Programming languages part 5

Last week I was invited to give a lecture about Information technology to a local high school. I told the students that today, every student, regardless of what they are studying, must know at least one programming language. In this technology-driven job market, coding is an important skill just like reading, writing, and arithmetic. Today in The Internet age, most jobs require the applicant to know how to use electronic devices (Computer, smartphone etc.) and how to code. There are several programming languages, from relatively easy to more difficult languages, and depend on where you want to work, which career you prefer, you may select the best language for that areas. Since many students are not familiar with programming languages, I summarize them as follow (Note: This is my personal opinion.)

Python is the high-demand and most popular language in the industry today. Python is simple and easy to learn, there are many libraries of tools available that students could use. Python is used in most software development works, as well as video games, and web development. If you are good in Python, you can work in many places since there is a shortage of Python developers in many countries. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a Python developer is between $95,000 to $127,000/year. (2017 data)

Image: Internet

Java is another very popular language. Just like Python, Java developers are in great demand as many software development works are done in Java. Most mobile apps are also written in this language. Java is also the basis of the Android operating system in many smartphones. If you like to develop mobile apps, you need to know Java. Today Java is taught in most universities as the official programming language. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a Java developer is between $92,000 to $112,000/year. (2017 data)

Javascript is the language that built the Internet. It is simple to learn and implement as it is one of the most popular languages among software developers, especially in the front-end web development. JavaScript code is written into an HTML page. When a user requests an HTML page with JavaScript in it, the script is sent to the browser to do something with it. If you want to work in the web development area, you must know both Java and JavaScript. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a JavaScript developer is between $82,000 to $100,000/year. (2017 data).

PHP is another important language used in the back-end for most web development. It is relatively easy to learn and have a large number of users. It works well with a database file system and images etc. By combining with MySQL, it allows developers to create interactive content to manage large amounts of data. By learning both you will be able to create login pages, forms, forums, manage user access to pages and much more. These skills will allow you to create websites that are easy to use, yet highly functional in handling a whole lot of data. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a PHP developer is between $80,000 to $92,000/year. (2017 data).

C++ is used mostly in large-scale software application. It is one of the programming languages that built Google. It takes more time to master this language as it has a large and various features of building blocks but if you do, it will distinguish you from most programmers in the job market. Knowing C++ will help you to understand how programming language work in detail. If you understand the fundamentals of C++, all others programming languages will be easy. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a C++ developer is between $98,000 to $116,000/year. (2017 data)

C# is a powerful and flexible programming language. It can be used to create many applications from large-scale industrial application to complex aerospace software. This language is created by Microsoft and is used in many of its applications and fully integrated with the .NET library providing you access to a huge library of tools and functional support. C# developers are in high demand as many companies are using Microsoft software as their foundation to build their specific application on. Since this is a language that underlies everything from business enterprise apps to compilers, where companies build their applications to manage their operation, help managers make decisions, store and organize data, it is an important language to know. According to the U.S. Labor of Statistics, the salary of a C++ developer is between $95,000 to $114,000/year. (2017 data)

I encourage all high school students (Grade 10 to 12) to learn a programming language. It is a necessary skill that everyone should have in this technology-driven world. Whether you go to college, vocational school or even working after high school, knowing a programming language will open more opportunities for you. We are living in a globalized world where competition is fierce among countries. Soon, you are not competing with people from your country but other countries. It is important for you to be prepared NOW and knowing how to code is an essential skill that you need to have.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University
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