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Choosing the Right Programming Language for Your Tasks: A Guide

14.09.2016 Pavel Сherniavskiy
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Choosing the Right Programming Language for Your Tasks: A Guide

Do you plan on working in IT? Maybe you’re already working in this field, but are considering widening your competence, or perhaps you’re a startup (co)funder who needs to find out which programming language is going to work for your new business.. In all of these cases you will have certainly asked yourself this crucial question: What programming language should I use?

Programmers often love to brag that “their” programming language is better, simpler, more beautiful or more sophisticated than its rivals, but this information can’t exactly help you to discover which language you personally would prefer.

The Best Programming Language is a Personal Thing

There is no such thing as perfection in this world. That’s probably why no programming language can officially get the title of “best programming language”. The point is that you will have to choose a language based on your particular needs. But how do you do that?

If you are just looking for your first programming language to learn, you will have to start with the very basics: what the terms are, how algorithms work, how you transform your algorithms into a working code. But beyond this initial learning stage, deciding what is the best programming language for you will be a question of knowing what you are going to do with your new skills and knowledge.

Let’s have a look at some examples. Ask yourself: who am I going to be?

  • Web-developer. For the basics of web-development, it is clever to start with HTML, CSS, and PHP. Depending on your plans you may also need Javascript (including Node.js) knowledge, and experience of working with Angular and D3.js frameworks.

  • Android and iOS applications developer: here you should begin with Java and learn to manage its rich functionality. To work with a particular type of OS you’d have to learn what goes with Android (C/C++ and Java) and with iOS (Objective-C and Swift).

  • Java-developer. Aside from coding for Android, Java is also widely used to back-end highly-loaded applications and multiplayer games. Plus, existing since 1995 Java has created an impressive ecosystem of libraries and documentation, as well as frameworks aimed at e-commerce, security, or complex transactional architecture. Java has a huge developers’ community, which is beneficial for a beginner.

  • Python-developer: learning Python is another way to become an advanced developer highly needed on the job market. Before creating dynamic websites with Python, you will of course have to delve into HTML/CSS, Javascript, and Django framework. The combination of Python and Django is widely used by online newspapers and magazines, and also powers such startups as Instagram, RedditDeals, Pinterest, and Yipit.

  • Ruby-developer: Ruby, also known as Ruby on Rails for its framework (actually called “Rails”), is one of the most popular programming languages for developing sophisticated web-applications. For example, such popular web properties as Airbnb and Groupon are powered by Ruby. Next to that, Ruby has a rather large community and provides quality online training for both beginners and specialists.

How to Choose a Programming Language for Your Startup

Generally, for those who are choosing a programming language that would suit particular tasks, there are three major aspects to concentrate on:

  • The characteristics of the language itself;

  • Which local “ecosystem” you are dealing with;

  • The domain of challenges within which you are going to be working.

As for language characteristics, you will easily find a full table of comparisons onlinethe , so let us concentrate here on the other two aspects.

Local “Ecosystem”

When working on a startup, you may encounter the need to outsource specialists who are not available “in-house”. This means you will have to look for programming talent in the local ecosystem.

You may be surprised to find out that the availability of skilled programmers working with particular languages varies geographically. For instance, some areas have many Java developers and barely any specialists in Mathlab or PHP. It is also important to consider the popularity of this or that programming language in the location you are in. Unless you are located in California, where pretty much all types of developers are required, you will have to deal with market costs on work in programming languages of a high demand.

The Domain of Your Challenges

After reviewing the characteristics of different programming languages, you will have an idea of which one would suit you. Now is a good time to simplify the whole deciding process by comparing the opportunities of each language with your goals and any possible challenges your startup may face.

Python will be a good option for those who need to use precise math libraries and to scale well. To have a more professional security level, you are often advised to use Java. If you are going to integrate actively with Windows applications, .NET will be a good choice for you.

However, it is important that you realistically evaluate the needs and possible weak points of your startup. To do this, have a look at similar businesses and the solutions they use.

After all consideration and research, you will definitely be able to make an informed choice. And remember: there is no best programming language – but there are languages that fit your situation perfectly!

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