If you’re new to software development, it can be tough to know where to start and how learning different languages may guide your career. There are a variety of programming languages that are useful to learn whether you plan to work on open-source, front-end projects, or in backend development.
We like to think of the following options as “useful” languages because having a base knowledge in them makes it easier to learn other syntax. We also know that many client-side employers consider them prerequisite languages when hiring for programming and software development positions.
If you’re planning next steps in your career or looking to learn new skills to help change jobs, consider these coding languages as you get started.
Python is great to learn if you’re just starting out with programming. It’s in high demand by companies who need coders. It’s easy to learn and use and is an asset across many career fields.
What is Python used for?
Python’s commonly used throughout a few industries.
- Data science and data analytics
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) jobs
- Web development
When we look at earnings, we’ve found that it’s typically one of the highest paid developer positions. It’s not uncommon to find a starting salary in the $70k-$100k range.
Is Python really easy to learn?
Python’s great for new coders and also comes easily to those who already have experience in frameworks like Django, Flask, and CherryPy. Coders often work in teams, so those with solid communication skills and an eagerness to learn are encouraged to give it a go.
Depending on your comfort level and knowledge of software development, you may be able to grasp Python on your own by following online tutorials. But to get the experience you need to take your job to the next level, it’s always best to get an education from a professional. Many students can complete a full-time Python bootcamp in as little as 12- to 14-weeks.
Pros vs. cons of learning Python
Starting out in Python frequently means faster and easier job growth. If you’re already well-versed in other languages, or even if you’re just starting out, Python is an absolute asset to open more doors and boost your salary. It’s also easy to bolster your portfolio with real-life examples of your coding while attending a bootcamp.
There are some cons to using Python in software development depending on the application, but any developer who has experience in using it is at an advantage in their career.
What is Java?
Java is a programming language primarily used for Android apps, server-side app development, and video game development. It’s useful when it comes to developing for data applications, but because it’s less nimble than other languages and not ideal for Apple iOS, its future is debatable.
Nonetheless, Java is still among the most popular languages used today and continues to be sought after by employers and development teams. If you want to learn a variety of programming languages, add Java to the list. Skilled developers have great communication skills, can think critically about the applications, and know when it is ideal for a job.
Java developers can earn between $45k-$105k per year based on skill level and experience.
Pros vs. cons of learning Java
What other popular programming languages are useful?
Whether you’re pursuing a career in cybersecurity, data analysis, full-stack web development, or looking to specialize in mobile apps or cross-platform scripting languages, the more you learn, the more comfortable you’ll be programming for different operating systems and web applications.