Top Programming Languages and Developer Tools

Myles Brown | Thursday, July 21, 2022

Top Programming Languages and Developer Tools

When deciding which programming languages and tools to learn, you want to make sure that the ones you choose are those most in-demand in the market. These were chosen by reviewing Stack Overflow’s most popular languages and removing legacy languages that you wouldn’t want to start learning today. This list represents the languages and frameworks that are most often requested by our clients.  In this article, we’ll walk you through the 10 most in-demand programming languages and tools and the courses that will help you learn them. 

1.  Python

Python is one of the most popular programming languages for software engineers, data analysts, networking engineers, and even children as it's easy to learn and can be used for many different workloads — analytics, automation, and application development. The language is good for a variety of tasks, such as data analysis and visualization, AI and ML, server-side web development, system scripting and automation. In fact, automation is one of the most popular uses of Python among people who aren't software developers, as it can help with repetitive tasks like copying files and folders.

Python’s syntax is similar to the English language, which is why it’s so easy to use. It uses simple line breaks instead of symbols. You can create apps faster because of its built-in classes and functions and its huge selection of libraries. It is an interpreted language, which means you can execute and test code without an intermediate compilation process. Most importantly, it’s versatile and can be used across platforms, including Windows, MacOS, Linux and Raspberry Pi. All you need is a Python interpreter, and there’s no need to modify the code.

The drawbacks of Python are also related to its simplicity. Python is slower than C or C++, and it consumes a large amount of memory. This makes it not a great language to use for memory intensive tasks. Python is not native to iOS or Android, so the deployment process for mobile development can be difficult and could lead to some inconsistencies between different app versions. However, experienced mobile development experts can still build mobile apps with Python.

See the various Python courses here.

2.   Rust

Built with safety, speed and efficiency in mind, Rust is a statically typed, multi-paradigm programming language. Rust has become a popular programming language for building and powering performance-critical services, running embedded devices and integrating with other languages.

Rust is often cited as a language of choice for systems programming by developers because it combines best-in-class speed with a very low resource usage while still offering the safety of a standard server language. Rust solves problems associated with C and C++, such as garbage collection and safety. One of Rust’s best features is zero-cost abstractions, meaning you don’t have to pay for features you don’t use. 

Rust is often cited as a language with a steep learning curve and is usually not for beginners. Despite this, a great number of developers have cited Rust’s thorough documentation as a reason for adopting the language.

On the topics of security and safety, Rust is cited as one of the most safety-first languages. Unlike other languages, Rust analyzes a program’s memory compilation at compile time, often preventing bugs and errors that might occur from poor memory management. This makes garbage collection unnecessary in a Rust application.

To learn more, visit Rust Programming.

3.   Java

One of the most widely used programming languages, Java is often the server-side language for most backend development projects, including those involving big data and Android development. Java is also commonly used for desktop computing, mobile computing, games and numerical computing.

The widespread use of Java is partially due to its portability, which means it can execute as intended on a variety of platforms. This is also referred to as platform independence. Java programs can run on several computer types, as long as the computer has a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. This includes PCs running on Windows, Macintosh computers, Unix or Linux operating systems, large mainframe computers and mobile devices.

Since Java is an object-oriented language, it’s robust, secure and easier to learn than languages such as C and C++. This means you can create working methods and variables, then reuse all or part of them without compromising security. This natural and pragmatic approach to software design also makes it easier to test and troubleshoot programming. One downside of Java is that it requires a large amount of memory and is significantly slower than native languages such as C or C++.

Java is easy to learn, which makes it an ideal first language for new developers. Since the language has an English-like syntax with minimal special characters, Java can be learned in a short time span and can be used to build suitable applications. Additionally, there are Java-based syntax, ideas, patterns, tools, styles and idiosyncrasies that can be applied to other programming languages. Another disadvantage, however, is that code can be verbose and complex.

Despite this, Java remains highly rated. In fact, Java is rated as #3 in the top 10 programming languages in the TIOBE Programming Community programming language index as of April 2022.

Discover various Java courses here.

