Mitch Pronschinske is the Lead Research Analyst at DZone. Researching and compiling content for DZone's research guides is his primary job. He likes to make his own ringtones, watches cartoons/anime, enjoys card and board games, and plays the accordion. Mitch is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 2576 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

If You Could Only Learn 3 Programming Languages...

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I thought this would be a good question to ask the community after reading an InfoWorld article that was looking for programming languages that are breaking out of their niche.  The research found that enterprise programmers should at least learn Java, PHP, or C#.  Languages rising in popularity included:

  1. Python
  2. Ruby
  4. JavaScript
  5. R
  6. Erlang
  7. COBOL
  8. CUDA Extensions

Their results were based on job references, which means they were as flawed as trends research or the Tiobe Index.  So I decided to go in another direction and take a poll of the DZone audience.  We know there are languages that are crucial to our marketability now, and that other languages will be more lucrative job skills in the future.  This poll forces you to think about which languages the most useful and ultimately crucial to your future success as a developer.  MathGladiator has already thought about the three types of programming languages that every developer should know.  Just play along and imagine that your brain can only hold the knowledge of three programming languages (but also assembly and an infinite number of markup languages):

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Note: Sorry about the "java script".  I couldn't get the survey to behave.  Also, I couldn't limit the number of answers to 3, so we're on the honor system here.  Don't cheat!  mark only three answers.

Don't see one of the languages you wanted to mark?  Write it in a comment and yell at me for not including it!  :)


Carlos Hoces replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 9:11am

You may put another two missing marks for me: Assembler and Pascal ;-)

Ronald Miura replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 9:17am

Can I save one slot for the future? :)

Magnus Smith replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 9:52am

where is SCALA ?

Jonathan Fisher replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 10:00am in response to: Magnus Smith

Java, (C or) C++, COBOL. They are the 3 most widely used languages outside of the blogosphere. All of you credit card transactions are ran through COBOL, the operating systems are in C or C++, and Java powers the webapps.

Mitch Pronschinske replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 10:50am in response to: Ronald Miura

@ Ronald

You could, but that's part of what we're trying to find out.  Out of the programming language available right now, which do you think will be the language that everyone uses in the future?

Matt Olsen replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 11:40am

So, when and where do we see the results?

Dave Clarke replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 3:08pm


Otengi Miloskov replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 4:34pm in response to: Jonathan Fisher

" Java powers the webapps", actually there is more webapps powered by scripting languages s Ruby, Python and PHP than Java.

Mitch Pronschinske replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 5:00pm in response to: Matt Olsen


I'll give it a couple of days until the responses have slowed down and then I'll post another article on the appropriate Zones: JL, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Python, and Web Builder Zones.

J Szy replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 5:26pm in response to: Otengi Miloskov

I doubt it. At least if blogs, forums and webcomics are not to be counted as webapps.

nick verlinde replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 6:00pm

why lump javascript and actionscript together? there's quite a big difference.

Ahmed Abdel-aliem replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 10:38pm

well, my favorites are php,perl,python

Amin Mansuri replied on Thu, 2010/11/18 - 3:32am

To learn about computer languages in general I chose: Java, Haskell, Erlang. Because they are all different (though Smalltalk may be a better option than Java).

To learn something that could get you a job: Java, C#, PHP. They are among the most popular. Or you can substitute one of them for C or C++

Nicolas Bousquet replied on Thu, 2010/11/18 - 4:05am

Java, Lisp/Closure and ASM or even VHDL. But ASM  or VHDH are not available so I choosed C.

 Why ? Java is the language that i use most of the time. It's the language that pay the bill. It's a good modern language, althrough I think C# to be a better language, java I think is the most widly used language for new projects.

 Lisp/Closure : because it's so different than Java/C/C++ and all imperative languages. it's base on lambda calculus and help you think another way.

 VHDL : Because again it is very different than the other language, it's for hardware design and so broaden your possibillities and help you understand what is a computer.




sun east replied on Thu, 2010/11/18 - 6:01am

C,Scala,Matlab. However, I prefer Mathematica to Matlab.

Charlie Mordant replied on Thu, 2010/11/18 - 6:49am

ADA language is missing

Edgar Sánchez replied on Thu, 2010/11/18 - 7:49am

Another language that is growing up nicely is F#, from the functional programming camp, and it now comes under the Apache license.

Khent Johnson replied on Fri, 2011/09/02 - 3:03pm

Great article, I must say. I've been working as a professional web developer for almost 4 years now and have written most languages. Though, if ever I was to start today I'd choose to code in php for server side development of custom work. It's easy to use, has lots of features and is supported on almost every host. GAR Labs

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