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Java or Python: What is the most important programming language in 2022?

We Europeans not only speak many languages, we also code in many programming languages. Some are more interesting than others. Multilingualism is an asset in all cases, but nobody can know everything. Which programming language should you focus on?

Those who can speak with computers have an advantage in today’s job landscape. What the best language is, is open to discussion. You should really take that decision with your preferences in mind. If you like going to Spain, learn Spanish, and if you like working with data analysis and logic, learn Python, Java or C. Leave Swedish for lovers of cool nights, and JavaScript and TypeScript for lovers of UI/UX.

1. Which language do employers require?

If you want to learn a new programming language, personal interest is in fact what matters most. There are plenty of options, so make sure to do what you love. Are you more flexible in your travel destinations or programming ambitions? Depending on your answer, other factors may have an impact on your choice of language. For programming languages, the market demand is a major factor. What language skills do employers expect from their programmers? In other words: which language gives you the most diverse job opportunities?

Internationally, Python is the big winner, but do not be fooled. That is because the language is very popular among US employers. According to research conducted by CodingNomad in the US and Europe, Java is the most sought-after programming language in our region. That’s no surprise: it is a widespread language, which forms the basis of applications for lots of platforms. From smartphone and tablet over the desktop to the server or even IoT devices: Java can get you a long way.

2. PHP and Python

After more than 25 years of service, PHP is still hugely popular in Europe. The digital world has gained in importance thanks to the pandemic, so a digital presence is more important than ever. More than 75 percent of all websites run on PHP, which also powers WordPress and Facebook, among many others.

Python comes in third place in our region and is on the rise. The language is pretty much the standard for those involved in data analysis, visualisation, machine learning and AI. Compared to some other languages, Python is quite simple, with a syntax that is more inclusive than the older Java.

3. Front-end or more general … what do you prefer?

On the front-end side, JavaScript is by far the most in-demand language, programmers who can handle it are almost twice as much in demand compared to TypeScript. Furthermore, the classics C, C# and C++ obviously remain relevant, although the aforementioned languages are in the biggest demand.

The above programming languages all have a quite specific functionality. That is why we mentioned earlier that personal preference is an important factor. TypeScript is not the right choice if you have a passion for back-end programming. Ruby stands out in the list of required languages because it is more flexible and more general. If you speak Ruby, you can work on many different tasks and that is what is in demand.

4. Don’t forget the databases

In the meantime, a pressing question may be on the lips of the attentive reader. What about SQL? Technically speaking, SQL is not a programming language but a query language. When we talk about data and analytics, SQL cannot be ignored. After all, it is the language of databases. Besides, cloud providers such as AWS and Oracle are working hard to integrate machine learning capabilities into SQL environments.

It would be unfair to leave SQL out because of a technicality, and employers are not doing so. Both in the US and in Europe, there are currently more job openings for SQL talents than for any other language. Moreover, SQL knowledge is very complementary to other languages. Whatever your ambition is in the world of programming, sooner or later you will undoubtedly be confronted with a database. Whoever wants to bring this interaction to a successful conclusion, had better speak a little SQL.

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