Ever heard of Ruby? How about Python? Sure, one is a rare gemstone and the other a deadly species of reptile.
Well, you’re not wrong.
However, did you also know that they are programming languages — ones that have built websites like Youtube, Google, and Twitter?
In fact, Ruby and Python are just two among the hundreds of programming languages that exist today. With all the programming languages out there, developers are currently honing their skills on a select few.
This article hopes to give you a better understanding of which are the top 3 programming languages and why.
(Note that these rankings are based on Stack Overflow’s online survey, taken by over 60,000 developers all around the world.)
Why is it Popular?
This was a game changer when it was launched back in 2009. Hence it relinquished the need for developers to learn ‘old-school’, more low-level languages like C++.
Coming in at number two is SQL. The acronym stands for ‘Structured Query Language’. All it means is: a programming language that is used to communicate to a database in a structured way. For example, when you load your Instagram account, Instagram sends a query (a request) to a database which then gives you information for your Instagram profile. That query, or request, might be written in SQL. Simple as that!
Why is it Popular?
While SQL is a language used to talk to SQL databases, NoSQL is used to talk to NoSQL databases (unsurprisingly). Both databases deal with data in different ways, SQL databases structure data in a ‘relational manner’ and its counterpart stores data in a ‘non-relational manner’.
Confused? Think about it this way:
Imagine SQL databases as a phonebook where each name corresponds to a phone number — there is a relationship between the names and numbers. NoSQL databases, on the other hand, would be a folder that holds a mix of everything from a person’s phone number to data from their Facebook profile.
The preference of SQL as a language is directly linked to the popularity of SQL databases over NoSQL databases. SQL databases are popular for their ability to reduce anomalies and to protect the integrity of databases. So it’s unsurprising therefore, that the high security standards associated with SQL databases make it popular with e-commerce and finance companies.
Out of the thousands of companies that use SQL databases, some of the biggest names include Google, Walmart, and Amazon. You can bet that most retail giants that need strict security compliances and deal with structured and data are using SQL databases. While SQL databases are significantly more popular than NoSQL databases, companies like Instagram are starting to store data on a hybrid SQL and NoSQL database.
Last but not least, Java comes in as the third most popular programming language. It’s built on the fundamentals of the powerful but lower-level language C++.
Java simplifies the complex syntax of C++ while maintaining its far-reaching capabilities.
Why is it Popular?
The question “Is Java Dead?” is one that pops up year after year. With Java coming in as the third most popular language among developers, it’s clear that Java being dead is very much ‘fake news’. In fact, the number of Java tutorials actually made up almost 25% of all the programming tutorials searched on Google in 2017.
Java has been around since the 90’s and was originally made to be used on cellphones. Over the years, it has evolved into an ideal language for both on and off the internet.
Much of Java’s popularity stems from the fact that it is platform-independent, reliable and secure. It is a portable language that can run anywhere, regardless of both operating system and hardware. That said, it’s really no wonder why Google’s chose Java for its Android operating system- which, by the way, makes up 89% of the mobile market.
As we will see in the examples below, companies love Java for its security and scalability. Java is a language that allows companies to develop secure services and grow, at scale.
Twitter’s shift to Java (well, JVM to be exact) is a great example. Twitter was originally written in Ruby — a language that proved to be a headache once the company started to experience extreme growth. As it grew, the company’s platform was plagued with ‘Fail Whales’ — a page with a whale that gave users notice that the network was overwhelmed. Today, Twitter runs partially on Java and the ‘Fail Whale’ has yet to be seen… Other examples of companies that use Java in their web or mobile applications include Spotify, eBay, Facebook, and Oracle.