The world of programming is in the forefront of innovation and technological development and there has been and increasing need for good programmers and developers in South Africa as well. Companies try to keep up with the lighting speed at which technology moves and skilled coders, programmers and developers are now more in demand than ever despite economic challenges.

But do you want to know which programming language are the most popular?

Studying a programming language that’s in demand will give you the upper hand to improve your chances of finding a job. Technology is all about innovation and the ability to code in a popular language will also give you the benefit of gaining skills like problem-solving, resourcefulness and interpersonal skills, to mention a few.

Not all programming languages are, however, suitable for all types of careers or projects. Deciding the career or job you’d like to train and pursue will help you to decide the most appropriate code to learn.

This article will help you choose a programming language that will suit your career ambitions while opening doors to the exciting world of technology.

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The Best Programming Language for The Job

Starting out in the world of programming can be confusing. Do you know which programming languages to learn? Do you study one of the high-level computer languages or low-level ones? Do you choose a popular code that’s related to the job you want to do and do you make choices according to the local market demand or international trends?

All of these are good questions to consider, and the best direction will come from clarifying your personal ambitions and dreams. There is, however, a kind of magic in the world of programming where a specific language can be used across many programs, types of software and development projects.

What is PHP?
Functional courses and bootcamps will help you master any new type of programming language. (Source: pixelcreatures)

There are a couple of steps you can use to determine how to become a programmer and which code you should learn:

  • Research on the web, read international articles that list programming languages for 2021 and watch videos around international coding trends
  • Investigate South Africa’s programming and software needs
  • Speak to practicing programmers who are currently in the occupation you plan to pursue for advice
  • Look at university programs and curriculums for the core computer languages qualified students learn

As a beginner we recommend you create a shortlist of the coding languages that you might need for your future job. Categorise them as must have’s and nice to have’s and then try out free introductory coding courses on each of them to see if you like it. Once you’ve done your exploration you can decide on a couple to specialise in.

High level languages (Java, Python, C++) are user orientated. It is easier for programmers to convert algorithms into code, but this needs greater translation for machines to understand. Low level languages are more complex, and machine orientated.

Here’s our list of the top programming languages list for specific jobs:

  • Web Development and Maintenance – Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP
  • Game Development – Java, C++, JavaScript, C#
  • Mobile Apps – Python, JavaScript, Java, Kotlin, C++
  • Software Programming – Python, Java, Ruby, Perl, C++, JavaScript, Lua, Swift, C
  • Data Science and Database Management – Python, JavaScript, Java, SQL
  • E-Commerce Solutions and Finance – Java, Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails, HTML
What is JavaScript?
A computer science orientated course or degree will include a different number of languages you'll have to learn. (Source: roketpik)

You’ll see that there are some languages that appear universally across different platforms, projects and jobs. Let’s explore the most popular ones in a bit more detail.

Python

Python is considered as one of the easiest programming languages to learn and certainly a go-to option for any new programmer. It is a general-purpose language that’s light, easy to install and can create a variety of programs. Its simple syntax, large library of toolkits and easy integration with other languages makes this multi-platform object orientated language a great tool for learning the basics.

Most start-ups make use of Python and it’s used to build websites, create software, automate tasks and do data analysis. The one con about Python is the fact that it’s not suitable for mobile development.

Java

Commonly used for the development of apps on the Android operating system, Java is one of the trickier programming languages that are generally used for the development of client-server business applications and back-end development projects. It is also used for mobile computing, desktop computing and games functions, but runs at its best when running off a server.

Oracle owns it which means the Java Development Kit comes with a licensing fee and the downside is its ability to run applications smoothly on the cloud. With over 9 million Java developers worldwide it continues to be used by most as a development platform.

The best Computer programming tutors available
Charlton
5
5 (8 review/s)
Charlton
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tiara
5
5 (6 review/s)
Tiara
R180
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tristan
Tristan
R100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lewin
5
5 (7 review/s)
Lewin
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Robert
4.9
4.9 (6 review/s)
Robert
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mikaela
5
5 (2 review/s)
Mikaela
R120
/h
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1st lesson free!
Elmar
5
5 (3 review/s)
Elmar
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Anubha
5
5 (8 review/s)
Anubha
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Charlton
5
5 (8 review/s)
Charlton
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tiara
5
5 (6 review/s)
Tiara
R180
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tristan
Tristan
R100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lewin
5
5 (7 review/s)
Lewin
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Robert
4.9
4.9 (6 review/s)
Robert
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mikaela
5
5 (2 review/s)
Mikaela
R120
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Elmar
5
5 (3 review/s)
Elmar
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Anubha
5
5 (8 review/s)
Anubha
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go!

