The average salary for software developers and programmers is ~$79,000. Most people would consider this to be a high paying career, and many people find themselves transitioning from their current career into one as a developer. There are countless job titles and project types that require development knowledge, and there are hundreds of programming languages that developers can and might learn when building and maintaining programs. While it's basically impossible to learn every single language out there, there are a few programming languages that are basic in the developer's portfolio.
If you're just starting out, the world of web and app development might seem daunting to say the least. If you're a recent college grad, or you're new to development, starting out with the basics is the easiest and most obvious way to begin. While most development languages differ from each other, some languages are easier to pick up than others.
Python was created to be a 'filler' language that automates the tedious processes in coding a program. Python is relatively easy to learn, given that the number of features in the language is modest (when compared to other languages), and its syntax is designed to be easily readable and concise. Since a developer would need to invest little time and effort to produce a working program, Python is known as a great starter language and is fairly easy for newcomers to pick up. It enables devs to spend more time solving complex development problems rather than spending time trying to figure out someone else's code. Lastly, Python is widely supported, an obvious benefit when working with business applications and tools.
Learn more about Python.
There's always good ol' HTML! If you're truly a beginner, familiarizing yourself with HTML is a great (read: necessary) place to begin.
C++ is a good place for the intermediate developer to start. Object-Oriented and derived from its predecessor C, C++ can be a big salary booster for professional developers. There are many programming languages that are based off of C languages, so knowledge of C++ opens up many opportunities for furthering learning and advancing into more advanced languages.
See Why Should I Learn C++ on Stack Overflow for some great responses from other devs.
C# (pronounced C sharp) is based on C++ and uses XML and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). Fluency in C# is often a great resume booster, and if you're familiar with C++, it will be fairly easy for you to move onto C#. C# tends to be a bit heavier than C++, and handles much of the overhead that has to be taken into account with C++.
Java is a general-purpose programming language first released in 1995 (just to set the tone for that year, here ya go). Java is similar to C++ in overall structure and syntax and is widely used in the development and run of web programs. Java hopes to highlight its cross-platform compatibility and efficiency with its slogan of "write once, run anywhere".
Java is extremely common, so it's likely that developers will need to understand it in one way or another.
Agile is an approach to software development that advocates adaptive planning, evolving development, and quick, flexible reactions depending on the current state of the project. Larger parts of the process are broken down into much smaller bits of tasks (referred to as 'sprints'), and the approach is often used by team managers and project managers to encourage faster completion. If you're interested in adding project management skills to your resume, Agile is a great highlight.
Structured Query Language is a coding language that is used to store, manipulate, and retrieve data in databases. Common database management systems that use SQL include Oracle, Sybase, Access, and several others. If you find yourself preferring working with databases and want to learn the second-most common programming language, SQL is a great addition to your knowledge base.
Linux is the best-known operating system out there, and is found underneath all other software on computers as it receives requests from other programs and then relays those requests to the device's hardware. It's open source nature is free and available to the public to view, use, edit, and even contribute to. There are many distributions of Linux, all of which include different software options, and this makes it extremely customizable.
You are probably already using Linux, even if you don't realize it. Between 33% and 66% of the webpages out there on the internet are generated by servers that are running Linux. Linux is secure, has a large support community, and is found in Android devices, cameras, even some smart cars run Linux. Linux is a great operating system for developers to be familiar with since it's so widely used.
Android developers will likely stick to aforementioned and extremely popular programming language Java. Java has a large support community, and can support many types of mobile applications.
Kotlin was developed to address some known issues Java has. Some developers prefer Kotlin because they find it simpler and cleaner than Java. Try both for yourself and see which you prefer, or use both Java and Kotlin in the same project.
iOS programmers will likely use Swift or Objective-C when developing apps for Apple devices. Swift is open source and is popular due to its simplified syntax. Apple has been pushing to promote Swift and clearly wants it to become the standard.
Objective-C for iOS is still common with more advanced mobile app projects and is considered strong and accessible. Objective-C is completely integrated into to all iOS and MacOS frameworks. As mentioned, Apple is attempting to fully shift its ecosystem from Objective-C to Swift.
Related Content: Learn to Code with Zymo
There are countless programming languages that developers can learn, and chances are you will find yourself preferring one over the other. Additionally, most professional developers learn new coding languages as a part of their job training. You should learn the programming language(s) that you will use most often and that will impact your career growth the most. The key is to never stop learning and always be advancing!