Whether for Fun or Career: Top 5 Programming Languages to Learn in 2020

Programming has seen one of the largest growths out of any sector in recent decades, and as society becomes increasingly digital, this trend will likely continue. With the vast potential of the field, there are many good reasons to learn coding. Whether you wish to learn it as a hobby or further your career path, the best time to start is now – but that’s also the toughest part. With hundreds of programming languages in use, trying to narrow it down to just one to learn can be difficult. Check out the top 5 programming languages to learn in 2020: 


JavaScript is one of the most popular languages used today, as well as one of the easiest to learn. With a similar syntax to the algebra most people learn in high school, its simple logic allows for many possibilities. It can also be run on any device with a web browser, meaning JavaScript programs can be enjoyed by many people. Though JavaScript got its start as a language which only works in browsers, it can now be used by servers and computers too with Node.JS and other frameworks. Most of the internet’s leading websites, like YouTube and Facebook, rely on JavaScript to generate interactive web pages that dynamically display content to users. JavaScript will likely be a solid choice for years to come due to its versatility and ease-of-use. 


Python is a programming language that might be the most user-friendly language on this list. The intuitive and English-like syntax makes Python a popular language for beginners to learn. Though it doesn’t perform as well as the other languages on this list, it supports multiple platforms and systems with perhaps the least effort. Additionally, the vast variety of libraries it comes with lets beginners easily perform complex tasks. It is most useful in scientific and numerical applications and business applications, as well as for quick learning and testing of ideas. However, recent updates have made python adept in desktop GUIs, AI, and machine learning. 


Despite the title, new users may be surprised that Java isn’t particularly related to JavaScript! However, the two languages do share several attributes: they’re quick to grasp, vastly popular, and run cross-platform. Java is distinct because it must be compiled to “bytecode,” an intermediate format which can then be run on any device with the Java Runtime Environment installed; this enables it to run faster. Like Python, Java has a variety of libraries which makes it far easier to perform complex tasks. With its general popularity, particularly in the enterprise sector, Java is a great language to learn for those looking to further their career path. 


C# is yet another derivative of the classic 1972 language C which helped revolutionize computing. Updating and improving upon the original feature set, C# introduces classes, packages, and more. Syntactically it’s very similar to writing Java, but with its own quirks. This language operates slightly faster and compiles to native code. Many businesses, especially those who work closely with Microsoft, are shifting towards C# making it valuable to know. 


Though not a programming language in the strictest sense, any coder wishing to work with data outside of small text documents will find it necessary to learn SQL. SQL allows its users to define and manipulate databases in the form of tables, users, and functional operations. It integrates with most of the above languages and can be used to quickly search millions of rows of data. 

Author: Grey Ruessler, Quinn Johnson