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7 top IT languages every wannabe programmer should master

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

As an industry on a sharp, uphill climb – expected to sprout over 80,000 job openings in Australia between the 2018 to 2020 period according to JobOutlook – and a field that makes a generous average annual salary; it’s no wonder programming has turned into a highly attractive career choice for many. 

The profession holds over 120,000 workers and counting, with its skills in high demand across most companies nationwide. It can be daunting to decide where to start, of course; with over about 700 programming languages to study and explore through. 

Fortunately, SkillsTalk has compiled a list of the top seven most useful IT languages for any starting programmer – equipping you with foundational skills to launch a lucrative coding career.

What are the top IT languages every wannabe programmer should master?

  1. Python.
  2. C++.
  3. SQL.
  4. HTML.
  5. CSS.
  6. Javascript.
  7. C#.

1. Python.

Scoring among the top three in Tiobe’s 2019 index of programming language popularity, Python is widely used as an all-purpose, user-friendly, and highly-functional coding language among seasoned and starting developers. It is found virtually anywhere; used to develop your favourite websites, software, platforms or applications. 

Python offers plenty of advantages in web development – with simple, clean syntax that takes less time to write, read, and maintain. It is compatible with most platforms and systems, and provides a generous selection of pre-built libraries for most features and tasks (including image processing, data processing, and deep learning). 

The language is also widely used in projects involving the Internet of Things (IoT), with its scalability, flexibility, ability to support complex data, and ties to scientific computing. Its efficient syntax and ability to integrate well with other programming languages also make it the go-to language for machine learning

Because of its intuitive, reliable, and cutting-edge nature, Python is popularly used among start-ups, helping companies get started quickly and accelerate ROI among their ventures. 

2. C++.

programming concept

C++ is a free-form language used in generic, procedural, and object-oriented programming. The skill is mainly used in application development, with rich standard libraries to help in quickly writing code. As it is a compiled language – converted directly into machine code for execution – it tends to run at a faster, more efficient rate than interpreted languages such as Python, Ruby, or Java. 

Developers have applied C++ into operating systems (including Microsoft, Mac OSX, or Linux), graphics applications, banking applications, cloud systems, and a wide variety of web browsers. Its fast execution makes it the ideal choice for such purposes, creating a more efficient user experience

As a relatively lower language close to hardware, C++ is also commonly used among embedded systems such as smartwatches and medical machines, along with telephone switches and routers. 

3. SQL.

Short for “Structured Query Language”, SQL is used to execute tasks and behaviour within a database – systemic collections of data that allow for easy management, manipulation, and access.

SQL is a standard language for inserting, updating, deleting, retrieving, and creating new database records. Other, more specific tasks can include the creation of new tables, views, and establishing permissive access to certain information. 

The language is comprised of a wide range of elements including clauses, expressions, queries, statements, and predicates. Each work to command a database’s functions and specify the conditions of data retrieval. Simple commands include “ORDER BY”, “SELECT” or “INSERT” – allowing administrators to comb through the data as necessary. 

4. HTML.

woman working on laptop, working HTML code

Developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, HTML (short for Hypertext Markup Language) is the backbone of all documents on the world wide web. It defines the structure of a webpage using specific tags and attributes that create headings, paragraphs, lists and hyperlinked text. The language offers a wide variety of tags, each performing a certain behaviour – the more used in a web page, the greater its complexity. 

Tags are composed of “less than” and “greater than” angle brackets, containing a tag name and tag attribute (if necessary). Most are paired with a “closing tag” containing a forward slash to enclose its content (i.e. <body>”Website content entered here”</body>).

HTML is generally used in the creation of websites and webpages; including internet navigation, generating responsive images, and offering data entry support. Its latest version, HTML5, involves the use of new tags and attributes that enable more dynamic elements and Javascript incorporation – including “<article>”, “<audio>”, and “<video>”. This updated language has also been used among browser-based game development. 

5. CSS.

Short for “Cascading Style Sheets”, CSS is primarily used to specify the design and display of a website’s contents. This style information is stored among common files that all webpages share, ensuring they’re kept in one, organised source and not manually incorporated through HTML style features. 

As stated by Hubspot, “If HTML is the drywall, CSS is the paint”

Among the style elements it dictates, CSS specifies the colours, fonts, background images, and formatting of a website. The skill is crucial to have among web developers – specifically those focused on front-end design. The language also helps websites adapt to various screen sizes and devices. 

While not a programming language per se, CSS still offers much to learn; with the opportunity to weave creativity and technical skill in creating complex, distinctive webpage designs. 

6. Javascript.

Javascript is a scripting language that enables display of dynamic, animated elements on a webpage. Features such as live-feed updates, clickable maps and moving graphics are all incorporated through Javascript. It is used in conjunction with HTML and CSS in front-end web development, creating complex, interactive websites and online interfaces. 

However, Javascript offers plenty of versatility, and is also often used in browser-based games and mobile apps. Javascript frameworks offer developers with pre-written code to build applications around or to use in routine coding tasks and elements. 

While basic Javascript is easy to learn, it is a full-fledged programming language with the ability to create complex web programs. Developers must also keep browser differences in mind; some browsers may interpret Javascript differently than others, thus compatibility issues may need addressing when switching or dealing with new browsers. 

7. C#.

An object-oriented programming language, C# was developed by Windows in 2000 and is used to develop apps on Microsoft’s platform. It is popularly thought of as an advanced hybrid of Javascript and C++, with higher-level functionalities used in mobile, web application, and games development. 

The world’s most popular game engine, Unity, was built on C#; home to 33% of the industry’s top games (with over 500 million users). Such programs aren’t limited to traditional game development, but incorporate elements of virtual reality, as well. Though a high-level language, it is relatively easy to read and learn. 

Currently, 33% of developers use C# on the regular – hosting the third largest community on the online developer community, Stack Overflow. It is a highly in-demand skill, ranking as the 4th most popular programming language, with more than 17,000 jobs globally advertised each month. 

Eager to jump-start your programming career?

Now that you’ve gained insight into the world’s most lucrative coding languages, you can put those passions to practical training through an online course with Upskilled.

Beginner coders can get their start with the ICT30120 Certificate III in Information Technology - Focus on Programming. This is a perfect starter course for those wanting to learn some of the core aspects of the ICT industry, as well as some foundational programming skills.

Students can then choose to specialise through either the ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming) or ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web Development), courses that explore the technicalities of programming and website design and development.

The best part is – all courses are delivered 100% online, allowing you to study according to your personal needs and schedule. 

Kickstart a fulfilling career in IT and programming, and enquire about a course today. 
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