Which Programming Language Should You Learn for the Future?
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With dozens of industry-standard programming languages and hundreds of other active languages to consider, picking the best programming language to learn can be tough. If you’re going to pour thousands of hours into study and practice, you want the result to be worthwhile.

To be fair, there are lots of strong options (including Java, Python, C#) and you can’t go wrong with any of them. But if you could only pick one language to learn and master for the future, there’s no contest: it must be JavaScript.

JavaScript Is Easy to Pick Up

A disclaimer up front: “easy” is relative when it comes to programming languages. If you have no coding experience, then it’s going to be a tough road no matter which language you pick. But compared to alternatives, JavaScript is way up there on the easy scale.

In fact, we’ve previously recommended JavaScript for programming newbies 6 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn for Beginners 6 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn for Beginners Learning to program is about finding the right language just as much as it's about the edification process. Here are the top six easiest programming languages for beginners. Read More .

JavaScript also has an extremely lenient syntax. There are multiple ways to approach a problem, and it isn’t opinionated so it doesn’t force you to write code in a particular way. Want to use an object-oriented structure? That’s fine. Or not? That’s fine too.

JavaScript is dynamic and weakly typed, so you don’t have to worry too much about strict data structures, variable assignments, etc. It’s loose and flexible and results in code that’s short, readable, and the exact opposite of verbose.

Which Programming Language Should You Learn for the Future? javascript example carousel

JavaScript is one of the highest-level programming languages available today, which means it’s far removed from the nitty-gritty details of how computers operate. You write human-readable code that gets translated by a JavaScript engine, and you never have to deal with memory, caches, bits, or anything else that could trip you up hard.

Learn more about the differences between high-level and low-level languages High-Level vs. Low-Level Programming Languages: Which Should You Learn? High-Level vs. Low-Level Programming Languages: Which Should You Learn? What exactly are high level and low level programming languages? And what does it mean for learning to write code? Let's start with the definitions of each and go from there. Read More .

JavaScript also has a huge community of veterans and beginners alike. You can find an abundant number of free tutorials and online courses with a single web search, as well as several paid courses, most of which are well worth the money. Resources are endless. Forums are plentiful. If you ever feel stuck, you can always find sources of help.

JavaScript Can Be Used for Everything

Okay, “everything” might be hyperbolic. But it’s true that JavaScript is arguably the most versatile language of all time, able to create all kinds of software and applicable to pretty much every kind of programming.

Some interesting things you can do with JavaScript:

JavaScript Coders Are in High Demand

According to the TIOBE Index, JavaScript is the 6th most popular language worldwide. According to Gooroo Analytics, JavaScript is the second-highest in-demand programming language for professionals in the United States, beaten only by the ubiquitous Java. In December 2017, there were over 7,200 JavaScript job postings per month.

According to PayScale, the average base salary of a JavaScript developer is $72,500. If you niche down, it can get much higher. For example, the Front-End Web Developer position has an average base pay of $88,500 while the Senior Front-End Developer position has an average base salary of $119,500.

Which Programming Language Should You Learn for the Future? javascript developer salaries

Your mileage may vary, of course, but all of this just goes to show that you can make a decent living with JavaScript if you sharpen your skills and put yourself out there. And because JavaScript is so versatile, you can switch industries or career paths without having to learn a new programming language if you don’t want to.

Learn more about the most in-demand computer programming jobs 10 Computer Programming Jobs That Are In Demand Right Now 10 Computer Programming Jobs That Are In Demand Right Now Since landing a programming job can be tough in the current landscape, consider focusing on one of the following concentrations to improve your chances of success. Read More , how to write the perfect programming job resume How to Write the Perfect Resume for a Programming Job How to Write the Perfect Resume for a Programming Job Here are five things to do and five things to avoid when putting together your resume for a programming job. Read More , and how to prepare for a programming interview How to Prepare Yourself for a Programming Interview How to Prepare Yourself for a Programming Interview The best advice for programming interviews. Any interview can be daunting. Do you know enough to pass? Will your solutions be good enough? What if you choke? Apply these five tips. Read More .

JavaScript Has a Bright Future

ECMAScript is basically a standardized version of JavaScript that aims to improve on the language’s built-in weaknesses. ECMAScript 6, also known as ES6, was released in 2015 and played a huge role in revolutionizing the future value of the language. Learn more about how ES6 changed the face of JavaScript What Is ES6 and What Javascript Programmers Need to Know What Is ES6 and What Javascript Programmers Need to Know ES6 refers to version 6 of the ECMA Script (Javascript) programming language. Let us now look at some major changes that ES6 brings to JavaScript. Read More .

