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Our technological landscape is built on a system of codes: series of numbers, letters, and characters that act as instructions that can be scanned and executed by computers. From the end user’s perspective, these languages are not easily observed. Without them, however, the range of digital offerings and experiences we take for granted would simply not be possible. 

Developers, on the other hand, are intimately familiar with many types of coding languages and depend on these for everything from creating web pages to smartphone applications. Keep reading to learn why these coding languages are so important and how a thorough understanding of them could prepare you for an exciting tech career.  

What IsCodingand Why Are There So Many Languages? 

Coding is a central component of computer programming. It involves the instructions that are required to convey what, exactly, computers are expected to accomplish. Through coding, these instructions are translated from human languages into languages that computers can understand. Known as coding or programming languages, they serve to act as a bridge between human inputs and computer outputs. 

Different concerns call for different tools and methodologies, and that is exactly what various coding languages provide. Without a wide range of languages available, it would be difficult to accomplish such a myriad of tasks. What is more, different languages are suited to different types of developers; some, for example, prefer simplicity above all else, while others need more dynamic tools to get the job done. 

Programming languages function a bit like the various types of vehicles, all of them can get drivers and passengers from point A to point B, but our world would not be particularly productive if we only had, say, sedans available but no SUVs, buses, or trucks. All vehicles (and all types of coding languages) serve unique purposes, so we are fortunate to have such a diverse array of tools available. 

What AreCodingLanguages Used For? 

While coding’s basic function involves creating and facilitating instructions for computers to follow and execute, this manifests in a variety of ways. Some coding languages serve as the backbone for computer operating systems, while others power the applications that users interact with daily. 

Coding versus programming, what’s the difference? Both are important, but they are not one and the same. Rather, coding acts as a component of programming. As a far broader pursuit, programming encompasses the many ways humans interact with computers, and not just through the languages themselves. Beyond this, programming also involves everything from planning and testing to deployment and even maintenance. 

Coding can be used in many capacities but is typically relied on for building websites and applications. This encompasses not only the forward-facing layouts and designs but also connections to databases. Other important uses include data analysis, data processing, and network programming.  

What Are the Types of Programming Languages? 

Estimates of the exact number of programming languages vary, but most people agree that at least several hundred exist. Among these, however, a few stand out due to their versatility or ease of use. These fall into a few main categories, as highlighted below:  

Front-End vs. Back-End Languages 

The first distinction between languages? Whether they are intended for the front- or back-end. Front-end languages address web pages’ visual components, so these are the most obvious to everyday users. Familiar front-end languages include JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. 

We will take a deeper dive into back-end languages below, but examples that exemplify this category include Java, Python, JavaScript, PHP, and Ruby. These work behind the scenes to maintain logic systems and satisfy user requests. Also known as the server-side, this is where critical data is stored and organized. As such, while front-end coding is important to the user’s experience, it is the more technical, back-end language that ensures the app or page in question can be recognized by the database.  

High-Level vs. Low-Level Languages 

Often referred to as being “closer to humans,” high-level languages make it possible to create programs that resemble human languages to a greater extent than they do binary code. Most of the programming languages that we will discuss in this guide can be classified as high-level. Examples include Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and most other familiar languages. 

Meanwhile, low-level languages are machine-oriented and often referred to by programmers as assembly language. These act as text translations of the binary codes understood by central processing units (CPUs). A minimal level of abstraction exists between the low-level language and the instruction set architecture.  

Interpreted vs. Compiled Languages 

If instructions are not specifically executed by the machine or device in question, they are referred to as interpreted. Examples of interpreted programming languages include JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and PHP. 

With compiled languages, machines are capable of directly translating source code, rather than requiring assistance from separate programs. Because additional programs are not needed, compiled languages tend to be more efficient from an execution standpoint. That said, recent developments have made interpreted languages much faster than they were even a few short years ago.  

CodingLanguage Paradigms 

The categories above can be valuable but are by no means the only options for classifying coding languages. It is possible to classify a single coding language within several paradigms. One of the most important paradigms is the declarative, in which instructions are given on the intended result but not specifics on how to achieve it. The other key paradigm is known as imperative, in which the programmer inputs commands and the software carries them out.  

CodingLanguages for Back-EndWeb Development 

Responsible for communicating between the browser and the database, back-end development emphasizes the inner workings of the website, which may not readily be observable to users. The most popular coding languages for back-end web development are:  


A straightforward scripting syntax makes JavaScript uniquely appealing. It is incredibly popular, as it serves both beginners and advanced developers well, and because it is versatile enough to support both functional programming and object-oriented programming. This versatility also extends to JavaScript’s classification as an omni-platform. It can run on the client-side and on the server-side and on many types of devices. This is the go-to for a vast spectrum of development essentials. As such, is a coding must for aspiring developers.  


Uniquely robust and equipped with exceptional memory management capabilities, Java is an ideal solution for a variety of backend essentials. The PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index claims that, as of 2022, Java was the world’s second most popular coding language and had actually grown more prominent in the prior year. 

Java has a long history, dating back to the 1990s, but remains relevant for backend development because it is enriched by such excellent frameworks and its Java virtual machine (JVM) produces such a secure environment. This language is more complex and less readable than many others mentioned in this guide but remains a more accessible alternative to C and C++.  


