Which Programming Language Should I Learn?

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If you’re interested in becoming a web programmer, a vital consideration is obviously which programming language to learn. Websites today aren’t usually constructed using just one language and you’ll find it’s necessary to be versed in a number of programming languages to really make a splash in the industry.

By taking a look over some of the Internet’s most popular sites of recent years, you can see just how varied the scope really is. Many of the top sites of today use a combination of languages, which if anything points out that they are limitations present in all of them, and that some languages are better suited to particular functions than others.

Popular Website Programming Languages

The following list shows a list of some popular sites and which programming languages are, or have been, present through their development. Popularity should be a consideration in viewing where to start, not necessarily because it’s the best language, but languages with a higher user base such as PHP also have a far more comprehensive support network.

For reference, it’s estimates that PHP is the main programming language in up to 80% of the programmed websites around today.

PHP

google.com
youtube.com
facebook.com
wikipedia.org
yahoo.com
wordpress.com
digg.com
sitepoint.com
flickr.com
baidu.com
youku.com
qq.com
sohu.com
hao123.com
apple.com
tudou.com
yahoo.co.jp
sogou.com
4399.com
56.com
tmall.com
xunlei.com
mozilla.com
taobao.com
weibo.com
mail.ru

ASP.NET

live.com
microsoft.com
bing.com
windows.com
msn.com
stackoverflow.com
monster.com
break.com

PYTHON

google.com
youtube.com
yahoo.com
ultraseek.com
blogspot.com
blogger.com

CGI

ebay.com
soso.com
amazon.com
go.com
paypal.com

SSI

ask.com

RUBY ON RAILS

twitter.com

PERL

craigslist.org
amazon.com

COLDFUSION

adobe.com
bild.de
target.com
independent.co.uk
neobux.xom

JSP

aol.com
163.com

JAVA

ebay.com
google.com
facebook.com
linkedin.com
amazon.com
twitter.com
etsy.com
posterous.com

SCALA

twitter.com
linkedin.com

How Do I Know Which Programming Language a Site Uses?

There are a few indicators present if you view the site’s markup that may help, but clues can also be gained from just a quick look at the URL or other factors, such as:

File Extensions – Seeing a .php in the URL’s file extensions indicates that the site (well, the page you are on) is written in PHP. Similarly .asp indicates a classic ASP back end, .aspx indicates the use of ASP.NET, .jsp shows the use of Java JSPs, and so on. Remember though, it’s also easy to mask these – through mod-rewrites for example.

Cookies – You can also look at your cookies. For instance, JSESSIONID in a cookie is a frequently adapted cookie name on Java servers.

Markup Indicators – Frequent patterns such as the abundance of div wrappers with a consistent class naming scheme are used by CMS’s such as WordPress or Drupal. You’ll also find hints to the file structure from looking at links to common files such as CSS style sheets will help – for example, anything with /wp-content/ in the file structure tells you that you’re likely looking at a WordPress site.

HTML Comments – From time to time, developers will leave clues via comments in the HTML or through the site’s meta tags.

Error Messages – Standard error messages (if they haven’t been modified or redirected) may also tell you which language is present. Try adding a fake URL to ping a 404 and see what happens.

Conclusion

Being a web developer isn’t about knowing ONE thing, it’s about learning. Be flexible and don’t be closed off to the wide array of languages out there. Obviously you can’t know them all, but being able to get by in many of them will keep you busy and employable for many years to come.

For example, my skillset includes the following languages and systems to name but a few:

ASP.NET – PHP – Custom Database Development – SharePoint – Java – Shopping Carts – CMS Joomla and Impact ASP.NET CMS – Script Installation -Visual Basic Application Development – AJAX – C/C++ – Logo Design – SEO Services – Os Commerce – ASP.NET CMS – Graphics Design 3d 2D – JavaScript – Banner Design Cartoon Illustrations – 3D 2D Illustrations -Flash – Flash Programming – Website Security – Handheld / PDA – Applications Development – XML – HTML – PHPBB – WordPress – ZenCart

Sound like overkill? My clients wouldn’t agree with you. Good luck on your quest to becoming the best programmer you can be.

2017-05-19T15:48:05+00:00 October 31st, 2013|Web Programming|0 Comments

About the Author:

Warren Chandler is a freelance web programmer and web developer, based in Frinton on Sea, Essex. Warren specialises in web programming, web design, corporate identity, copy writing, SEO, logo and print media for home, work, and mobile platforms.

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