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5 programming languages to learn in 2021

“Now, the world don’t move

To the beat of just one drum,

What might be right for you,

May not be right for some…”

If you’re a certain age, you may remember the ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ theme song, but did you know that the lyrics could also be applied to programming languages? There’s a huge number out there, and it’s crucial that you do your homework to decide which one works best for you.

Whether you work in the retail, finance, technology, or healthcare industry, different programming languages can create systems and applications to make things run smoother, and the working day easier.

If you’re hungry to find out more about the most in-demand languages to learn in 2021, sit tight and carry on reading as we take a closer look at five of the big hitters: JavaScript, Scala, Python, Rust, and Perl.

Stack Overflow is a popular computer programming website and they surveyed close to 65,000 developers about which languages they use and why. Their answers offer considerable insight into the popularity and salary benefits of a number of different programming languages. Let’s take a look at some of their findings.

Illustration of coins falling out of a data cloud

1. JavaScript (JS)

Looking for a great all-rounder? The survey shows that JavaScript (or JS) is the most popular language for the 8th year in a row. It is predominately a client-side programming language, although it can also be applied server-side. 

Use it to make interactive elements on web pages, and combine it with HTML and CSS to become an accomplished front-end web developer.

Pros:

  • Easy to learn
  • Quick to run 

Cons:

  • Browser interpretation variation
  • Low security

Companies that use JavaScript: 

  • Google
  • Netflix

If you want to find out more, head to javascript.com. You can get access to JS events, 50 free courses, and explore lots of resources.

2. Scala

Live in the US and want a salary bump? Scala was chosen as the language associated with the highest salary in the US, with a median of $150k. This programming language runs on a Java virtual machine (JVM) and is concise and powerful. 

Ideal for cloud-based applications and software libraries, it can be pretty difficult to learn, which may be why developers that master Scala might be paid more. 

The pros:

  • Quick to run
  • High security

The cons:

  • Limited community presence
  • Can be difficult to learn

Companies that use Scala: 

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Find out more at scala-lang.org. Learn about upcoming events, read the blog, and discover handy guides.

3. Python

Earlier this year, we told you why you need to learn Python now. It was chosen as the most wanted language with 30% of surveyed developers expressing an interest in using it. 

Due to its simple syntax and easy integration with other programming languages, you can use Python for almost anything, from data analytics to media services.

Pros:

  • Vast libraries
  • Easy to learn 

Cons:

  • Speed limitations
  • High memory consumption

Companies that use Python: 

  • Instagram
  • Spotify

Discover more at python.org. Read success stories, use the community-run job board to find new roles, and access tutorials and guides.

illustration of data going into computer

4. Rust

Chosen as the most-loved language by 86.1% of developers surveyed, Rust was created in 2010 and is open source. Its borrow checker helps you manage ownership and make memory safety guarantees. 

Rust is used for web-based projects, blockchain applications, operating systems, and more. 

The pros:

  • Quick to run
  • High security

The cons:

  • Can be difficult to learn
  • Complex code

Companies that use Rust: 

  • Dropbox
  • Atlassian

Learn more about Rust at rust-lang.org. Find fellow users in linked forums, local meet-ups and even run your own event.   

5. Perl

Looking for a salary increase and live outside the US? Globally, Perl was chosen as the language associated with the highest salary, with a median of $76k. It is open source and was originally intended for text manipulation. 

These days, this powerful and versatile language is used in system administration, database management, and automation tasks.

Pros:

  • Flexible
  • Easy to learn 

Cons:

  • Poor usability
  • Can be slow for tasks like scripting

Companies that use Perl: 

  • Booking.com
  • Venmo

Learn more about Perl at perl.org. The website offers over 25,000 extension modules, directions to worldwide communities, and free online books. 

different coding languages on website

Learning resources for proactive developers

Are you just starting out? W3schools offers a number of tutorials, exercises, quizzes, and courses to sink your teeth into, and freecodecamp has over 7,000 tutorials available (and you guessed it), all for free.

Serious about learning and willing to pay? Codeacademy gives you the chance to write real, working code in minutes, and get instant feedback. Udemy offers paid-for courses from a number of experts at a variety of levels.

If you’re nervous about paying, make sure you do your research and find out what fellow developers think about each course before making your decision. And, if you’re still unsure, remember that it’s an investment in you, and your career opportunities. Who knows what exciting company you may end up working for?

Different strokes for different folks 

There are many benefits to becoming fluent in a number of coding languages. 

  • It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to choose which language suits each particular task best. 
  • It makes you a great fit for running a team of developers who have different skill sets.
  • You can attack a variety of interesting tasks, in a range of industries. 
  • Financially speaking, with many languages under your belt, you’ll seem like a far more attractive hire, than a candidate who only knows one. 

Of course, once you become a superstar multilingual computer developer, you’ll be needing a domain name to shout about your skills and impress future employers. Why don’t you secure the perfect domain now, before it’s snapped up?

Find a domain name today!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the five programming languages you need to learn in 2021. Looking for some more blog posts to read? 

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Colleen Branch avatar

Colleen Branch

Colleen is a senior copywriter at Namecheap and has been focussing on domain registration and management since 2019. She finds the domain industry fascinating and believes that "A domain name has unlimited possibilities. It’s a chance for an individual or business to create a brand, communicate personality, and to grow. At Namecheap, we offer everything a person needs to get started and build their dream." Colleen started her copywriting career in 2008 and has been featured in HuffPost UK, The Times, and many other places in print and online. Her passions include cooking, music, and playing pool. More articles written by Colleen.

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