Which programming languages do employers want me to know?
This is a question every programmer should be asking themselves regularly, because the most popular and widely-used languages change and evolve with the internet itself. Now, it’s next to impossible to learn every programming language out there—especially with the rate at which new ones are created—but experts like BjarneStroustrup (the creator of C++) recommend that true professionals know at least five so that they have a relatively comprehensive overview of the programming world.
With that in mind, here are four programming languages to learn if you really want to impress companies and ace your job interviews.
C++. As one of the most popular programming languages around, C++ is something that any programmer worth his or her salt should know. Just how popular is it? C++ is used in practically everything—device drivers, high-performance server applications, client applications, application software, embedded software, systems software, video games, and even hardware design.
Though it originally began as an attempt to add a few enhancements to C, C++ quickly became its own thing and has greatly influenced subsequent languages such as C# and Java. Speaking of which…
Java.With 10 million reported users, it’s pretty safe to say that Java is here to stay. Though the syntax of Java’s language comes largely from C and C++, it doesn’t have as many lower level facilities as they do. Java can run independent of computer architecture on any Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The language is designed to allow developers to “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) so if a code can run on one platform, it doesn’t need to be recompiled in order for it to run on any other. In short, there are as few implementation dependencies as possible.
But the real reason that companies want programmers to know Java is that it is versatile and omnipresent. One of the latest major ways that Java has been used is as a key pillar in the design for Google and Android’s Android open-source smartphone operating system. All applications for Android are designed in Java.
Python.According to The Zen of Python, the language was built to be beautiful, explicit, simple, and readable. Of those four, simple probably describes Python the best, because the core is very bare-bones and has only minimal functionality when compared with other popular programming languages. Where Python differs from the previous two is in its ability to be endlessly extensible.
That means that anyone can write new Python code and add it to the core functionality of the language. In fact, Python’s development is guided by the entire community of the language’s users through the Python Enhancement Project (PEP). People propose any new major features to the group, get the input of the community, and make changes together.
Why do businesses like their programmers to know Python? Because users include giants in the field of technology like Yahoo!, Google, ILM, ITA, Cern, and even NASA. It’s used in web apps, scientific computing, 3D animation, 2D imagine software, and video games.
Ruby. With automatic memory management and a dynamic type system, Ruby shares similarities with a number of other programs such as CLU, Pike, Dylan, Lisp, Perl, Smalltalk, and the aforementioned Python. It’s also similar to C in the fact that the language is written in C. Like the others, it’s considered to be a general purpose programming language and supports multiple programming paradigms.
Ruby was designed to be incredibly simple for programmers who are familiar with it, and – in the words of the creator – “fun.” Companies like their programmers to have familiarity with Ruby because it works on almost all operating systems, including things like Microsoft Windows, Windows CE, Windows Phone, Mac OS X, Linux, and multiple versions of Unix.
About the Author:
Patrick Del Rosario is a Filipino business and career ninja. He works at Open Colleges, one of the pioneers of Online education in Australia and one of the leading providers of human resources courses.Aside from blogging and being a business ninja, Patrick is an aspiring photographer. If you want to feature his writings on your site, connect with him at Google+ or drop a line at patrick (at) oc.edu.au.