The Top 8 Programming Languages to Learn as an Entrepreneur

by Craig Anthony

4 min read

Learning programming has become popular in recent years, and many entrepreneurs are jumping on board and taking on the intellectual challenge. Whether it is to build desktop-class applications or mobile apps for iPhone and Android, or perhaps learning cloud architecture, learning to code can be a career changer. Here are eight of the top languages to learn and what you can do with them.

Coding for Mobile: Java and Swift

It’s no secret that mobile device usage has grown tremendously in the past few years and will continue to grow. Entrepreneurs who are interested in developing apps for mobile devices have two great programming languages to choose from: Java and Swift. Java is class-based, object-oriented programming that was designed to let developers “write once, run anywhere.” This means the code can, or at least should, be able to run on all devices that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is so important because it is the recommended language for developing Android apps, and according to Google, there are approximately 1.5 billion active Android devices worldwide. Swift is a multi-paradigm object-oriented language that was created by Apple in 2014. It was designed with ease and safety as key foundations, making it a great language for first-time programmers. Swift is an alternative to Objective-C and has a much simpler syntax. The main appeal for learning Swift is it is the main language for apps developed for any Apple product, from the iPhone to the Mac.

Coding for the Web: Ruby on Rails and Javascript

Another general bucket of program development is web-based development, which is development of web applications, web services, web resources, and web APIs. This is not to be confused with “making a website” using HTML. Technically, HTML is not a programming language, and is instead a markup language. HTML is much more akin to writing a story in a Word document than programming logic into an application.Ruby on Rails uses the Ruby language and is a server-side web application framework that uses the familiar mode-view-controller frameworks. It was initially released in 2004 and continues to evolve to this day. Examples of the powerful products that can be developed with Ruby on Rails include Hulu, Airbnb, and Basecamp. Javascript is one of the three core technologies behind the world wide web; the other two being HTML and CSS. It is a powerful language that allows you to add a variety of interactions, capabilities, and foundations to websites. Javascript is one of the most in-demand skills in the programming market and should definitely be considered by anyone wanting to learn web development.

Coding for Data and Statistics: Matlab and “R”

Another major topical area of programming is big data and statistics, which is used in a variety of industries from engineering to finance to academia and more. Two of the most popular and useful programming languages used in these spaces are Matlab and R.Matlab is short for matrix laboratory and is an environment that utilizes special data types, such as matrices. After data is compiled, Matlab helps with processing the data through conversion, classification, filtering, standardization, aggregation, and more. Output from Matlab is a graphical representation of that data and preprocessed data that can be used for statistical purposes.R is an open-source programming language used for statistical computing, data manipulation, and graphical output. It is very effective at data handling and has an integrated set of tools for data analysis. R is freely available under the GNU General Public License and versions exist for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

General Purpose Languages: Python and PHP

General-purpose programming languages are designed to be used for developing software for a variety of applications. In a sense, this means the languages were not specifically developed to be used on a certain platform or domain.Python is a hugely popular general-purpose programming language. It is used for a variety of things, from automating small user tasks to performing more difficult tasks such as communicating with databases. It can also be used for back-end web development and cloud tasks. One strong feature of Python is its readability; it somewhat resembles the English language.PHP is a general-purpose language that also tends to be used in web development. It is mainly used for server-side scripting and command-line scripting, and writing desktop applications. This programming language can also be used on all major operating systems. Learning a programming language is not something to take lightly. It is a challenging task that will take months or years to fully complete; thus, it is very important to decide what type of programming you would like to learn. From there, individual research can lead you deeper into the programming world of your choice.

References & Resources

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