Learning programming languages can open doors to new opportunities. But with so many languages out there, it’s imperative to pick the appropriate ones to best suit your career, personal goals and interests. Computer programming languages are essential to know if you have an interest in the various careers available in development, programming, ethical hacking, analysis, and engineering, among others like DevOps.

DevOps is a great role to move into as the demand is high and the talent pool is lacking the skills and experience needed for this specialized position. There are many skills that cross over from jobs like system admin and other positions. This sought-after job that can be made more tangible with learning programming languages and coding.

In this guide, we explore the various facets that set programing languages apart, the reasons to learn each one, the languages best suited for different career paths and an exhaustive programming languages list. The comprehensive list of languages includes their origin, type, who uses them, what they’re best for, any special features and resources to help you learn them. Use the menu below to skip to your desired topic:

  • Reasons to Learn Programming Languages
  • How to Choose a Programming Language
  • Guide to Popular Programming Languages
  • Programming Language Resources

Why Learn Programming Languages?

Learning programming languages can help create career opportunities and give you the freedom to forge your own path. Many people learn to code as a hobby and thoroughly enjoy all of the challenges and rewards that come with it. Programming languages are not just interesting — learning them is also a great career move. If you have knowledge in a niche field or market, programming skills make you a huge asset for that particular vertical. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of software development is projected to grow 24% with 302,500 additional jobs opening up from 2016 to 2026. The more languages you learn, the easier it will be to pick up new ones. Becoming well-versed helps you build your knowledge base if you ever want to create your own language to solve a specific problem.

This knowledge base of different languages also helps you get better at the languages you already use and can help improve your job performance too. There are many fields and jobs that utilize programming languages to help with development and programming, computer engineering and to create better cybersecurity through pen testing as well. Some great positions that use programming languages include:

  • Software application developer
  • Computer systems engineer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Cybersecurity positions
  • Web developer
  • DevOps engineer

Many system admins are looking to move to a similar but different position that gives them the chance to dive into the world of software development. If you’re looking to get into DevOps from a sysadmin or other position here are some of the most sought-after skills:

  • Scripting
  • Cloud computing
  • Configuration
  • Concepts in Continuous Integration and Deployment (CICD)
  • OS Admin
  • Monitoring
  • Infrastructure as Code (IAC)

Choosing Programming Languages to Learn

In order to select the best programming language for you, you need to have a goal in mind. As mentioned above, different languages serve different purposes and work more efficiently in solving various problems. Naturally, certain programming languages are more prevalent in a variety of job roles as well so it’s best to look into the languages that best fit your career path or desired job role.

In most people’s experiences, the first language they learn is the hardest, but once you have the fundamentals and mindset for it the learning process becomes quicker. It’s important to remember that the ease, difficulty, and usefulness of a language are pretty subjective, so you may find that your experiences don’t reflect the journey that someone else had learning a particular language. See some of the best programming languages to learn and more details about those languages in the exhaustive list below. These languages were deemed “popular” by their job demand and overall use, depending on your goals the best language for you could be something different.

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