Coding and programming are highly desirable skills in the modern world. According to research conducted by Daxx, there were 23 million software developers in 2018, and this figure was projected to grow to nearly 28 million in 2023 according to Evans Data Corporation. This is a massive jump from 2014, where only 18 million were employed as developers across the globe, according to IDC data. With new apps, cloud-based platforms, and programs popping up constantly, it’s clear that programmers are hard at work and busier than ever.

With so much potential to what you can do as a programmer, it’s clear to see why they have the potential to earn big. In Australia, the median salary package for a programmer is $67k – and that figure is projected to increase over time. Further, depending on the programming language you use and your experience, this figure can increase to $119k. Not bad for a geek, eh?

If you’re new to programming or coding then you might not be familiar with all of the different programming and coding languages available; however, this is an important element to understand for future programmers. The more languages you understand, the more you broaden your skill set and look appealing to an employer. For those just getting started, we break down the most important coding languages available and which might be best for you to use depending on your needs.

Before we get Started: What’s the Difference Between Coding and Programming?

The terms coding and programming are often used interchangeably; however, though the words seem the same as each other and most of the time you can get away with alternating between the two, they do mean quite different things. So, before we get dive into coding and programming languages, let’s look at the key differences between coding and programming.

Coding

In basic terms, coding is the act of writing in a language that computers understand, or a ‘programming’ or ‘coding’ language (they mean the same thing). Coding write scripts that tell computers what to do, how to look, and how to perform certain actions. This language is known as binary; it is the language computers understand. Therefore, coders must translate human language into binary for a computer to perform a certain task (for example, display a web page).

Looking further, there are different types of coders, mainly front-end and back-end. Front-end coders, or more commonly referred to as developers, are responsible for the design and look of a website. They specialise in the front-end languages of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Back-end developers, on the other hand, are responsible for the overall design and interactivity of a website. They build the apps that websites might run on and are responsible for the complex operations that might take place on a website, like logging in or out, embedding maps, connecting with friends, or building a user profile.

Programming

Programmers also use coding languages to craft some sequences of code; however, their work is more geared towards the development of computer programs and applications. Essentially, they oversee the overall development of an app and they help tweak code to ensure the system runs error-free. While a coder works on a more immediate level, a programmer sees the bigger picture; they work on an abstract level to develop potential solutions to a problem that may arise along the way. Their objective is to lay out a perfect plan for a system that is bug free and easy to navigate. Programming is definitely a higher career outcome as it can take years for an analyst or developer to become a programmer.

Programming Languages

Regardless of whether you’re a coder or programmer, you’ll be working with the same languages – and these days, there’s plenty of them to choose from. The great thing about learning a coding language is that once you have a basic understanding, you can learn any of them. At a basic level, they are all very similar. What differs mainly is the applications or program types they are best suited to (for example, Microsoft apps or Apple apps). To help you decide which coding language is best for your purpose, we break down the most popular options available.

HTML and CSS

These are the most widespread and fundamental languages of the internet. Right click on any website and select ‘view page source’ and you’ll see the HTML script that has been crafted for that web page. For many, learning HTML and CSS is the starting point of their coding journey. These languages are quite basic and easy to understand in their syntax and arrangement.

HTML and CSS are both front-end languages that are usually learned used in combination. Generally speaking, HTML tells your browser where to put things, what those things are, and how they should look. CSS, on the other hand, allows you to customise your webpage to look precisely how you want. In CSS, you can change the font, change the colouring of items, and play with sizes. Learning HTML and CSS in combination gives you the full ability to manipulate a web page to suit your vision.

Python

This is arguably the most well-known programming language out there. There’s a Python framework for virtually every use out there – from web apps to analysis. It’s popularity mainly stems from how darn easy it is to use. Much like HTML, it’s syntax is simple and straightforward. This makes it a great language for beginners to learn (hence why it’s often taught as schools). Despite its simplicity, it’s one of the languages at the forefront of up-and-coming technological developments, like machine learning and artificial intelligence. It’s also a language that has been consistently backed by Google, who have invested in it over the past decade. Programs that have been built with Python include Instagram and Pinterest.

Java

Java is another top pick for its popularity. Java is primarily used for server-side applications, video games, and mobile apps (particularly android apps). One of the reasons Java is so popular is due to its WORA mantra, meaning ‘write once, work anywhere’. This means once you’ve written the code, you can run it across multiple software platforms.

JavaScript

JavaScript is often confused with Java; however, both are very different languages. Along with HTML and CSS, Javascript is one of the core languages in the development of the internet. Due to its long history, it can be found pretty much everywhere on the web. JavaScript is mainly used for adding interactivity to web pages, and its presence can be felt across many websites. You know when you hover across something and see a text box appear? That was most likely JavaScript.

C

C is another popular language for its capability of running across multiple platforms. Its reliability makes it a go-to for many schools and universities. A lot of people like C because it’s quite low level, however can break large programs down into smaller programs called ‘functions’. Another advantage is that it’s portable and can be used for scripting system applications which form a major part of Windows, UNIX, and Linux operating systems. Also, if you’ve used other languages like C++, Java, JavaScript, or PHP, you’ll find C easy enough to grasp.

Ruby

Ruby is a language that has become popular due to its ease of use and power. Ruby has become increasingly used for the development of web apps in particular. Out of all of the languages, it’s by far the most straightforward, and luckily, knowledge in Ruby is very in demand right now.

C#

Pronounced C-sharp, is a language that is primarily used in the development of Microsoft apps. If you’re familiar with Java, C, or C++, you’ll get the hang of C# in no time. These are all incredibly similar languages – practically identical. In fact, C# pretty much simplifies the complexities of C++, while adding extra capabilities not available in Java, such as null-able value types, delegates, enumerations, lambda expressions, and direct memory access.

PHP

While PHP might not be as simple to grasp as the previous languages, it’s still on the easy end of the spectrum. That being said, it’s extremely advantageous learning this one. PHP packs a ton of power and can be used in conjunction with dynamic data-heavy websites and app development. In fact, PHP powers popular apps like WordPress and Facebook. One of the most handy features, however, is that it’s an open-source language and contains many free pre-built modules.

The Best Computers for Programming

Programming requires a higher quality computer. If you want to start programming or coding, lookout for a computer that meets the following requirements.

Primary recommendations for programming:

  • Intel i5 CPU, with an i7 recommended.
  • 8GB RAM, with 16GB recommended.
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution display

Already down with the lingo? Learn more about new cloud-based systems that are ever-evolving and popular in our modern world, or learn more about tech companies its not worth investing your money into by reading our recent articles!

Depending on your skill level and familiarity with coding languages, there is a perfect language for you and suited to your project. While we’ve listed the most popular coding languages available, there are plenty more out there for you to use. If you’re looking to get into coding and programming, there is no better time than right now, especially as our technology continues to advance in the future. In the meantime, happy coding!

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