4.   Go (or Golang)

Launched by Google, Go, often referred to as Golang, is a popular programming language as it’s easy to learn. Because it’s also easy to read, it’s a great choice for legacy code that may involve multiple coders iterating over each other’s code blocks. It has similarities to C-style languages, so it will be especially easy for programmers to learn if they’re already proficient in C++ or C#. The standard library that comes packaged with Go is sophisticated without being overwhelming, and it reduces the risk of errors from conflicting function names. 

Go has a vibrant community that creates and shares a lot of third-party libraries. A number of tasks that would require complicated workarounds in other languages can be accomplished with a single line of code through the Go interface. Because the code is so simple, you don’t have to worry about complex and hard-to-identify errors that come from the huge number of variable types present in more dynamic languages. It also includes a garbage collector, which helps prevent memory from bleeding off in your code. Standard policies are in place for documenting all the included functions and libraries, and Google’s language alerts you when you forget to put documentation in place. That’s an especially valuable asset for novice programmers. Go is a great choice for single-page apps. However, it has no GUI library, which means you’ll need a lot of time and knowledge to connect a library to your app.

To learn more, visit the Introduction to Go Programming course.

5.   Spring Framework

Frameworks tackle common application problems to make the process of building applications easier. The Spring Framework is a Java platform that provides comprehensive infrastructure support for developing Java applications. Spring handles the infrastructure so you can focus on your application. Spring is considered to be a secure, low-cost and flexible framework that improves coding efficiency and reduces overall application development time because it is lightweight — meaning it’s efficient at utilizing system resources.  The Spring Framework (Spring) is an open source application framework that provides infrastructure support for developing applications in Java and Kotlin for mobile and web apps, microservices, and serverless. In a Java application, when you end the application and start it again, the objects start up each time. Spring’s focus on speed, simplicity, and productivity has made it the world’s most popular Java framework.

Discover various Spring courses here.

6.   React Framework

The main purpose of React.js is to make JavaScript applications fast, scalable and simple. Referred to as simply React, it is the most popular front-end JavaScript library. In fact, according to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2021, React is the most popular web framework with both novice and professional developers.

React is used primarily for building user interfaces, particularly dynamic Single-Page Applications (SPAs). SPAs allow users to load new pages without requesting the server, providing a more dynamic and interactive experience. 

Since React is declarative rather than imperative, it allows you to write more readable code that reflects exactly what you want to see. With the declarative approach, you only need to describe the final user interface (UI) you want for each scene instead of for each individual step involved in every update. This differs from the imperative approach, in which you must provide step-by-step DOM (document object model) mutations until you achieve the desired UI. React can also be used to create reusable UI components.

React can be used in combination with other JavaScript libraries or frameworks, such as Angular JS in MVC (Model View Controller). It uses Virtual DOM (VDOM), a programming concept where a virtual representation of a UI is kept in memory. It is then synched with the “real” DOM through a process called reconciliation. This makes writing applications at lot easier in React. The downside, however, is it might not be obvious how reconciliation is implemented within the framework.

DOM is a platform and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of HTML and XML documents. DOM is a way to represent the webpage in a structured hierarchical way so that it will become easier for programmers and users to glide through the document. The VDOM has all the same properties as the real DOM object but lacks the ability to write to the screen like the real DOM. The virtual DOM gains it’s speed and efficiency from the fact that it’s lightweight. React uses Virtual DOM for better performance.

React has lots of updates and as of June 2022, the latest version is 18.0. Due to the high pace of development for this framework, it can be difficult for developers to keep up with updates. This can affect the ability to create timely, proper documentation.

Discover a variety of React training courses.

7.   Angular Framework

According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2021, Angular is currently the third most popular web framework among professional developers. Companies like Google, PayPal and Forbes use it to build software products for their front-end web development. In use globally for creating web and mobile applications, Angular eliminates unneeded features and code to ensure lighter and faster applications.

Angular is written in TypeScript (type-safe JavaScript), which provides better tooling, cleaner code, and higher scalability. TypeScript also implements some of the core libraries and functionalities that users can then import into their applications.

