This question has been asked many times before and isn’t an easy answer. Likely, you have found this site hoping to find more information about what programming language to learn. You are in luck, as this resource will grow into a roadmap of sorts for those who are interested in learning code to become a paid developer one day. There is much to learn to become familiar with things. It is a long road but worth the effort if you are serious about learning.
A real brief history of the first programming languages ever.
Back sometime during the years of 1944 and 1945, Konrad Zuse developed the first real known programming language titled Plankalkül (Plan Calculus). But before that during 1843, Ada Lovelace invented the very first machine algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Difference Machine. She more or less established a foundation for all forthcoming programming languages for years to come.
It is generally accepted that Ada helped spark the programming world that we know today. The first commercially released programming language was created back in 1957, known as Fortran. The year after, Lisp came along followed by COBOL in 1959.
Another language simply known as BASIC was created in 1964 followed by Pascal in 1970. Then something amazing happened, in 1972 Dennis Ritchie from Bell Labs made the language C. It is considered the mother of all programming languages known and used today by many.
During 1972, a language known as Smalltalk came along followed by the database language SQL (Structured Query Language) during 1974. Ada soon followed in the 1980’s along with MATLAB in 1984. Since then, a plethora of languages have been developed, some of them offspring of sorts from other languages.
What programming language should you start with?
This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions to answer due to everyone’s varying interests. It is best to generally learn a more popular language used in the industry today. The top 10 programming languages power many apps, games, websites and programs we all use. Many agree that one of the following languages is best to start with. However, there are different types of programming languages to choose from.These are used widely in the business world.
- C / C++
- Go (Golang)
- Visual Basic (VB)
There are many lists out there with different results but newcomers such as Swift, Kotlin, Go (Golang), Rust, Scala, Julia, Typescript, Dart, Elixir and others are being used more each day.
The Rust language for example is really popular among many programmers, but isn’t recommended as the first choice for a newcomer to go after. But its popularity is rising fast.
What types of programming languages are there?
- Procedural Programming Language.
- Functional Programming Language.
- Scripting Programming Language.
- Logic Programming Language.
- Object-Oriented Programming Language.
What programming path do I take?
It is really important to have a path in mind when pursuing programming. There are many paths to take and the choice isn’t the easiest one to make. You might find that you like something else later and switch over to that. But until you are in the industry and have acquired experience, you will end up guessing what you want to do for now.
This isn’t a bad thing per say, because you can always change the direction you want to go later. Many times programmers study one language and end up working in another altogether. It is fairly common actually. Most companies want you to be adaptable to what they are working with. Knowing at least two languages or more will help you get farther but knowing one really well and becoming a specialist of sorts can be quite valuable. These are some of the general programming pathways to pursue. There are more specialized paths under these main categories.
- Computer programmer
- Web developer
- Programmer analyst
- Computer systems engineer
- Software engineer
- Mobile app developer
What programming languages pay the most?
While any programming language can net you a handsome paycheck with experience, the following languages are in most demand and pay rather excellent.
1. Solidity – (This language is mostly used in the blockchain and crypto industries) While the average salary is $165k per year, some offers reach as much as $1M dollars. If you are in the web3/blockchain technology space, then learning Solidity is a no-brainer.
2. Rust – (A newer language thought to replace C++) This language has memory safety and has become an ideal choice for many high performance applications. Rust also is being used in the web3/blockchain space with Solana among other projects. The average Rust developer earns somewhere around $122k per year with offers reaching into the $300k range.
3. Scala – (This language combines both object-oriented and functional programming riding on the shoulders of Java) The code is compiled to Java bytecode and runs on the Java virtual machine (JVM). Many Scala developers take home a wage of around $120k to the higher end of $400k a year.
4. Haskell – (Haskell is a pure functional type programming language like Elixir) The language is used in teaching and is rather specialized. Finding jobs will be more difficult but they are out there. The average Haskell developer earns around $118k a year, sometimes even more.
5. Go (Golang) – (This is another language like Dart created by Google, it is used to solve concurrency problems) Go is influenced heavily by the C language but has memory safety and garbage collection built into the language. The syntax is smaller and is quite powerful when scaled. The average salary of a Go developer is $116k and higher.
7. Ruby – (This language has been used for many years and is mostly known for its Ruby On Rails framework) Ruby is often compared to Python but without the use of indentation and whitespace. The language has a smaller footprint and can quickly prototype many projects breathing life into them. The average Ruby developer earns around $114k per year.
8. Swift – (This language will require you to have an Apple computer to work with) It is a modern language used mostly for developing IOS and Mac applications. It is a general-purpose language loved by many. The average salary for a Swift developer reaches between $104k to $230k per year.