist knows how to write a neural network and what algorithm to use to calculate the most suitable product for a recommendation or analyze the target audience.
After you have created the website or mobile application and added a recommendation algorithm to it, you need to check how it all works. A qualified tester checks the application. Their tasks include writing special programs (tests) that will automatically check the operation of the application. Sometimes, a tester can do it manually, depending on the specialist’s qualifications and work area.
The IT field is very diverse, and it requires completely different specialists with different skills. And before choosing a direction in programming, you should think about what interests you the most.
Web resource development is a long-term process that requires specific knowledge and skills. The study of popular programming languages will make you an always in-demand specialist.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.