Our future will be shaped by many emerging technologies, and these new technologies all run on various programming languages.
Learn the right programming language today, and it will open up doors of opportunity—putting you right in the middle of exciting fields such as Mobile Development, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence.
Which are the best to learn?
Here are 5 programming languages—some rather new and some quite old—that promise to have leading roles in key technologies of the future.
Swift is a relatively young programming language. It first appeared in 2014, after being developed by Apple as a replacement for Objective-C. It quickly gained in popularity, particularly with iOS developers, as it made their code much more concise, quicker to write, and less prone to common errors than Objective-C.
Swift has since been made open-source and has expanded to usage outside of Apple’s ecosystem. In particular, there is much potential for Swift as a server-side language thanks to Linux support.
With most people becoming glued to their mobile devices at all hours of the day, the need for iOS developers isn’t going away anytime soon.
On the Android side of the mobile aisle, Kotlin appears to be the native language of the future. Since October 2017, Kotlin has been fully supported by Google for developing Android applications as an alternate to Java.
Some major companies such as Pinterest, Basecamp, and Expedia have already switched over to Kotlin for their Android apps.
If you already know Swift, Kotlin code will look oddly familiar. They have very similar syntax that should allow Swift developers to pick up Kotlin easily—making it much much less daunting for one individual to write native code for both Android and iOS than when Java and Objective-C were the only options.
Kotlin’s interoperability with Java also gives it an inside track to gradually replace Java in enterprise applications.
C++ has been around since the mid-1980’s, but it’s just as important today due to the role it plays in many emerging technologies. Foremost among these is blockchain. The Bitcoin core code is written in C++ and so are other major blockchains such as Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, EOS, and Stellar.
Tight control over memory management, speedy performance, and maturity are all pros for choosing C++ to write blockchains—distributed ledgers requiring many nodes on a network to quickly reach consensus on blocks of data.
Many other industries requiring high performance primarily use C++ code as well. These include gaming, search engines, trading systems, web browsers, robotics, and automotive software.
Solidity is another programming language to consider learning if you would like to break into blockchain development. The main use cases for Solidity are decentralized applications and smart contracts running on the Ethereum platform.
The rise of the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) as a funding tool for startups has led to a big demand for skilled Solidity developers.
The success of potential rivals to Ethereum such as NEO, EOS, and Cardano could reduce Solidity’s importance in the future. But for the time being, ERC-20 tokens running on Ethereum’s blockchain remain a dominant feature of the cryptocurrency landscape.
Python has been around for awhile and is often the first language taught in Computer Science courses because it’s so easy to learn. Python can be used to write functional, object orientated, or procedural styles of programming. It has a large number of existing libraries and a very readable syntax that makes it quick to develop and ideal for working in larger developer teams.
Despite its simplicity, Python is a very powerful language that lies at the heart of many revolutionary technologies. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Science are all fields where Python plays a prominent role and should continue to be useful well into the future.