JavaScript

JavaScript is the number one language to build interactive web pages. Other coding languages are used to create the foundational structure and style of web pages while the JavaScript coding brings interactive elements to enhance user engagement. As interpreter language it activates the code to be downloaded as soon as the user opens the webpage. It enhances the user experience (UX) and allows interactivity without increasing the load times.

JavaScript is perfect to improve a sites’ SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which leads to better indexing of websites on search engines like Yahoo, google etc.

Check out this article on coding through history here on Superprof.

SQL (Structured Query Language)

If data is your game, you’ll have to master SQL and luckily, it’s easier to learn than other more complex languages. Known as the standard language for relational database management systems, SQL allows communication in and around data sets and structures. The development of the relational database 1969 formed the foundations for SQL and was as fundamental as other pioneering steps in South Africa’s programming needs.

Data forms part of most strategic business decisions and the ability to dissect, manage, organise and analyse data makes this one of the most widely implemented database languages. It’s especially useful in marketing and customer analysis and allows searches for a list of clients against set parameters.  The fact that it is open source makes it portable and easy to use and with high speeds and well-defined structures it generally works like a dream if set-up appropriately.

C, C++ and C#

Known as one of the oldest programming languages, C is a low-level programming language from the 70s that is a bit trickier to master due to syntax that’s more complicated than modern languages.

This machine level language was also the building block for many of the other languages we know today like Python, PHP and Ruby and understanding C will make it easier for students to grasp C++ and C#.

C++ runs multi-device and multi-platforms and is used to program systems who run various applications. C# is the faster, more secure Microsoft version of C.  It is therefore the one to learn if you are interested in Microsoft and Windows application development and resolving errors are more complex due to its lack in flexibility.

Which programming languages are used for databases?
A developer might use a variety of languages to create new applications with different features and uses. (Source: Firmbee)

Becoming a Web Developer

Every career has differences in the the skill set it requires, but when it comes to coding, programming and development, there are generally three courses of study to prepare students for the business world:

  • A University degree (on campus or online)
  • A College degree, certificate or diploma
  • Various self-paced online courses

We’ve chosen the path to becoming a web developer through self-paced study as an example for the rest of this article as we wanted to show you how you can map-out your path of study and learning. Here are the recommended steps you can take to become a successful web developer:

  1. Master the web development fundamentals like your understanding of CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Coding bootcamps online is an ideal resource as you get an intensive programme focussed on outcomes and employment.
  2. Choose your development specialisation. During your foundational studies you’ll already start to gravitate towards one of the three specialisation areas of web development: front-end, back-end or full-stack development. Obviously becoming a full-stack developer will take a lot more work as you need to know the front- and the back-end.
  3. Master programming languages for web development or design. You’ve learned the basic languages around web development and now it’s time to go deeper into them while adding any coding languages that interest you in this field. Every year there are innovations around the features and functions around web development, so you'll have to keep updated with the ones you choose.
  4. Build projects to improve your skills and build your portfolio. The success of a developer lies in the successful development of projects. The more you practice on your own projects, the better you’ll become and the greater your chances of finding employment. You’ll discover how responsive design works and all the hundreds of programming languages that can help you in your build.

Check out this article on programming project language here on Superprof.

Should I learn HTML?
If you want to build websites, HTML is the way to go. (Source: lmonk72)

It’s important to note that personal opinion and likeability also comes into play when picking the code you want to learn. a Superprof tutor can help you with the creation of your own customised study plan to ensure you learn the programming languages and skills required to fill the shoes of your successful, future self.

Whether web development, software programming or coding interest you, once you’ve learned the basics of a specific programming language, you can plan your own programming project. Correcting your code is part of the process and a practicing programmer or tutor can guide you in fixing syntax errors, editing and debugging you program.

We hope this article shed some light on that all important question of which programming language will suit your goals best? Enjoy learning and discovering the coding journey as you go, use the free courses and tutorials online, and if you need a helping hand, you’ll be able to find a programmer or coder on Superprof that specialises in the code you want to master.

The only thing you’ll have to do now, is get your hands dirty and start coding!

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Mauritz

Writer and qualified yoga instructor, who is passionate about health and well-being.