Angular lets you create engaging and dynamic Single-Page Applications (SPAs). SPAs allow users to load new pages without requesting the server, giving a more dynamic and interactive experience. 

You can use HTML as a template language, and its simple syntax can be easily extended to convey the app’s components. Angular development is cost-effective as it allows developers to use a single codebase to create multiple versions of a website.

Designed for complex systems, Angular has a steep learning curve but it’s super powerful.

Discover ExitCertified’s Angular courses for IT professionals of various levels.

8.   .NET Framework

Not to be confused with ASP.NET, .NET is a software framework or infrastructure which Microsoft developed. ASP.NET, on the other hand, is a web application that is used to build various applications. Microsoft created the .NET Framework software development platform to create both form-based and web-based applications to be run on the Windows Platform. The framework supports various programming languages, such as C#, F# and Visual Basic, so developers can select the language they need to develop the required application. You also can use the .NET Core platform to run programs on Windows, Linux and macOS.

The .NET platform consists of developer tools, programming languages and libraries to build the following objects:

  • Websites, applications and services for Windows, Linux, macOS and Docker
  • Desktop apps for Windows and macOS
  • 2D and 3D games for desktop, phones and consoles
  • Native mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows
  • Microservices that run on Docker containers, machine learning capabilities that let you add vision algorithms, speech processing, predictive models and more to your app
  • IoT apps that use machine learning algorithms to analyze massive amounts of connected sensor data in the cloud.

One disadvantage is that although .NET Core is open-source, product development and support are still driven by Microsoft. Additionally, some developers believe .NET doesn’t offer support for all available database designs.

Discover a variety of .NET training courses.

9.   Selenium

Selenium is an open-source suite of tools that automate web browsers. They provide a single interface that lets you write test scripts in programming languages like Ruby, Java, NodeJS, PHP, Perl, Python, C# and more. The Selenium suite includes the following tools:

  • Selenium WebDriver – A collection of language specific bindings to help drive a browser.
  • Selenium IDE – Creates bug reproduction scripts and scripts for automation-aided exploratory testing.
  • Selenium Grid – Allows you to run tests in multiple environments from a central point.

Without Selenium, manual testers could spend hours testing a web app to make sure it’s functional in and outside the local development environment. Before these tools, this testing fell to a host of manual testers, enacting and reenacting hundreds of test case scenarios on all benchmarked browsers, flagging what broke and trying to pinpoint the source of that breakage. Depending on the size of the manual testing team, an end-to-end system test could take anywhere between days to weeks to run its course.

In addition to the testing environment, Selenium can also be used to automate many web-based administration tasks.

The disadvantages of Selenium are that it supports web-based applications only and has a steep learning curve, with no real centralized technical support.

ExitCertified offers several Selenium training courses.

10.   Node.js 

Node.js is a runtime environment that's used to run everything required to execute a program written in JavaScript outside the browser. Although the term Node is often used interchangeably with Node.js, there is a difference: Node.js is the script, or code, and Node actually compiles and runs Node.js. Java originally was a scripting language to run in the browser, not on a server. Node.js is a way for developers to write JavaScript on a server, when it could previously only be written on a web browser. Node can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Node.js helps you build fast, scalable network applications, as it’s capable of handling a huge number of simultaneous connections with high throughput, which equates to high scalability. Node.js achieves scalability levels of over 1 million concurrent connections, and over 600,000 concurrent websockets connections.

Node.js is written in C, C++, and JavaScript, the most popular programming languages worldwide, so it should be a relatively easy learning curve for even a front-end developer to start using Node.js.

Node.js uses the “Single Threaded Event Loop” architecture to handle multiple clients at the same time. In a multi-threaded request-response model, multiple clients send a request, and the server processes each one before sending the response back. Each time a request comes in, an individual thread is assigned to handle it. Node.js uses fewer threads, using fewer resources/memory, resulting in faster task execution.

To learn more about Node.js, visit Server-side JavaScript with Node.js and Express.

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