5 of the Most Essential Computer Languages to Know

There are hundreds of computer languages out there, but only around 20 or so are currently being used by companies and programmers. While there is no one best language to learn, there are definitely popular languages that are used for specific commercial purposes. Most computer programmers learn a few computer languages in order to increase their competency and marketability.


The C programming language dates back to the late 1960s, but it is still one of the most popular codes ever created. This is because C is a versatile language that requires minimal alternations and maximizes compatibility with Mac, Linux and Windows operating systems. C is a low-level language because it is similar to machine language. Programmers use it to facilitate communication between computer hardware. For example, C is used whenever a computer automatically responds to a DVD being inserted into the disk drive.


On the other hand, C++ improved how C stored and organized data. Instead of listing all data in unreadable lists of code, C++ organizes data in bundles. C++ is an object-oriented programming language that is extremely versatile and popular. C++ favors embedded programming for large systems, so it offers the best efficiency, flexibility and performance. It produces strong software infrastructure and resource-constrained programs. Readers should be aware that C+ actually refers to the object-oriented concurrent language ABCL/c+, which is unrelated to the two above mentioned codes.


JavaScript is used to make websites interactive and user friendly. It uses CSS and HTML to facilitate functioning without having to reload the web page. Whenever a website visitor notices that something on the web page automatically functions, such as an embedded video that plays without being clicked on, that’s JavaScript at work. JavaScript is used in web frameworks like Angular.js and Backbone.js to run on servers. Readers should note that Java is used to create embedded media, such as animation and interactive elements, across different platforms. Java is an object-oriented programming language that allows programmers to easily transfer code to different platforms and operating systems.


PHP is perhaps one of the most popular web programming languages in the world. This is partially because it’s preinstalled on most web servers and because it’s used to write WordPress, which has created about 20 percent of websites in the world. PHP is used to do everything from browsing a blog to posting a Facebook comment. PHP is associated with LAMP, which is the standard way to set up web servers, databases, and languages. PHP is used in MySQL databases, Apache web servers and Linux operating systems.


HTML is one of the older computer languages used to develop and design web pages. HTML instructs the browser what to exactly do with each part of the web page. Almost all popular browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, are designed to interpret HTML. This computer language tells the website how to display the site title, text blocks and navigation bar. HTML identifies and classifies web page parts, but CSS determines the exact appearance. It is used to beautify web pages with colors, borders, fonts, spacing and layouts. CSS controls the overall website in order to present consistent styles and frameworks.

Finally, SQL (Structured Query Language) is the programming language of databases and MySQL is the associated SQL-based database. Python is a language used for data intensive programming and processing. PC Magazine offers a helpful introduction to the best classes, websites, resources and certifications for learning code here.

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