I have read somewhere that a programmer should learn a new programming language every year ( I think it's code complete, not sure, though), but if you cannot do so, I suggest to at least learn following five programming language to do well in your career.
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links; I may receive compensation if you purchase products or services from the different links provided in this article.
Every company loves a polyglot programmer and an all-rounder who is versatile enough to write a quick script and can also write complex Java programs. In fact, it's almost mandatory for a senior developer to learn more than one language.
Many times a small script is quick and good enough for the ad-hoc task and I don't want my programmer spending a full day in Java to write a program to read CSV files or to grab a message from a TCP/UDP port.
Why I chose these five programming languages? My reasons are simple and practical. I have chosen languages based on their usage, paradigm, and popularity.
C is the one language I strongly believe developers should learn at the very start of their career because it will help them to get closer to the system and understand key programming concept which is often hidden behind JVM or CLR.
Python is my choice of scripting language though you can also substitute with Perl or Groovy. Though when it comes to online support, Python is also great. There are lots of python modules available which can do your job in a couple of minutes.
Similarly learning an object-oriented and one functional programming language like Haskell or Scala will widen your thinking and programming sense. You will find more reasons to learn these top 5 programming languages in this article.
Without Further Ado, here is my list of 5 programming languages which every programmer or software developer should try to learn.
Java is one of the most popular languages of the last two decade and rules the world of server-side application development. It also holds a sizable market share in mobile games and application development using Android and enterprise web development world.
Java was started with a simple thought of WORA, "write once run anywhere", but over the period, Java actually ran everywhere.
Why should you learn Java? You will only have to focus on application design and code structuring without worrying about system-specific details and memory management. JVM will take care of it.
If you decide to learn Java then The Complete Java Master Class on Udemy is a good course, to begin with. It covers all essential concepts of Java in good details.
Btw, If you need more choices and don't mind learning from FREE courses, then you can also check this list of free Java Courses for beginners.
Java is used by some of the biggest organizations e.g. banks, insurance companies and you can reach masses by writing Android apps.
If you are still not convinced, I suggest you check out these 10 reasons to learn Java.
Python is one of the most taught languages in school and colleges across the world. In the USA, Python has replaced Java from many academic courses as a preferred language to start with. What will you gain by learning Python? A lot.
Python is one of that language which can be used as a scripting language as well as proper object-oriented language for a large project.
Many popular websites including Reddit are built upon Python frameworks like Django. In recent times, many large organizations are switching to the Python-based framework as well.
Python is also increasingly used for new generation technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. No wonder, because it has got some awesome machine learning libraries like TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn, and others.
I personally use Python for writing scripts though and it is very useful for doing something quickly e.g. you can write a UDP message listener in 5 minutes in Python as opposed to 20 minutes in Java, forget about compiling, packaging and then using. Just write python scripts for ad-hoc tasks.
If you are interested in learning Python then The Complete Python BootCampis a great course to start with.
Btw, If you need more choices and don't mind learning from FREE resources, then you can also check this list of free Python courses for beginners.
Also, If you are confused between Java and Python to start with, take a look at this infographic, which compares Java with Python.
And, if you still not convinced, then you should check my post about 10 reasons to learn Python in 2019.
Knowledge of this language has helped us to decide which feature should be implemented server-side and which can be handled at client side e.g. many validations we used to do on the server side was migrated to the client side.
You cannot be a true programmer without knowing C or C++. This is a very strong statement but I am saying this from my years of experience.
Software engineers and developers who know C/C++ are simply better than programmers who don't know C and it cannot be just a plain coincident.
It's one of that language which you must know. I learned C during my academics and learned many key programming concepts along the way e.g. structure, array, pointers, memory management etc.
The C is still the most preferred language for system programming and it has given Java a solid competition at the top of the table from last two years.
If you want to learn this wonderful language then C Programming for Beginners is a good place to start with.
It is also one of the oldest mainstream languages, survived for more than 4 decades now.
Btw, if you want to learn C++ instead of C then also it's not bad as they are quite similar and allows you to write low-level code for systems and drivers.
It's also one of the important language for Game developers because of high performance it offers.
If you want to make games and learn C++ then The Unreal Engine Developer Course --- Learn C++ & Make Games is one of the best course. It's simply amazing and you will learn most by developing games than any other way.
And, if you want to learn C++, you can also check out my list of FREE C++ Coursesfor beginners.
Scala is the language which is created based on the best practices of the last 20 years. It is also a functional programming language so it offers a different paradigm than object-oriented programming, which will improve your thinking and code sense.
Though there are many functional programming languages available e.g. Haskell, I have chosen Scala because as a Java developer, I found learning Scala is easy than learning Haskell.
Someone can take that as a challenge and learn Haskell as well but for the practical purpose, I think learning Scala is more relevant for Java developers.
For C++ programmers, Haskell makes more sense to me. To be honest, you can choose any functional programming language but chose one which has commercial demand.
As a professional developer, I prefer to invest my time on something which can be used in my career and if you want to learn Scala then Beginning Scala Programming is a good course, to begin with.
Btw, no matter how many programming languages you learn, you must follow the coding and design principles given in Clean Code by heart to become a professional coder. It's those skill which helps you most in your programming career.
That's all on this list of top 5 programming language every software engineer should learn. Some of you might find the list as 5 programming language Java developer should learn, which is also right.
IMHO studying languages that offer different paradigms is the best way to improve your programming skill and help you to do your day to day task effectively.
Other Programming Articles for curious developers
10 Tools Every Programmer should know
10 Reasons to learn Python in 2019
10 Things Every Programmer should learn
10 Articles Every Programmer Must Read
6 Books to Learn and Master Programming
10 Tips to become a better Software developer
10 Object Oriented design Principle Every Programmer should know
10 More Books Every programmer should read
10 Things Java Developer should Learn in 2018
Thanks, You made it to the end of the article ... If you like these programming languages then please share with your friends and colleagues.
If you have any questions or feedback or any other programming language which you think every programmer should learn then please share with us.
If you like this article, then please share with your friends and colleagues, and don't forget to follow javinpaul on Twitter.
It's not necessary you need to learn all of these programming langauge, but it's good to learn a couple of them from this list like Java and Python, or Java and JavaSciprt, or may be, Java, Scala, and Python. Try to become a Polyglot programmer.