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The Top Programming Languages in 2020

Technology and software constantly shift and evolve, pushing the limits of what is possible. New technologies and devices (iOS, Android, responsiveness) force languages to adapt. The best programming languages maintain their relevance across the industry. New languages rise every day, providing new solutions. In this blog, we will determine the new champions and the retaining champions. Which programming languages are for websites? Which programming languages are for mobile?

The following programming languages have stayed relevant in the industry through their resilience, versatility, and efficiency. Their popularity will continue far beyond 2020. We will go through a quick overview, the pros and cons of the programming languages, and how the languages can help your startup’s project.

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By Becky Bergman

April 12th, 2021

JavaScript

JavaScript is an object-oriented programming language used to build interactive and dynamic web pages or apps.

Our software engineer, Eric, explains it as “JavaScript provides the functionality of an application. What happens when you click a button on a website? Well, that is all controlled by JavaScript. Think of it as the brain behind what happens once an application hits the client.”

Examples of JavaScript websites and projects are among the most well-known platforms and websites in the world. Google, the favorite search engine, utilized JavaScript for both the front end and backend development. YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Amazon are just a few of the massively successful websites written with JavaScript.

JavaScript is one of the most versatile and popular programming languages available. Utilize JavaScript for web application development, software development, mobile app development, both front and back end.

By using frameworks; (like React Native, Flutter, or Angular) JavaScript, can develop for both Android apps and iOS mobile apps. Write the code once, and you can push to both iOS and Android. One of the best programming languages to learn is JavaScript.

Pros and Cons of JavaScript:

Pros

Speed

Simplicity

Popularity

Server Loads

Rich Interfaces

Versatility

Cons

Client-side Security

Browser Support

What does this mean for your startup?

JavaScript was once limited to the browser, but with technological advancements, JS dominates front-end development. Utilizing JS for your startup’s project can ensure modern UI, high security, versatility, and flexibility. JavaScript is not limited to just mobile and desktop applications. JS is constantly evolving and improving.

PHP

PHP, a general-purpose scripting language, is best suited for website development. (Particularly for server-side functions, such as sending and receiving data, controlling user access, and encrypting data.)

Alex, one of our software engineers, describes PHP as “the brains of a website. It takes a simple HTML website and gives it the power to think and communicate with APIs.”

We used PHP for our EarthX client; you can read more about our client on our portfolio page.

The most well-known examples of PHP projects are MailChimp for their API, Etsy, WordPress, and Slack. PHP is a dynamic language, allowing teams to save time and improve long-term ROI. PHP is a cross-platform development language, running on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows OS.

Pros and Cons of PHP:

Pros

Easy Database Connection

Easy to Use

Cross-Platform

Speed

Open Source

Cons

Security

Weak Type

What does this mean for your startup?

While JavaScript is ideal for the front-end development of your website or app; (with heavy data flow and server-to-client-side communication) PHP, development might be a better option than opting for JS for your backend as well. MailChimp, a data-heavy website, and CRM utilizes PHP. If your startup or small business wants to use a CMS, like WordPress, someone who understands the backend of WP and can enhance your data security, a PHP developer.

C#

C# is an object-oriented programming language. C# compiles into bytecode, executing on a virtual computer to translate it into machine code. C#’s relatives, C and C++, are not commonly used today, with C being virtually a dead language. To overcome the shortcomings of C, Microsoft developed the C#.

The best uses for C# are website development, windows applications, and game development. C#, primarily used for internal or enterprise apps rather than commercial software; due to the versatility and dependability. Applications such as Windows Installer XML, Microsoft Visual Studios, Paint, and KeePass use C#.

Pros and Cons of C#:

Pros

Integration with Windows

Developer Availability

Cross-Platform

Compilation and Execution Time is Fast

Rich Class of Libraries

Scalable

Cost Efficient

Cons

Compiled Code

Large Libraries

Server Running Code Must be Windows

The Language is Case Sensitive

What does this mean for your startup?

