What is the language of the future?

by gpacx
8 replies
Hey guys,

I have a question about programming. I'm an old guy - turning 26 years of age next month - and I'm thinking about learning programming basically for the first time. I've played around with it a little bit in the past, like I've done some basic work in python, but I'm interested in learning how to program more seriously and solve more complex problems using programming.

My question is just about languages. I want to learn a programming language that is going to be the most relevant in five years. Is there a way to predict what is going to happen and to know what language will be the most common in the near future? I don't want to spend a lot of time learning javascript, only to find that it's out of style and not useful by the time I'm ready to apply it in a useful way.

I've also seen lots of languages come out recently that got a good amount of traction but not a crazy amount, such as Ruby and Golang and I'm not sure why new languages are even being developed right now given what's possible with C++ and others that have been around for a long time.

I know some of you can definitely help me with this and I thank you all for offering your insights.
#future #language
  • Profile picture of the author MeelisM
    I would go for javascript if i was you
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  • Profile picture of the author gpacx
    Meelis - can you offer some insight into the reasoning behind this decision? I trust your expertise but I'm just wondering what evidence there is that this language is going to continue to dominate in the coming years. I really don't want to make the wrong decision and end up high and dry. My understanding of javascript is that it's used in a lot of app development, so understanding it would give me the ability to create applications for Android or other platforms and succeed that way. Enlighten me?
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    • Profile picture of the author MeelisM
      Originally Posted by gpacx View Post

      Meelis - can you offer some insight into the reasoning behind this decision? I trust your expertise but I'm just wondering what evidence there is that this language is going to continue to dominate in the coming years. I really don't want to make the wrong decision and end up high and dry. My understanding of javascript is that it's used in a lot of app development, so understanding it would give me the ability to create applications for Android or other platforms and succeed that way. Enlighten me?
      I would do all that, but I guess you got all your answers already

      MeelisM
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  • Profile picture of the author atrbiz
    I would learn the following:
    1) Laravel
    2) Symfony
    3) AngularJS
    4) Drupal 8 (if you want to target large companies, gov agencies, and non-profit organizations)
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi gpacx,

    If there was one language that is the least likely to become obsolete in the foreseeable future, it has to be Javascript.

    There is only one scripting language for the front-end of web apps, that is Javascript, there is no replacement for it in on the horizon. It's the only native scripting language that will run in most modern browsers, so it is the most universally used language.

    Some people have speculated that as users move more to mobile devices that native apps will eventually replace all web apps, however that doesn't seem likely to me. Instead web apps will likely advance to the point that they eliminate many, if no most current native apps.

    Apple really pushed the native mobile app market because it made them a middle man that got a cut of all app sales. This made Apple very rich while they had complete dominance in the mobile device That worked great for them, but isn't likely to continue into the future.

    Just as web apps have replaced many desktop computer applications, I believe you are likely to see many native apps replaced by a new class of Progressive Web Apps. new technologies are being integrated into web browsers that allow web apps to act like native mobile apps, and all Progressive Web Apps utilize Javascript as it's the only natively supported scripting language in all browsers.

    There are many frameworks built on Javascript, so the more you know about Javascript the better. But that is just the front-end of development. Back-end development is much more fractured and changes over time.

    While there is one universal scripting language for front-end development, Javascript, there are many competing languages for back end and native app development. Depending on who you talk to, you will get a different answer as to which represents the future. It's more about preferences, one back-end language can be replaced by another just because the head developer prefers it over another. It's much more fragmented and likely to shift over time.

    Generally, you need to have knowledge in variety of languages for back-end development, the most universal is TSQL for database app development, and there are various languages a frameworks that can be, and often are combined to develop back-end systems. Just pick something popular and keep up with any new languages and frameworks that emerge and are relevant to your field.
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  • Profile picture of the author Max Black
    I agree with dburk, javascript is a great choice.

    I'm a software engineer with 17 years of experience, I started out with C++, drifted into Java with Android apps and now do quite a bit of PHP and javascript for the web.

    The cool thing about javascript is that you can run it on the server via Node.js

    You'll probably end up learning several languages as I did, but I'd certainly recommend javascript and jQuery.
    It would probably be worth learning a good Object Oriented language, so I'd recommend starting with PHP or Java.
    C++ is my favorite language in terms of flexibility and power, but it takes a lot of work to master.

    There are also message queuing libraries which mean you can send data between processes running different languages.
    I use one called ZeroMQ to send data from PHP to C++ and back again for several of my custom server apps.

    This means you can use the right language for the right job in terms of convenience and performance, in my case C++ for hardcore processing and PHP for the bog standard server code.
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  • Profile picture of the author loveradio
    Have to admit that this is my partner's field of expertise. Yet, for what is worth, I keep hearing him how he talks highly about this Golang. Like that is the future. On the other hand, I think about myself as being a rational person. That being said, I also have to admit that he has quite a difficult time finding suitable Golang developers at the moment. Now, this isn't supposed to be a good indication of the future. If I am allowed to make a joke, I think that the #1 language of the future is going to be Chinese, lol. I also like to have this funny discussions with my partner what are we going to do with all those developers ine fine day in the near future, lol. Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zoibert
    The world of programming is large and dynamic. The world of web development is an ever-evolving storm of new technologies that constantly pour into the hands of developers.

    The best advice that I can give you is to learn JavaScript. And do it properly.

    There's a myriad of options and shortcuts out there waiting for you. Great frameworks (Angular, React, etc.) and libraries (jQuery, etc.) just hanging around and trivializing many aspects that make up the core aspects of JavaScript and programming in general. Don't go straight for those, start with the basics.

    I would advise that you go ahead and take a look at Free Code Camp, they provide a very extensive curriculum and is very complete. I've also got quite a few articles at my personal site that deal with common coding challenges and simple projects.

    Also, feel free to get in touch with me if you need advice, always happy to help.
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