Since then, ECMAScript has been updating on a yearly schedule, with ES6/ES2015 followed by ES2016 and more recently ES2017. As of this writing, ES2018 has been in the works for many months and it’ll be several more months until it’s actually released. In addition, there’s always a future version in the works (codenamed ES.Next).

Which Programming Language Should You Learn for the Future? programming laptop blank screen

In other words, JavaScript is an evolving language that’s adapting the needs of its community and the needs of the world.

And let’s not forget the general growth in web development as a whole. Web apps are all the rage, and there’s no sign of this trend stopping. Many Internet of Things devices need their own custom web portals and interfaces. And as more mobile and desktop apps are written in JavaScript, they’ll still need JavaScript coders to maintain them in 5-10 years.

How to Learn JavaScript Right Now

We’ve looked at some great free resources for learning JavaScript Start Coding JavaScript Right Now With These 5 Great Free Resources Start Coding JavaScript Right Now With These 5 Great Free Resources Read More , including a number of YouTube programming tutorial playlists The 17 Best YouTube Programming Tutorials The 17 Best YouTube Programming Tutorials In this post, we'd like to point you to some of the best YouTube programming series we've found. All of these are sufficient for getting your feet wet as a newbie programmer. Read More (see the ones for JavaScript and Web Development). If you have some money to spare, you might also check out these JavaScript courses on Udemy Really Learn JavaScript with 5 Top Udemy Courses Really Learn JavaScript with 5 Top Udemy Courses JavaScript is the programming language of the web. If you have a reason to learn JavaScript, these five excellent courses from Udemy could be the place to begin your coding journey. Read More .

Whatever you do, we highly recommend reading our article on tricks for mastering a new programming language 7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language 7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language It's okay to be overwhelmed when you are learning to code. You'll probably forget things as quickly as you learn them. These tips can help you to better retain all that new information. Read More . You’d also benefit from our comparison of the best JavaScript editors Top 5 Javascript Editors That Can Make Coding Much Easier Top 5 Javascript Editors That Can Make Coding Much Easier These days, there are only five editors worth your consideration when writing JavaScript. You can find dozens of alternatives, but none of them hold a candle to these, so don't waste your time. Read More .

How do you feel about JavaScript? Is there another language you’d consider to be “the language of the future”? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. dragonmouth
    February 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Java Script is THE language to know today. Tomorrow the language to know will be some other MUST KNOW language. Every few years a new, HOT language comes out displacing the previous HOT languages. Who today remembers COBOL, RPG or Fortran, let alone knows how to program in any of them?

    • Jan Steinman
      February 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      I agree. Learning a single, HOT language is not the path to job security.

      Rather, one needs to really understand how computers work, so they can easily move on to the next "best thing" when it comes along.

      If the only tool you have is a hammer, all the world looks like a nail.

      I've done a lot of consulting and education. The hardest students to get through to, were the ones who had never used more than one language.

      • dragonmouth
        February 6, 2018 at 11:48 pm

        Your comments reminded me of the programming test I had to take. All the questions were based on a pseudo language that was created just for the test. The first time I took the test, I was a beginner programmer knowing only COBOL. I did not too badly but I failed. I took that test again a few years later. By this time I had a working knowledge of 4 or 5 different languages. The pseudo language was not the same but I had no problems passing the test because, by that time, I learned the logic of programming, an underlying principle that applies to all languages. I suppose it could be called the Tao of programming.

    • Jesse
      February 7, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      I do. My first programming job was on a Honeywell mainframe with 12K (yes, twelve thousand) memory locations. And those were 6-bit ASCII characters, not 8-bit bytes. Most of the early commercial applications were done in assembly language. Ever work on Honeywell, GE, RCA, Sperry, DEC, Data General, Tandem, or Univac computers? Yup, all of them.

      • dragonmouth
        February 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm

        You and I are old fossils. :-)

        Yes, I worked on a lot of RCA, Sperry/Univac, Unisys machines.

      • Primoz Bradac
        February 23, 2018 at 10:25 am

        Welcome to the club! I started with assembler on a 14kB IBM-360 System ...

        • Primoz Bradac
          February 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

          Sorry, it was 24kB ...