A programming language is a formal language comprising a set of instructions that produce various kinds of output. Programming languages are used in computer programming to implement algorithms. Most programming languages consist of instructions for computers. There are programmable machines that use a set of specific instructions, rather than general programming languages.
Each programming language requires different skills and has different benefits and challenges. Let’s go through the most popular programming languages and look more closely at these aspects.
- Client-side execution of this language is limited to browsers and related environments and doesn’t run on the server side unless additional tools are used
- There is no built-in support for multithreading or multiprocessing
- Code must be written in an interpreted language
- It is supported by all major web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer) and works well with other languages and applications, including HTML and CSS (can also be used alongside Java on Android-based mobile apps)
- Allows developers to create interactive Web pages
- Is a relatively easy language to learn
Python is a dynamic programming language as of now, so you do not need to declare data types while declaring variables. It's easy to use and has a lot of supporting libraries that make data processing and manipulation easier. Python uses Garbage Collection technique for memory management which makes it easier for programmers to develop applications without worrying about memory leaks.
Unlike other high-level languages such as C, C++ and Java, Python does not have any compilation step because of its interpretive nature. This also helps in rapid prototyping of ideas and makes it more productive when compared with other high-level languages like Java or C.
- Python is relatively easy to learn as coding goes, but its features are often perceived as being too limited
- There are some issues related to stack management in the programming language that can cause problems for users
- Some programmers have also expressed a dislike for the way that the programming language handles exceptions
- Depending on your hardware, using Python can sometimes be slower than using other programming languages
- Because of its simple syntax, Python is easy to integrate with other languages like C and Java
- Access to a large library of prewritten code from which you can base your own work
- If you're looking for a one-stop shop when it comes to connecting with other developers and accessing their work, this is definitely one of the most helpful features offered by Python
C# is a modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. C# is designed for Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), which consists of the executable code and runtime environment that allows use of various high-level languages on different computer platforms and architectures. In addition to being fast, simple, safe and modern it also provides complete control over the hardware you are running on. This means you can use C# to develop high performance games or applications that use parallel computing.
Some of the most popular companies using C# are Stack Overflow, Dell and Microsoft itself!
You can use C# to create Windows client applications, XML Web services, distributed components, client-server applications, database applications, and much more. Visual C# provides an advanced code editor, convenient user interface designers, integrated debugger, and many other tools to make it easier to develop applications based on the C# language and the .NET Framework.
- It is highly reliant on .Net resources as the technology stack
- It has a steep learning curve, since it is slightly harder to learn on its own
- It is a very versatile language to build apps in the dotnet ecosystem
- Its speed and memory management are what makes it one of the more popular apps
- It has seamless cross-platform interoperability
Java will continue to be a top programming language for app development in 2022. Being around for over 20 years as one of the most popular programming languages, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Java is the most used programming language for Android apps, making it a top choice when developing mobile apps. As a result of its popularity and ubiquity, Java has become one of the most popular and widely used languages in all types of backend development as well.
- Java is costlier due to its memory and processing requirements
- It doesn't provide methods like delete and free to clear the memory
- Java is object-oriented, making it more practical to use
- It is platform-independent and can run on multiple platforms
C and C++
C and C++ are two of the oldest programming languages that are still widely used today. They are used for developing general operating systems, drivers, embedded systems, games, and more. Although this is considered a low-level language because it interacts directly with the computer’s hardware components, it's also one of the most powerful ones.
- C++ is a complex language that requires a lot of specialization to master
- It offers fast performance and is suitable for building systems-level software, games engines, and desktop apps
Rust is a general-purpose language developed by Mozilla. It's both fast and memory safe, which means that it doesn't have to use a garbage collector and can be used to power systems programming. Since it was designed with embedded devices in mind, it has a small runtime and doesn't need a lot of system resources. That makes Rust ideal for applications where memory safety is important, but speed is also necessary, such as embedded programming, web servers and IoT devices.
Two well-known examples of products built with Rust are Dropbox's desktop client and Firefox's high-performance networking stack (which includes the Servo web browser engine).
- Currently very few developers and companies are using rust
- Documentation and library for this language is not very mature
- One of its most impressive features is the way it manages memory through smart pointers
- It also has a great type system that allows for better error handling at compile time
Read more about Rust, the good and the bad, here.
Go, also known as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled programming language designed at Google. Go is syntactically similar to C, but with memory safety, garbage collection, structural typing, and CSP-style concurrency.
The compiler and other language tools originally released by Google are all free and open source. Go's primary purpose is simplicity of code; it's also intended to improve performance in multithreaded scenarios by eliminating the need for locks or other synchronization primitives.
- Go is a new language, which means that it's not as widely used as older languages. This can make finding other programmers to work with more difficult
- Go is not a fully object-oriented language, which can be confusing for experienced developers who are used to working in other languages
- Because it's relatively new and doesn't have the benefit of large amounts of legacy code, Go does not have libraries for doing every possible task. If you need to do something that's out of the ordinary for your job, you may end up having to write the library yourself!
- It's much simpler than other popular programming languages like Java or C++
- Instead of worrying about objects and classes, it uses just one simple type—structs—to build programs out of smaller parts
- Because it's so easy to use structs in your code, many common tasks like reading from files or accessing databases can be done with very little effort
- Go comes with built-in functionality for handling these things internally via its standard library
This programming language has the backing of Google and is open source. It’s been lauded for its conciseness, interoperability and ease of learning: it is type-inferred, meaning that you don’t have to be as specific when typing out your code; instead, it can be inferred by the context in which it is used. Kotlin was created by JetBrains, makers of some great IDEs (integrated development environments) including IntelliJ IDEA.
Kotlin trades a lot of the pure object-oriented features in favor of functional features since these are now more valuable for app development. It can be used for server-side programming, and it can also be used to develop Android apps.
- The language is not as popular as some other programming languages and therefore there is less available help if you need it. Even though the popularity gap is quickly closing, some people are still reluctant to learn Kotlin due to this reason
- Some of the new features in Kotlin can be confusing for developers who are used to writing in Java or another language
- Facilitates faster development due to fewer lines of code
- Is fully compatible with and can easily be converted to Java
- Adopting Kotlin is easier because it’s simple and easy to understand
A language that’s well-worth your time to learn, Swift is another extremely popular programming language. With open-source roots and a slew of major companies adopting it, Swift is undoubtedly one of the best programming languages out there.
First introduced by Apple in 2014, Swift was created to replace Objective-C as the primary code for iOS apps. As a general-purpose language, you can use Swift to develop mobile (iOS and Android), desktop, web applications and more.
- Swift is a relatively hard language to learn
- Swift seems better than C++, C#, Java, and Python because it is much faster than those languages. It is also easier to maintain than Python
- Swift will become the new programming language of choice for iOS developers in the coming years
- Typescript is a challenging programming language to learn because it's restrictive
- It can get very confusing and frustrating when you're trying to write code, but you keep getting error messages repeatedly
- It's pretty easy to figure out what your errors mean once you get used to the strict language
- It also can catch errors before runtime which helps protect against crashes during usage of your product or website
Picking the right language for a given project is an incredibly important decision. When you're choosing a language for a project, you should consider things like:
- The experience level of your team
- What skills are required for your project?
- If you need to send out people on your team to get new skills, which languages will be easy/harder (and therefore more costly) to learn?
- What kind of systems do you need to integrate with? Do any of those systems rely on a specific programming language? Won’t work with another one?
If you are looking for software developers skilled in these languages for app development, contact us.
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