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Top 10 most popular programming languages

At the end of last year, a list of the most popular programming languages of 2020 was announced. Not entirely surprisingly, as ultimate favourite, C was still on top of TIOBE's index. This year, Python did manage to surprise us: for the first time in history, Python overtook Java and we find Python on place 2 and Java on place 3 in the top 10. Besides Python, also R, Perl and Go are gaining popularity. R even ended surprisingly on place 9 in the top 10 list; TIOBE has therefore labelled R as 'programming language of the year 2020'.

Why is Python gaining popularity?

The CEO of TIOBE's INDEX Paul Jansen said about Python catching up with Java: "Some time ago I had a flat tire and called the road patrol to help me out. The mechanic asked about my living and when I used the word 'software' in my answer, he smiled and started talking very enthusiastically about his own passion: programming in Python. From that moment on, I knew Python would become ubiquitous." Whereas ten years ago it was mainly software engineers who were concerned with the various programming languages, nowadays you see that more and more people on the shop floor have programming skills. This has everything to do with the fact that there is a shortage of classical programmers. Moreover, a programming language such as Python is relatively easy to use when you want to work with large quantities of data. Would you like to work with data yourself, but do you have little or no knowledge of a programming language? Then take a look at our courses Python programming basics or Python for data analysis. Do you already have a fair knowledge of Python? Then the course Python programming continuation course is really something for you!

Why is 'R' gaining popularity?

Big data is a term that most people undoubtedly hear more than once. Programmes such as R are perfect for converting these so-called big data into useful information for organisations, and R is also a lot easier to use than a language such as 'C'. For example, did you know that R is one of the programming languages that was used to find a COVID-19 vaccine? In addition, you can see that universities and colleges are increasingly exchanging static programmes such as Stata, SAS and SPSS for static programming languages such as R. Professional groups in which many static analyses occur are also increasingly using R. Think for example of data analysts, mathematicians, econometricians but also marketers. The advantage of a programme like R is that it costs nothing: it is an 'open source' project, which anyone can use and improve. In addition, R is known for the fact that you can easily visualise data with packages such as 'ggplot2', with which you can make a graph, for example.

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You can learn to program!

Visit any job site and you will see it immediately: there is an unprecedented demand for programmers. If you are looking for a well-paid job with excellent future prospects, then learning to program is a must. Even for jobs where you do not program yourself, a programming language is an excellent addition to your CV. However, there are countless programming languages, so where is the best place to start? And which languages are interesting for the future? We made an overview of the 10 most important programming languages. Languages in which you can also receive training immediately: let those jobs come!

Java

Java was the most popular programming language for employers for many years. Although it has recently been surpassed by SQL, it is still very popular. Java is the standard for many enterprise software, is used by more than 9 million developers and is used to control more than 7 billion (!) devices worldwide. The programming language owes its popularity mainly to the simplicity and readability of the code, which makes it a good starting point for beginning programmers. Also, one of Java's basic principles is compatibility, which ensures that older applications continue to work.

SQL

You will find SQL everywhere. Database technologies such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and MicrosoftSQL keep banks, universities, hospitals, small and large companies up and running. It is no exaggeration to say that every computer and person with access to technology has come into contact with SQL in one way or another. For example, iOS and Android devices have access to SQLite, an SQL database, and there are countless mobile applications that use SQL directly.

C

C dates back to the early 1970s, when it was developed as a generic programming language. As one of the oldest programming languages in existence, C provides the building blocks for other popular languages such as C++, Java, Javascript and Python. C itself is mainly used for operating systems and industrial applications.

C++

C is an object-oriented programming language based on C. Since the language was developed in the 1980s, it has been used to develop Adobe and Microsoft applications, MongoDB databases and large parts of Mac OS/X operating system. It is considered by many to be the best programming language to learn for applications where performance is of great importance, such as games or audio/video editing.

iOS / Objective C / Swift

Until 2014, Objective C was the programming language used by the Apple operating system. It plays a role in Apple's OS X, iOS and its APIs. For a long time it was the language in which you as a programmer had to write iPhone applications, until Apple came up with its own programming language a few years ago: Swift. Swift is very similar in many ways to C++ and its predecessor Objective C, but is a little easier to learn for most programmers.

Javascript

Javascript - not to be confused with Java - is widely used to add interactivity to websites and is supported by all major internet browsers. Not only can it be used for simple functionality such as pop-ups or simple games, it also forms the basis for Node.js - a server technology widely used in real-time communication.

PHP

PHP was actually never intended to be a programming language. Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP in 1994 as a set of tools that enabled him to manage his personal website (Personal HomePage). Today, the meaning of the abbreviation has changed to Hypertest Pre-Processor and the language is used on servers to generate HTML websites dynamically. PHP is easy to learn, but has many advanced features that are of great value to experienced programmers.

HTML / CSS

HTML forms the basis for web pages. The programming language does this by basically laying down a structure that can be extended or adapted by other languages. For example, Javascript can be used to add advanced interactivity and CSS influences the presentation, formatting and layout of web pages. Although PHP can generate HTML from a server, knowledge of HTML and CSS is an absolute must for web developers.

Python

Python is a server-side programming language for websites and mobile applications. It is a relatively easy language to learn, thanks to the readability and conciseness of the code. In Python, it is often possible to express a concept in fewer lines than in many other languages. Python is used in applications such as Instagram and Pinterest in the form of the Django web framework. Google, Yahoo! and NASA all use Python.

Ruby

Ruby is - like Python - a programming language that is very user-friendly for beginning programmers. At the same time, the object-oriented language is very dynamic and therefore popular for developing websites and mobile apps. It is the basis of the Ruby on Rails framework used by Groupon, Shopify, Scribd and GitHub.

Complete the list!

Of course, there are many more programming languages. We have listed just a few of the most popular ones for you. Do you have any additions? Are you missing a language that you use really often? Share your knowledge and experience with us!

Want to learn a programming language?

Do you want to learn a (different) programming language? Then quickly discover our workshops and courses. Under the guidance of an experienced trainer, you will learn the basics of programming in an efficient manner. Are you a bit further on? Then it is possible to register for an advanced training. You will then go deeper into the subject matter. Such a training course is not only fun, but it is also closely linked to practice. That way, you know for sure that you can put your new knowledge and skills into practice immediately!