What programming language should I learn? A How-to Guide towards SQL, Python & More

The wide range of possibilities in software development may make it difficult for future developers to decide on the best professional route to pursue. Many people's journey to a job in this field begins with the question: What is the best programming language to master? There's no simple solution, given that over 500 programming languages are being used. However, given the market's strong growth prospects and growth potential, it's worthwhile to consider the possibilities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for developers in the software will grow by 37 percent between 2012 and 2022. In 2022, the median annual income for developers of applications was $250,620. The prospects for employment and wages are equally impressive in databases administrators, web developers, and other occupations that depend on coding skills. This guide is full of resources and information for students looking to learn the programming abilities they will need to access this growing market for jobs.

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Programing Basics

A computer program is comprised of lines of code that are arranged according to a specific syntax or an orderly system that is similar to human languages consisting of words placed in a particular order which gives the program significance. The code instructs the computer to perform a specific task, such as adding numbers of the spreadsheet column, looking in the database to determine a monthly sales figure, or displaying a web page's components in a specific sequence.

Basic Concepts for Beginners in Programming | Programming for Beginners in 2021 | Great Learning, Source: Youtube, Great Learning 

The programming fundamentals are as follows, but not all programming actions are as easy as these instances. Thankfully, the technology of programming has evolved to the point where it gives incredible programming power into the hands of every person.

What is a Programming Language?

As any of the human languages can communicate with other people or communicate with a computer, any of the different programming languages can be utilized to instruct a computer to execute a specific operation. The only requirement is that the computer can comprehend the code, read what is being taught, and then perform the desired action.

Programing Language Definition

Techopedia defines programming languages as a language for computers designed to produce an unambiguous form of commands that can be translated into code that a computer recognizes. The two fundamental elements of programming languages are syntax and semantics:

  • Semantics is the term used to define the purpose of each code element, which is similar to the meanings of words in the human language.
  • Syntax determines how semantic elements are organized to form instructions and commands that instruct the computer on how to operate.

What is a programming language?, Source: Youtube, Codecademy

These are the essential components of programming language, according to Guru99:

  • Environment for programming
  • Type of data
  • Variables
  • Keywords
  • Arithmetical and logical operators
  • If not, conditions
  • Loops
  • Characters, numbers, and arrays
  • Functions
  • Operators of input and output

Standard Programming Languages vs. Nonstandard Programming Languages

All high-level programming languages employ an interpreter to convert their code into a form of assembly language, which a computer's CPU can understand. 

However, however, Opensource.com clarifies that not all languages based on standards are classified as " open source," which means their code is available to anyone who wants to use it. For instance, it is the OASIS non-profit consortium is distinct from the national and international standard-setting bodies by establishing standards that meet specific "open" requirements:

Different types of programming Languages

Programming languages are classified by their method of use to instruct computers to read the code, grasp its meaning, and perform an action. The most basic kinds are interpreted compiled scripting, procedural, and markup.

Types of Programming Languages, Source: Youtube, Simply Coding

Interpreted: Basic, Lisp, Perl, Python, Ruby

An interpreter program language converts the program's code into a format that computers can process by using an interpreter tool integrated within the programming language. The interpreter converts human-readable code into machine-readable "on the fly," as Lifewire explains.

The benefit of using interpreter languages like Python and Ruby is that they can be used on any device that runs the software required, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is also simpler to modify and access if needed than the compiled code, which must be recompiled and re-deployed following every modification.

Compiled C/C++/C#, Java, Objective-C, Visual Basic

Compilers for programming languages used to prepare their code to run on the target computer can process code faster than their interpreter counterparts, which increases the computer's speed. The compiler examines every code section to find mistakes by hand instead of checking the entire code in one go, which helps in error checking.

However, a compiled program has to be recompiled on every device and OS it operates on. A program can be successfully built but not function as expected on the specific machine, and, therefore, each program needs to be tested for each platform it was created for.

Process: Java, C/C++, Pascal, MATLAB, PL/I, RPG

Techopedia defines the term "procedural" in Techopedia. It refers to procedural language by saying that it uses "a set of well-organized steps and processes within the context of programming" to write an application. They can also be referred to as imperative languages. They follow a prescribed order of predefined commands, statements, functions, and commands to direct computers to act.

Scripting: AppleScript, ColdFusion, JavaScript, PHP, VBScript, Windows PowerShell

A scripting language is one of the programming languages that don't require compilation because the code is directly interpreted in the manner that the Python Guru describes. The main characteristics that distinguish scripting languages from compile-based language include a reduction in code needed to execute a program, an automated code interpretation by the machine that is to be used, and retrieval of data from the data set included in the script.

Programming Basics Resources

  • The IEEE Computer Society lists the programming languages most useful to master in 2022, including Python, Kotlin, Java, and JavaScript/NodeJS.
  • In Medium Bradley Nice of the software vendor, ClickHelp.com offers an exhaustive listing of languages used in programming across nine categories.

How to Learn to Code - Best Resources, How to Choose a Project, and more!, Source: Youtube, CS Dojo 

  • Towards Data Science describes the ten programming languages most sought-after by employers for 2020. Python, Java, JavaScript, and C# are top of the list.

Does SQL a programming Language?

Application programming develops software that generates data. Database programming utilizes data to produce business intelligence. Since the introduction of modern databases around 40 years ago, Structured Query Language (SQL) has been the primary tool used by database programmers to create reports using queries on databases for business use. 

Database Programming vs. Application Programming

The two most common jobs for database programmers include database administrator and developer, in line with what Discover Data Science describes:

Database Systems - Programming Languages and Database Programming - Imperative vs Declarative, Source: Youtube, Appficial

  • Developers of databases are also known as database designers. They create, program, design, and update databases.
  • Administrators control and monitor databases, ensure users have access to the information they require, and protect the data from theft or damage.

SQL Languages

Binary Terms define databases as a set of statements that describe and manipulate the database. Although SQL continues to be the largest and most used database language with administrators and developers, NoSQL continues to grow in popularity, as evidenced by an upcoming survey carried out by ScaleGrid.

  • The majority of organizations that were surveyed employ SQL
  • 5percent of organizations employ NoSQL

But, Oracle, the open-source MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and the free-source PostgreSQL provide SQL the top spot in the top four places in the DB-Engines monthly ranking of databases.

SQL Command Categories

The language used in SQL as well as other related databases management software (DBMS) There are four different types of databases languages that are explained on Computerworld:

Types of SQL commands | Oracle SQL fundamentals, Source: Youtube, DBA Genesis

  • The Data Definition Language(DDL) manages the tables in the database and their index structures. Its synced commands can create, modify tables, and even delete them.
  • Data Manipulation Data Manipulation Language (DML) changes data by using four different modes (retrieve updates, delete and also insert) as well as four commands (Select Insert, Update, and delete).
  • Data Control Language (DCL) controls access to databases and user rights using the command Grant and Revoke.
  • Data Query Language (DQL) is like and uses DML to insert, select or update and delete data.


The study of any programming language exposes new professional computer technicians to ideas that can be used in different technology-related applications. Choosing which programming language would be best to master first will depend on what part of database and software development is most compatible with the individual's preferences and objectives. Think of this as the beginning of a lasting relationship with technology for programming.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.

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