The Industrial Revolution brought about massive changes and growth in the manufacturing sector. Today, there’s another kind of revolution taking place, only it’s of the digital kind. With the massive boom in tech development since the turn of the millennium, software programming has emerged as a vital and lucrative discipline.
According to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the period between 2018 and 2028 is likely to experience a 21 percent growth for programming jobs. Software developers earn, on average, three times as much as the average U.S. worker, making the field one of the most lucrative in remunerative terms. However, not all programming jobs are the same.
Different tasks, roles, and companies require specific knowledge in a particular language. Creating a mobile app, for instance, varies significantly from web design. With that in mind, here are five popular programming languages worth considering.
Python is a high-level, project-oriented language with easy-to-learn syntax. If you’re starting in the programming field, Python is an excellent option. The language is popular among coders thanks to its expansive library of toolkits and standards and the ease of integration with other programming languages. Python is used in a wide scope of fields, including data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and game development, just to name a few. Popular social media sites, including Pinterest and Instagram, are built on Python.
Java is a robust, general-purpose language commonly used to build client-server applications. Described as a loosely-coupled language, applications written in Java can easily run on any supporting platform. As such, it’s estimated that Java runs on about 3 billion devices worldwide. Aside from business applications, Java is a staple in Android OS development.
C is considered as a mother language to other modern programming languages, as most other languages follow C syntax. Core concepts such as strings, arrays, and functions are provided in C. This language can be used to carry out low or mid-level programming to create a wide variety of applications. Its versatility allows for maximum control with minimal commands. C is popular for creating computation platforms, operating systems, and even games.
C++ is a modified form of C and is used as a general-purpose programming language. The language is popular thanks to its flexibility, since it supports different ways of programming. With C++, you can carry out object-oriented, functional, or procedural commands. Today, C++ can be found in web browsers, video games, operating systems, and micro-controllers.
Pros of Learning Programming Languages
1. Excellent Earning Potential
The demand for professional programmers is high and so, consequently, is the earning potential. According to a 2019 report by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for programming-related fields was around $106,000. In retrospect, the median salary for most U.S. occupations in the same year was around $39,810. The earning potential in programming is definitely above-average.
2. Career Flexibility
The world’s digital economy is in a constant state of growth. Today, even if your career path doesn’t necessarily call for programming expertise, learning a language (or two) could be a massive boost to your professional portfolio. Learning coding, even as a hobby, is also hugely liberating and gives you the freedom to venture into the world of freelance software design. As a freelance programmer, you can charge anywhere from $30 to $150 per hour depending on your level of expertise and the intricacy of the project involved.
3. High Market Demand
There’s plenty of demand for programming professionals, and it’s only growing. According to projections by the BLS, employment growth in programming-related fields outpaces a lot of other careers. There’s currently a 21 percent growth estimate for software developers, indicating a huge market demand for programming skills.
4. Save On Costs
If you’re running a business, the main goal is always to maximize profits while minimizing costs. Having some level of technical knowledge on programming can go a long way in helping your business’s efficiency. For example, being able to make slight changes to a codebase could help free your developers to address important matters. This not only lowers development lag times but could ultimately slash back your software maintenance budget.
5. Become a Better Problem Solver
At its core, programming is all about problem-solving. Inadvertently, learning programming has the effect of teaching you how to reason out a problem since coming up with lines of code calls for a methodical approach. These problem-solving skills could then be translated to your personal or professional life.
How Long Will It Take To Learn a Programming Language?
The truth is, it all boils down to your dedication. Most experts argue that it should take roughly four to six months to learn a new language. It does, however, call for dedication and practice. The best part about learning to code is there are plenty of free resources you can use. YouTube is chock-full of amazing, in-depth videos to help you kick-start your programming journey. There are also lots of websites with excellent tutorials and tests to help guide you on the journey towards becoming a better programmer.
Whether you’re learning to program for fun or as a pathway to professional development, there are plenty of benefits to reap. The best part is you don’t have to go to some fancy college or break the bank to learn the basics of programming. Identify what kind of problem you’d like to solve, pick a language, and get started on the road to coding. With the right approach and enough dedication, you’ll realize it’s not as daunting as you imagined. Remember, when it comes to programming, the rule of thumb is simply code, code, and code some more.