It is easy to scale and maintain projects written in C#. Programs developed in C# are reliably consistent, making them easier to change and update. If your business is rapidly growing, C# is a sizable option for your software project.

Swift

Swift is a general-purpose language developed by Apple. as a replacement for Objective-C. The Swift programming language allows writing and maintaining programs such as system programming, mobile, and desktop apps, to scale up cloud services, easier for developers. For app development for iOS, watchOS (apps for Apple watches) and macOS use Swift.

Pros and Cons of Swift:

Pros

Rapid Development Process

Scalability

Security and Performance

Cons

Limited Talent Pool

Lack of Support for Earlier iOS Versions

Only Supports iOS

What does this mean for your startup?

iOS devices counted for over 1 billion devices in 2016 and have only grown. While at the beginning of its life, Swift was only compatible with Apple devices. Swift, created to be swift, easy to maintain, and a high-performance language, was made available in 2019 to Android app development.

GO

GO is a relatively new language developed by Google in 2007 and released in 2012. GO has the efficiency of C, the usability of Python or JS, with high-performance networking and multiprocessing. Some of the notable open-source applications with features written in Go are as follows: Dropbox migrated some of their components from Python to GO, Google utilizes GO for their server download, Netflix, SoundCloud, Twitch, and Uber.

Pros and Cons of Go:

Pros

Ease of Use

Smart Standard Library

Security

Google's Presence

Cons

Niche-less

No Virtual Machine

What does this mean for your startup?

Use the GO programming language for high-performance networking and high-security projects. Efficiency and usability are some of the big draws. If your project or startup is data-intensive, holding customer records, GO would be your best bet.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a cross-platform statistical programming language, which generates code to run on Java Virtual Machines. Kotlin is commonly used for Android Apps, working seamlessly with Java and native code. The most notable examples of Kotlin projects are Google for backend development, Barclays Bank for web development, and DoorDash for their consumer order checkout flow. Pinterest, Uber, Trello, Duolingo, and Square.

Pros and Cons of Kotlin:

Pros

Productivity of Teams

Syncs with Existing Java

Small Codebase

Reliability

Functional and Procedural

Easy to Learn

Cons

Speed

New Language With Few Professionals

Limited Resources

What does this mean for your startup?

In 2019, Google announced that moving forward, the Kotlin programming language would be their preferred programming language for Android Apps. Kotlin apps account for 70% of the top 100 apps on the play store (according to Google in 2017).

TypeScript – static type definitions.

TypeScript programming language, a superset of JavaScript, was developed by Microsoft; to address the shortcomings of JS. (Existing JS programs are valid TypeScript programs, and vice versa.) To create server-side and client-side JavaScript applications with TypeScript, use a compiler. The addition of TypeScript adds support for the following features, arrow function syntax, modules, and classes.

Pros and Cons of TypeScript:

Pros

Optional Static Typing

Early Spotted Bugs

Readability

Huge Talent Pool and Support

Cross-Platform and Cross-browser compatibility

Cons

Not True Static Typing

Added Step - Transpiling

What does this mean for your startup?

Industry leaders use TypeScript to scale their codebases, upgrade their JS projects, and add additional functionality to their projects. Microsoft uses TypeScript, Accenture, both Asana and Lyft are switching. There is a tremendous amount of support and resources for projects based on TypeScript. TypeScript can condense and support your existing JavaScript project.

Python

Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that executes instructions written without compiling them into a machine language. (an interpreter) One of the values of Python is code readability; this promotes clean and logical code.

Pros and Cons of Python:

Pros

Extensive Libraries

Versatile Programming

Easy to Utilize

Asynchronous Coding

Open Source

Cons

Weak Native Environment

No Web Browser Integration

What does this mean for your startup?

The python programming language is for fast production and development. It is perfect for startups who need to get their product live fast.

Conclusion

Before we assess which programming language to use, we sit down with our clients and discern all the project requirements. Every year new languages replace older languages, integrating with new technologies. Our list does not include all programming languages.

Contact Us today to get your project started!

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Check out our blog on 5 Common Risks of Offshoring Software Development.

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