The 7 Best Coding Languages to Learn in 2023
Whether you’re just starting your career as a software developer or you’re a seasoned pro looking to branch out, here are some of trending coding languages for 2023.
Where you’ve seen it: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Youtube, and other websites that offer dynamic interfaces.
Career goal: Python can be an awesome language to pick up if you’re interested in back-end web development, creating desktop apps, or developing machine learning programs.
History: Python has a bit of an unusual creation story. It was released in 1991 by Guido van Rossum, an individual developer, rather than a team. Now, however, Python has been built on by numerous people across the globe, thanks to it being an open source language.
Uses: Python was created to be fast to pick up. Beginners can feel confident choosing it as a first language. Its syntax feels akin to English and its very intuitive to write code in. Python is also designed to provide a more efficient coding experience.
Upsides: Because it's an open source project, Python users enjoy lots of community support and abundant resources, like libraries and frameworks. It also easily integrates with web services, making it especially versatile.
Challenges: Keep in mind that if you want to develop mobile applications, Python is not the language for you.
Where you’ve seen it: You’ve likely encountered Python when using certain features on Youtube, Reddit, and Dropbox.
Career goal: Aiming for a career in data science, systems programming, desktop app development, or back-end web development? Go is for you.
History: Go (also referred to as Golang) was publicly released by Google in 2009 and made open source in 2012. The goal was to create a coding language more straightforward and efficient than C++.
Uses: Go provides similar functionality to C and C++ without the tricky syntax and learning curve. Go’s simple approach to systems programming has made it a popular choice among developers of all experience levels.
Upsides: Go’s benefits include great scalability, concurrency, and a crazy fast runtime. It’s also useful for managing large codebases, developing web servers, data pipelines, and machine learning programs.
Challenges: Go isn’t the most versatile coding language out there, and it doesn't come with much library support.
Where you’ve seen it: Go is used by major companies like Google (its creator), Uber, and Twitch.
Career goal: Java is a key language for anyone looking for jobs in web application development, particularly for large-scale apps. Interested in working with big data? Java is also a great choice for that specialty, as well.
Uses: Java was created with the intention that a coder can “write once, run anywhere.” Code written in Java can be portable across diverse platforms, making it a language with a lot of versatility. And because it’s object-oriented, it can be used to create a wide variety of apps.
Upsides: Compared to other interpreted languages, Java runs quickly and efficiently. When coding in Java, you also have an abundance of frameworks and libraries to choose from, thanks to robust community user support.
Challenges: The main pitfall of Java is that, while it’s faster than other interpreted languages, it still runs slower than natively compiled languages, like C++.
Where you’ve seen it: Java is used for backend management for Google, Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube.
Career goal: C# (pronounced “C sharp”) is one of the best programming languages to learn for coders looking to get into game development, virtual reality programs, and Windows desktop applications.
History: The first version of C# was released in 2002 by Microsoft. It’s intended to support object-oriented programming and is commonly used alongside the .NET framework.
Uses: C# is incredibly powerful. It can be used to develop all sorts of apps for a variety of purposes—like video games and cloud services—and for diverse platforms. It’s the recommended language when developing 2D and 3D games.
Upsides: C# performs well due to the JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler and its solid runtime environment. And thanks to it’s garbage collection and asynchronous programming capabilities, C# developers can write efficient and scalable code.
Challenges: C# is less flexible and forgiving than C++. It also takes a lot of time and effort to learn, so it's not a great choice if you want to start writing code quickly! And if you run into an error in your C# code, it can take a lot of experience to be able to locate and fix it.
Where you’ve seen it: Applications developed for the likes of Windows, Android, and iOS have been written with C#.
Career goal: Eager to create applications for iPhones, Apple watches, and Macs? Swift is a great coding language to choose.
History: Swift was developed by Apple in 2014 for Apple and Linux platforms.
Uses: Like many products created by Apple, Swift has a reputation for being more secure than its alternatives. This means that, ideally, apps created with Swift are less vulnerable to hacking and malicious interference.
Upsides: Swift is a very beginner-friendly language that doesn’t require much previous coding experience. It’s also open source, so you can get started learning it right away. On top of that, it has a lightning-fast runtime.
Challenges: Because Swift is a relatively new language, it can be a little unstable. It also lacks robust user support, resources, and an online community. If you feel comfortable fending for yourself a bit, Swift can be a great coding language to add to your resume.
Where you’ve seen it: Many popular iOS apps, like Instagram and Soundcloud’s mobile app interfaces, were created using Swift.
Career goal: If you’re looking to launch a career in back-end web development, Ruby is a solid choice.
History: Ruby is an object-oriented programming language. It was was publicly released in 1995 by creator Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto. Matz’ goal was to create a language that mimics life—deceivingly simple on the surface, with lots of complexity the deeper you look.
Uses: Ruby’s simple syntax makes it easy to edit code down the line. It also has a reputation for good security and has solid garbage collection.
Upsides: Learning Ruby comes with lots of benefits. It’s an open source language with an active, supportive community (they even have conferences!), so you won’t be on your own if you encounter challenges. Thanks to Ruby’s human-friendly syntax and object-oriented design, it’s also relatively easy to learn.
Challenges: While it’s fast to write code in, Ruby programs can be slow to run. Ruby also adheres to a very specific set of rules; there’s very little room for flexibility.
Where you’ve seen it: Major businesses like AirBnb and Shopify have used Ruby alongside the Rails framework (“Ruby on Rails”) to build their websites.
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