Choosing which programming language to learn is an important starting point for developers who want to build a career in what has become one of the most lucrative and growing industries in the world. The top coding languages used by the world’s tech giants include Java, Python, C, C++, Objective-C and Swift. Today’s tech companies are looking for specialist generalists rather than specialists, so learning more than one language is what sets devs apart from the rest.
To start off, let’s have a look at how some of the top languages are stacking up against each other in terms of searches.
Google: Java, C++, Python
According to Artem Boytsov, Google Trends co-author and product manager, Google “gives its engineers a large degree of freedom in choosing their tools.” But in general, there are three main languages that are used. Low-level server-side software is written in C++, Java is used for higher level server-side, consumer-facing UI code, and “Python is the de facto language of internal infrastructure tools.”
According to ChallengeRocket, “C++ is best known as an efficient and flexible language used for the creation of large systems, such as desktop applications and server platforms.” In terms of potential earnings in this specialisation, developers who are trained in C++ can expect to make up to $102,000 per annum.
In terms of demand, Java was found to be used by about 90% of the world’s top tech companies. The Java slogan “Write Once, Run Anywhere,” clearly still applies. According to ChallengeRocket: “A Senior Java Developer has a real chance for a salary ranging from $74,000 to $130,000.” In Upwork’s opinion, Java seems to have been built for Android development so it’s become a go-to for mobile apps. In many ways, it’s seen as an “easier” more accessible language than some of the others.
Python is not only used by Google, it is used by the likes of NASA too – so in terms of relevancy and demand, it’s right up there with the best of them. ChallengeRocket predicts that, “an annual salary of a Senior Python Developer will fluctuate around the amount of $105,000 and higher. This is due in large part to the popularity of the language and its frequent appearance on lists of requirements in recruitment procedures.”
Apple: Objective-C, Swift
A number of sources, including ChallengeRocket, suggest that the primary language used by Apple developers is Objective-C. According to Ben Jakuben, Objective-C is a great first language to learn and is the main language used to write apps for iPad and iPhone. Then of course, we can’t talk about programming languages used at Apple without mentioning its very own, Swift. As Apple puts it, “Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and Swift includes modern features developers love. Swift code is safe by design, yet also produces software that runs lightning-fast.”
Payscale breaks down Objective-C developer earnings into three main job descriptions. Today, an iOS Developer can expect to earn around $81,979. An Objective-C Software Engineer will earn approximately $95,508. And thirdly, a Senior Software Engineer can expect to earn an average of $119,470.
Initially, with the emergence of Swift, some experts predicted than Swift would cannibalise the older language, Objective-C. But according to Dice, in 2017 “the number of job postings citing Objective-C outnumbered those naming Swift by nearly eight-to-one.” It seems, at least for now, that these two languages have found a way to coexist. According to a survey conducted by Indeed, “The average salary for a Swift developer” ranges from approximately $101,924 per year for Software Engineer to $117,718 per year for Senior Software Engineer.” This salary information comes from 101,852 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.
In an article by Fossbytes, an interesting insight suggested that the top 25 Fortune 500 companies do not favour developers who are proficient in one language only. What is preferred is that developers know more than one language and are eager to keep learning and building their portfolios.
Upskill with a short course or bootcamp in a range of different languages at HyperionDev and build a successful career in development today.