The best programming languages to learn for software engineers

The best programming languages to learn for software engineers

What is a programming language?

A programming language is a language that tells a computer what to do in order for it to work. These languages are used to make computer programs and software using real words for commands so that the language can be easier to read.  It is a formal language comprising of a set of instructions in order to create various types of output to implement algorithms.  In simple terms programming is a set of instructions for computers.


Types of Programming Languages:


  • Procedural Programming
  • Functional Programming
  • Object-orientated Programming
  • Scripting Programming
  • Logic Programming


Most Popular Programming Languages


  • Java
  • Python
  • C & C++
  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • C#

C and C++

Two of the most popular programming languages are C and C++.  The syntax and concepts of C have been carried onto other popular programming languages and have stood the test of time when building web applications and web front-end components. Learning the C language helps you to understand how hardware and software interact with each other and are used together universally.

The differences between the two is that C is a Procedural Orientated language that supports pointers and C++ is an Object-Orientated Programming language that supports pointers as well as references.  C does not allow you to use function overloading, but C++ does allow for this. These are, however, both programming languages that are used for application development. C can be termed as a subset of C++ and is less powerful due to the fact that C++ has a greater expressive power.  C programming language is normally followed by Java or C++ due to the fact that C programming enables users to become used to the procedural part of the programming language and then go on to learn about object-orientated programming.   As a beginner programmer C is best to start with as C++ and Java tend to be overwhelming if you are just beginning your software development training.



This is a very modern general-purpose language that is able to perform many objectives ranging over many professions.  It is used primarily on the Windows, NET framework but can also be applied to any open source platform.  Being an object-orientated programming language methodology, it is made up of many objects that are able to interact with each other by using actions called methods.  It is the perfect programming language for a beginner and is often used to teach programming in universities.



Java is a general all-purpose programming language that is used to develop mobile and desktop applications though data processing and embedded systems. Java is owned by a company called Oracle and runs on 3 billion devices throughout the world thus making it one of the most popular programming languages to use.  It is a simple language that is clean and easy to learn and understand and is one of the top applications used to build server-side applications to video games and mobile applications. Complex C++ languages are eliminated and re-implemented with Java.  With Java everything appears in the form of an object and is designed for use in the internet environment.  Android smartphone applications are one of the most used when it comes to the development of edge devices and the internet,




This is an interpreted, object orientated programming language with dynamic semantics. It is simple and easy to use and has a strong emphasis on readability reducing the cost of program maintenance while at the same time supporting modules and packages to enable program modularity and code reuse.  Python is a high-level programming language used to develop desktop GUI applications, web applications and websites and allows you to focus on the functionality of the application by taking care of common programming tasks.  You can use Python to build just about anything and it is great program to use for creating backend web development, data analysis, scientific computing and artificial intelligence.  It is known as being one of the most accessible program languages and has a simplified syntax making it very uncomplicated.  This helps to give it a more natural language and enables ease of learning and usage.  These codes can be written easily and are much faster than most other programming languages.


If you are looking to learn a high-level general-purpose programming language then Ruby comes highly recommended as it supports multiple programming paradigms as well as procedural, object-orientated and functional programming.  Web applications are built using Ruby, yet it also has many other applications such as prototyping, data analysis and proof of concepts. With this programming language whitespaces and tabbing do not matter and thus allows for it to be a good platform for beginners.




JavaScript is lightweight and commonly used as part of webpages allowing client-side scripts to interact with the user.  It is a dynamic programming language and is text based allowing web pages to be extremely interactive.  JavaScript gives web pages interactive elements that are used to engage users.  JavaScript does not just run in the browser and is used to write code for various niches for clients and cloud servers. It is an easy programming language and functions well as an interpreted language within the web browser which in turn enables the user to write very complex code in small steps and then test it in the web browser as they go.



Why learn programming languages?


Coding careers offer a wonderful earning potential

Coding related jobs are in strong demand

The ability to code enhances problem solving abilities

Coding careers offer flexibility

Comparison Table

Program Description What the program does


Procedural Orientated Language



·       Used for Application Development.

·       Less powerful.

·       Perfect for beginners.


C++ Object-Orientated Language



·       Used for Application Development.

·       Greater Expressive Power.

·       Perfect for beginners.






Object-Orientated Language ·       Used Primarily on Windows.

·       Perfect for beginners

Java All-purpose Programming Language



·       Very popular.

·       Used to develop server-side applications.

Python Object-Orientated Language



·       Dynamic Semantics.

·       Used to Build just about anything

·       Uncomplicated.


Ruby General-purpose Programming Language

Procedural Orientated Programming Language

Functional Programming Language



·       Highly recommended

·       Procedural, object-orientated and functional programming.

JavaScript Text based and Interactive Program





·       Dynamic and Interactive.

·       Enables user to write complex code.



Coding is a skill that allows the individual to communicate across many countries and cultures and grow their innovation and problem-solving abilities. Learning to code at a young age can also help children to solve everyday problems and give them the power to create lifelong opportunities for themselves.

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