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The Most Useful Programming Languages

Updated on October 6, 2014
Binary code
Binary code | Source

It is very hard to say, which programming language is the best and should be learned. In many cases, this decision depends on the objectives. If you are a web developer, you probably choose completely different programming languages that are chosen for hardware implementation or database development. So there is no complete answer to the question, which programing language is the most useful.

I present you the list of most useful programming languages. This list is based on my personal opinion and some reviews on the Internet on most popular programming languages. So, if you do not agree with my listing, please discuss and write down your argument in the comment section. Such an information would be very valuable for readers. Comments from experienced programmers are especially welcome, because I am just an amateur. How it comes that such an amateur chose this topic? I do not know. Maybe I will kick myself and learn some of those languages.

I am not going to rank the most useful programming languages, because such a ranking makes no sense. Their usability depends on personal needs. Also, it would be hard to do such a ranking objectively. If you would ask various programmers about ranking the programming languages, each person would make this list different on it's personal experience and attitude. So this list only shows basic tendencies for today's most popular programming languages.

Java | Source


Java is object-oriented programming language that was released in 1995. Since then, JAVA leads the top lists of best programming languages. Such popularity is earned by huge well written and well organized libraries. Also, JAVA is computer architecture friendly programming language. Applications (programs) can run on different environments. It is independent language, that can be used on different operating systems. That is because JAVA virtual machine is used to run the programs.


C is general purpose programming language. It is quite old programming language. It was developed in 1972. This language was developed to work in Unix operating system. This language gave backgrounds to many other programming languages. I think, that every programmer should learn C first, because when you know C, it is very easy to jump to other platforms such as JAVA or C#. C is not architecture friendly as JAVA. It's code must be compiled for different architectures. Although C is an old language, it is used widely for writing system programs, creating other programming languages or creating programs for embedded systems.

Java Script

Firstly, it must be said, that JavaScript has nothing in common with JAVA. Well, it does. It is a programming language, but it is completely different as is used for client side solutions in Web development. This language is used to build simple scripts that works with web browsers. Simple on-line games also can be created. JavaScript has a simple set of commands. The code, written with JavaScript does not have to be compiled. This simple language allows creating many useful things for form validation, browser detection, website design improvement and so on. I think that JavaScript should be learned by every web developer.

PHP | Source


PHP is open-source programming language, commonly used for Web applications. It allows to produce dynamic Web pages. PHP works on server side and can be embedded into HTML pages. PHP was developed in 1996. It is quite young programming language, comparing, for example, with C, but its popularity makes this language the main tool for web developers. The advantages of this languages are web programming and strong documentation. Despite its popularity, PHP is often criticized. First of all, there were some problems with security in the past. The problems were solved, but bad experience always forms the strongest opinions. Also, this language has inconsistent syntax and too many ways to do the same things.


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C# programming language evolved from C and C++. C# was written by Microsoft. It is object oriented programming language. This language is a part of the .Net Framework. So, a programmer needs this language if he/she is going to implement programs with Microsoft products. C# is very similar to JAVA. It has similar syntax and use the same programming manner as JAVA does. Also, this language is quite powerful and fast, but the problem is that it suits only Microsoft products.


Those, who use Linux, knows what Python is. It is very simple, general purpose, high level programming language. Maybe because of that Google loves Python. On the one hand it is very easy understandable language with clear and standardized syntax. On the other had it is a powerful tool that allows creating various programs. Today Python is commonly used in building various applications for cloud computing, so those programmers, who are interesting in web development and clouds should learn this language.

Ruby | Source


Ruby is an absolutely new language to me. First time I have heard about the Ruby only a few years ago. Well, this language was created in 1995, but till 2006 it was quite a rare language. After the year of 2006 it gained its popularity among programmers, because Ruby on Rails framework became popular and promoted the Ruby itself. This language is a mix of various programming languages, such as Perl, Ada, Lisp and others. It is said that creator of Ruby took parts from his favorite programming languages, mixed those parts together and that is how Ruby appeared. Ruby suits for almost everything. It allows creating Web and business applications, various simulations, modeling, robotic and networking applications and so on.

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How to Choose Programming Language

The question every beginner programmer always ask is how to choose programming language. There is no clear answer to this question because it depends... Every time you ask this question, you may find different answer. The first thing you should do before choosing your programming language to start with is to consider you objectives, goals and expectations. Are you learning this for fun or consider programming as you future job? Maybe you would like to create a website or computer game? Each option has different starting point.

If you are planning to build a website, HTML and CSS would be a good start. Include JavaScript and PHP and you will be able to build interactive website. Maybe you are interested in mobile applications, then Objective-C or Java will do well.

It may be that you do not know exactly what to build. Then basic concepts of programming is a good start. Actually, basic concepts of programming must go along with any programming language you are trying to learn. Programming is mostly not about knowing and learning languages. It is about thinking like programmer. It requires sharp and algorithmic thinking, mathematical background and other skills that must be developed.

If you are not sure which programming language to choose, start with mainstream programming languages. This hub contains a full list of most popular programming languages. Start with Java, C#, Pearl, Ruby, or any other you like. Learn main principles of programming and start thinking like a programmer. After some time you will find out, that this question has no sense. If you can think like a programmer, you can handle any language that is needed.


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    3 years ago

    You might want to add Lua to the list as well. It can be embedded into C/C++ and is especially useful if you are going to be doing any sort of game programming.


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