The 10 Most Important Programming Languages In 2015

Are you a newbie wondering which programming language you should start with, or a seasoned professional looking to update your skills? Either way, it’s a good idea to review the languages that are most popular right now before you settle on the next language you’re going to learn. From year to year, new languages are introduced and older languages fall obsolete. With that in mind, here are the most popular languages of 2015.

1. C

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean that it’s antiquated. C is still the development language of choice for those who need to work “under the hood,” developing kernel-level software, device drivers and legacy-accessible applications. C tends to be a little more difficult to learn than C++, but is fantastic for an entry-level language simply because it’s so ubiquitous.

2. C++

Nearly the most popular programming language in the world (bested, in fact, only by Java), C++ remains a versatile toolkit for just about every application. This language has been utilized throughout the programming community for so long that resources and libraries exist for just about every use case, making it easy to jump in and get started.

3. C#

The newcomer rounding out the C triumvirate, C# tends to be easier to learn and more modern overall, but is designed for a specific situation. C# is designed to aid in rapid development on the Microsoft .NET Framework, making it a must for those working in .NET environments.

4. Java

First released twenty years ago, Java is arguably the most popular language worldwide. Java owes its popularity to its simplicity, low learning curve, cross-platform abilities and extensive libraries. For many disciplines, Java is the language to know if you’re going to only know one.

5. JavaScript

A web-based language (though there are other use cases), JavaScript is extensively used alongside CSS to produce dynamic browser-based experiences. JavaScript has been heavily extended and standardized, and is essential for a web developer.

6. .NET

Microsoft’s .NET Framework consists of an all-in-one development and production environment, feeding C#, VB.NET and J# code into a common language runtime. ASP and Visual Basic both run on the .NET Framework, which is often the tool of choice for those familiar with Microsoft products.

7. R

If you haven’t heard of R yet, don’t feel guilty. This language is highly specific, yet still incredibly useful. R is a statistical programming language designed to manipulate and analyze large data sets. That’s right: Big Data. If you’re going to be using Big Data in any capacity, learning R will set you on the right course.

8. PHP

The leading language for the web, PHP is a server-side programming language often used in conjunction with SQL to produce fast, reliable backends. PHP has a very low learning curve and is a good language for those who are just beginning to learn programming, but it is used primarily for websites rather than apps or standalone programs.

9. Python

A general purpose programming language, Python is often praised for its easy readability and low barrier to entry. Python is comparable in functionality to Java and C, but is designed to make it easier to write code in fewer lines.

10. Swift

Swift has gained popularity out of the gate as a programming language designed chiefly for iOS and OS X environments. Though this gives Swift limited utility outside of those specific use cases, it makes it very good at what it does do: create apps. Developers interested in creating iOS apps may want to give Swift a try.

So which language should you learn? It really depends on your goals. If you’re going to be programming website backends, you’ll need PHP and SQL. If you’re going to be programming iOS and OS X applications, Swift is your key to success. For most applications, either Java or C++ are ideal… but Python is an excellent alternative. Try a few out and see what works best for you!

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