10 Hot Programming Languages To Build Web Apps


Websites aren't going anywhere and will continue to be part of the corporate IT infrastructure for years to come. Here are 10 languages you should know if building web apps is on your agenda.

If we live in an app economy, as we're often told, then why should IT professionals care about the programming languages used for web development? The answer has several parts. First, there's no clear agreement that the world is turning only to apps. There are voices in favor of web pages as the defining user interface rather than native apps. Next, even if organizations are shifting to apps, the shift is going to take a while. How long could it take? Let the fact that there's still a demand for COBOL programmers guide your thinking.

Finally, even in the face of an app-based onslaught, websites aren't going anywhere. Whether you're thinking about enterprise application portals or customer-facing user experiences, websites will continue to be part of the corporate IT infrastructure for years to come. And one of the hallmarks of the web experience is that it is constantly changing and evolving -- constantly being altered and manipulated to find the best user experience.

[See 10 Programming Languages That Will Keep You Employed .]

Constant change means constant development, and constant development requires programming tools. In this article I'm looking at 10 languages that are are among the most commonly used for web development. How did I figure out the "most commonly used" part? I reviewed articles on popular languages from sources including the IEEE, TIOBE, and New Relic, factored out the languages that aren't especially web-oriented, added a couple from my own experience, then whittled the list down to 10 entries.

If you take a look at Wikipedia's table on the programming languages used in the most popular websites a couple of things jump out. [Author's note: Yes, I agree that Wikipedia is a highly suspect source for most information, but in this particular case the methodology is good and there's little room for editorial bias. And so, it becomes one of my sources for this article.] First, if you're going to write a page with front-side (client system) intelligence, you're going to be using Javascript. Next, there's a tremendous amount of variation in the server-side development languages. The only constant is that a database will be involved, and I'm not going to wade into databases in this article.

So here are 10 languages that you should be aware of if you're going to build web applications. I've personally used some, am curious about others, and I'm glad I don't have to learn or do anything with a few. I'm curious about which ones you use, and curious about one other thing: How many languages should a modern programmer have in their toolkit? I mean, not just know enough to recognize the language if they see a code snippet, but actually be able to write something minimally functional in the language. Is the answer two? Six? Twenty-three? Let me know what you think about the number -- and about the languages that come next.

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