What New Programming Languages Should You Learn This Year?

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The first month of the year is over, and, whether your New Year’s resolution is going strong, you've failed miserably, or it's somewhere in between, 2014 still offers plenty of opportunities for career growth. Consider these programming languages as ones to learn or reinforce this year.

Python: Python is currently a favorite programming language for newbies to learn first. But even if you have already learned other languages, Python is still a good one to pick up because it’s touted as teaching good programming fundamentals. Python is relatively easy to learn and to use because of its simple and flexible syntax.

JavaScript: Want to build websites? Want to build interactive things on the web? Look no further than JavaScript. JavaScript has a forgiving syntax and the convenience of already being built into web browsers. JavaScript is a great language to learn because it requires fewer tools and allows you to see immediate results from your coding actions.

C: Along with C++, C is perhaps the most foundational language in computer programming. C provides most of the building blocks for other languages, such as Java, JavaScript, C#, and Python. What's great about C is that learning it can help you better understand the programming languages you already know and are using.

SQL: Structured Query Language is a relatively specialized programming language that was designed for editing and querying data residing in relational database management systems. Even though most businesses have databases that rely on SQL, the programming language tends to fly under the radar because of its behind-the-scenes nature. However, the language isn’t one you should overlook. Computerworld named SQL one of the most in-demand programming skills last year.

Java: Java is a widely used programming language and is important to learn for enforcing and reinforcing solid object-oriented principles that are common practice in most modern languages, such as C++, Python, PHP, and Perl. Java won’t allow for a great capacity of control, but it is a very practical language that can run on any operating system.

PHP: While C++ powers a lot of browsers, such as Firefox, PHP drives a lot of websites, like Facebook. PHP is a server-side scripting language that is popular in the creation of apps and dynamic website development. PHP is everywhere, but it’s suggested that you know basic HTML or CSS as well if you want to try to make successful websites.

So, what programming language should you learn in 2014? Honestly, it depends on your interests and career needs. Even if you think you already know all the languages you need to succeed, it won’t hurt to reinforce your understanding and practice of some of the languages in this list.

There are more programming languages out there, and these are only a small sample size. You may find that Perl, Ruby, C#, and others may fit your wants and needs better. But, ultimately, the key is to keep learning. With a new year should come a new dedication to learning programming languages. 

Do you plan on learning a new programming language this year? What programming language do you think everyone should know or have a basic understanding of? Tell us in the comments below.

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Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

When not working on his theory of time travel, Cameron T. Philipp-Edmonds is writing for TechWell and its community sites. With a background in advertising and marketing, Cameron is partial to the ways that technology can enhance a company's brand equity. In his personal life, Cameron enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic dinners by candlelight, and playing practical jokes on his coworkers.