The propagation of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, mobile and cloud computing is putting software into every business, organization and industry. And naturally, with code running in everything and everywhere, the demand for software development skills is increasing at an accelerated pace.
There are literally hundreds of programming and scripting languages, each with a unique learning curve, domain of utility, and salary expectations. If you do a quick search of the most popular programming languages, you’ll find different and contradicting results.
So here are 10 hot programming languages, in no specific order, that are very likely to land you a lucrative programming job in 2017 and beyond.
The average salary for a frontend web developer is $93,000.
The average salary for a PHP developer is $85,000.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is the foundation of relational database management systems (RDBMS), which organizations use to store and manage critical data. Database servers such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL use SQL statements to manipulate data and schema. RDBMS data stores underlie dynamic websites and content management systems such as WordPress, which account for a large portion of websites you find on the web. SQL coding and administration skills are in high demand due to the sheer number of websites and services that are being rolled out every year.
The average salary for a SQL developer is $85,000.
Python is an easy-to-learn, general purpose and platform independent programming language that has become extremely popular in recent years. Python is widely used in web development and powers websites such as Quora and Reddit. However its rise in prominence is due to its usefulness in data science and machine learning. Its convenient array manipulation functions along with libraries such as NumPy make Python especially useful in this white-hot space.
The average salary for a Python developers is $116,000.
Another general-purpose language, Java is one of the choice languages for teaching object oriented programming in universities and coding institutions. It can be used for web and desktop application development. However, the demand for Java programming skills continues to rise because it is the main programming language for developing applications for Android, the mobile operating system that powers the majority of smartphones across the globe. Learning Java is a must for becoming a successful Android application developer.
The average salary for a Java developer is $102,000.
C# is the crown jewel of Microsoft’s .NET suite. Another versatile general purpose language that is used in a wide variety of domains, C# was initially designed to build enterprise software for the Windows family of operating systems, but has become available to other platformsl since the release of the .NET Core open-source development platform. C# is easy to learn and in high demand for web, desktop and mobile application development. It will give you a strong basis to kickstart your programming career and will provide the foundation to move on to more advanced languages such as Java, C and C++.
The average salary for a C# developer is $92,000.
Objective C is the native language of iOS, the operating system of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. With users wielding mobile apps for an increasing number of tasks, every business deems it profitable to go mobile, and the need for mobile app developers is rapidly increasing. From banking to retail and hospitality, there’s demand for mobile apps everywhere across the board. Objective C is a lot like its ancestor, C, with some elements of C++ thrown in. If you’re a veteran of those languages, hopping in on this one is easy. If not, the learning curve isn’t very easy, but the pay is great.
The salary for Objective C developers is $120,000.
Swift is Apple’s alternative to Objective C, a fast paced programming language that made its debut in 2014. Swift is easy to learn and provides a cleaner coding experience. It’s a good choice for those who want to quickly jump on the mobile development bandwagon and write code for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Another benefit of Swift is that it’s open source, which means developers can also develop for Windows or Linux systems, while making sure their apps are compatible with Apple devices.
The salary of Swift developers is on par with Objective C, at around $120,000.
Some classics never die. Although the deluge of high level languages that have appeared in recent years have eclipsed to some extent the reach of older languages, there’s still high demand for skilled C/C++ programmers. Where optimized, high performance code is required, nothing beats good old C++. This includes gaming and AR/VR, which is a fast growing sector. C/C++ is also very popular in IoT and embedded systems programming.
The average salary for C++ developers is $115,000.
(Disclosure: The writer’s favorite programming language is C++)
Yet another all-purpose language, but nonetheless one that is very capable and in high demand in 2017. Perl is highly useful in web, network security, data mining, CGI, graphics and finance programming. A fast-paced and versatile script, Perl works well with other languages and is very useful for DevOps development environments.
Perl developer salary averages at $116,000.
There’s no telling which programming language will dominate the coming years, but the need for coding skills and software developers is rising quickly with no signs of slowing. Our world is becoming increasingly connected and software driven, and every industry is in need of coders. One thing’s for sure: Talented programmers and developers are guaranteed to have well-paying job opportunities for years to come.
Salary data for this year's hottest programming languages was obtained from Indeed.com.
Ben Dickson is a software engineer and professional writer. He writes about technology, business and politics. He's also the founder of TechTalks, a blog that explores the ways technology is solving and creating problems.