As a popular server-side language, PHP (an acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) functions as a general-purpose option that is universally accepted as a back-end solution. It can be integrated with a variety of servers, including SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle. 

Plain PHP can feel awkward to use, so web frameworks are typically relied on to add structure to the backend code and the general process. Otherwise, the main advantages associated with PHP include ease of use, flexibility, and, of course, cost-effectiveness, which is driven by its status as an open-source language.  


As a high-level, object-oriented programming language, Python boasts an amazing level of versatility. High levels of abstraction make Python an ideal offering for programming novices, although experts clearly appreciate Python’s high interaction and strict syntax. 

One of the most compelling reasons to tackle Python is its active and highly connected user base, which forms a digital community like no other. Enthusiasts refer to themselves as Pythonistas and make every effort to show up at PyCon events. This loyalty means that, no matter the concern, the Python programming language will be heavily supported for years to come.  


Known for its elegant syntax, Ruby is a high-level open-source language, developed with the main intention of promoting productivity. Ruby refers to its design as a careful balance between functional and imperative language, simple enough to learn and implement quickly, but not so simple that it impedes effective development. Many are familiar with the web framework Ruby on Rails, which is incredibly popular due to its clean code and strong community. 

BestCodingLanguages for App Development 

App development represents one of the most important use cases for modern coding. Top programming languages for modern app development include: 

  • Java. Highly versatile, Java code can be taken from web-based apps and ported over to a mobile platform with ease. Although there are many Android app development opportunities, Java remains one of the most trusted. 
  • Kotlin. As the current standard for Android development, Kotlin runs on many operating systems and allows for easy debugging. It is known for being less prone to crashing and, in general, is easy to use and navigate. 
  • Swift. An open-source programming language developed by Apple, Swift is used to create and power applications on Apple’s operating systems. Based on Apple’s earlier Objective-C programming language, Swift was designed for ease of use and versatile functionality. Another notable benefit of Swift is its ability to detect bugs in the software before updates are rolled out to the public.  

BestCodingLanguages forWeb Development 

A variety of coding languages are well-suited to web development, but the following are among the best for this purpose: 

  • PHP. Simple by nature and surprisingly fast and flexible, PHP is a wonderful solution for crafting dynamic web content. Data from W3Techs indicates that PHP is currently used by a whopping 77 percent of sites with known server-side programming languages. Its broad appeal exists, in part, due to its platform-independent structure, not to mention its support for so many major web servers. 
  • JavaScript. Web development underscores much of JavaScript’s enduring popularity. It is supported by a wide range of browsers, such as Safari, Chromium, and Mozilla Firefox, to name a few. Meanwhile, a predetermined tool set and design allow for more efficient development without limiting creative and dynamic opportunities. It should come as no surprise, then, that major brands such as Airbnb and PayPal rely on JavaScript. 
  • Ruby on Rails. As a full-stack framework with capacities for both the front and back-end, Ruby on Rails is known for its neat code and other developer-friendly qualities. Its open-source technology makes it an appealing option for many startups and other small organizations. Less code is required for implementation, so Ruby on Rails can dramatically hasten the development process.  

BestCodingLanguages for Tech Careers 

Many of today’s most in-demand tech jobs call for extensive coding knowledge, including a strong command of several coding languages. While any of the previously described coding languages are worth learning, the most in-demand include the following: 

  • JavaScript. These days, it is practically impossible to enter the technological sector in any capacity without a thorough understanding of JavaScript. According to the JetBrains State of Developer Ecosystem 2022, JavaScript is currently the most popular type of coding language, with 65 percent of developers claiming to have used it within the past year. This does not merely provide a competitive edge, it is a clear expectation and, often, a minimum barrier to entry for top jobs. 
  • Python. Highly readable and easier to learn than most coding languages, Python provides an excellent starting point for aspiring tech professionals. Its syntax resembles English in many respects, so it feels more accessible than most others. Demand for Python-literate employees is on the rise, and while this language alone may not be sufficient for some career tracks, it can provide a competitive edge in data science and other areas. Even advanced programmers are increasingly advised to explore Python, as over half of hiring managers now include it as a basic requirement in the HackerRanker Developer Skills Report. 
  • HTML and CSS. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) may qualify as a markup language, but it is an essential skill for the exciting world of web design. This is often listed right behind JavaScript as being one of the world’s most important programming languages. HTML’s functionality is largely limited to structuring text, but it is frequently used alongside cascading style sheets (CSS), which plays into the aesthetics of other page elements. 
  • Java. Ideal for anyone who aspires to work in the finance sector (but in a tech-oriented capacity), Java is capable of handling vast amounts of data but remains relatively easy to learn. Its greatest benefit to the aspiring tech professional? Its unique versatility is prompted by its status as a “write once, run anywhere” language. In other words, Java is able to run on many types of operating system setups and can therefore be used to write apps for many types of devices.  

How to Start Learning to Code 

Coding is a vital skill and will continue to be crucial for tech-oriented professions far into the future. Do not assume that you limited in how you can learn to code. In today’s digital era, you have the option to learn at your pace with online tools or you can also use a traditional classroom setting, if you like. What is important is finding the right degree program to match your learning style so you can become equipped to code in today’s most popular languages. 


Ready to expand your coding knowledge and get on track for a tech career? At Post University, we are pleased to offer a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. This program provides thorough preparation for a variety of today’s most compelling career opportunities. Contact us today to learn more.  

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