As innovations and business needs and scope are rapidly increasing, so is the usage of multiple programming languages to support these innovative, revolutionary products. We list down the top 10 programming languages for custom software development for you in this blog, along with their features and use cases.
But let’s start with the basics first.
Table of Contents
What Is Software?
Software is a set of computer programs, data, and instructions. Software instructs the hardware of a computer, what well-defined tasks/operations to perform, and how.
Businesses use the software to transform workflows, streamline operations, bring process uniformity across organizations, and achieve greater visibility, among other benefits.
Now, there are two types of software namely generic or off-the-shelf software and custom software. While the former caters to generalized public needs, the latter targets the specific needs of a set of users or organizations.
Custom software is a preferred type for businesses seeking a specific set of functions and features for their software for the targeted audience. Organizations either carry out custom software development in-house or outsource it to leverage the experience and expertise of a third-party vendor.
It gives a business freedom to customize its software according to its exact business needs, nothing more or less.
There are some programming languages that facilitate the working of this software. These programming languages for software development enable developers to communicate with computers. But how?
Computers are machines that operate in machine code or the binary language of 0s and 1s. Programming languages for software development allow users to translate human-operated commands into a format that computers can understand and execute.
But what features make a software programming language worth learning and utilizing? What makes them get added to the list of top 10 programming languages? Let’s find out.
Features Of A Good Programming Language
1. Clarity and ease of expression
The programming language for software development must offer unambiguous and simple concepts that are easily understandable and facilitate quick learning and application. However, sometimes the capability of a language is compromised in order to achieve simplicity.
2. Compile time
The software programming language should be a strictly timed language that identifies and shows errors as they occur, rather than communicating them at later stages where it becomes a hassle for the programmer to rectify them.
3. Optimum capability
A good programming language is one that offers a robust and diverse set of features to perform a wide variety of tasks.
A particular area should require a programming language to provide the necessary means, such as operators, structures, and syntax, to achieve the desired results.
4. High level of Abstraction
This feature allows programmers to write the code better; entirely focusing on the project requirements without having to worry about the basics of the code.
Abstraction is the language’s ability to define and make use of complex structures or operations while not paying attention to some of the non-crucial details.
Efficient translation and execution are characteristics of the best languages for software development, ensuring that they do not consume excessive memory and time.
6. Principle of Locality/Reference
This principle states that a computer program is capable of continually accessing the same areas of memory over a short period of time.
Therefore, a programming language can benefit from the principle of locality by enabling loops and subroutines usage. This would optimize the overall performance of the software.
A good software programming language should be secure in order to safeguard the code and project details.
Now that we have looked at the desired features of a programming language, let’s now discover the top 10 programming languages for custom software development and their characteristics.
Top 10 Programming Languages For Custom Software Development
As technology and industries evolve, the importance of programming languages is also increasing. Businesses are leveraging the wide range of available and top 10 programming languages to target specific programming operations/tasks and achieve the desired results.
These are the top 10 programming languages that are popular and commonly used to develop custom software:
Rasmus Lerdorf, a software developer, designed and introduced PHP language in 1995 and since then this programming language for software development has come a long way.
One of the best languages for software development and worthy of being in the top 10 programming languages list, Hypertext Pre-processor, or PHP is the 5th popularly used programming language across the globe. In fact, 77.5% of all the websites running online use PHP for server-side programming
Developers primarily use this server-side coding language to develop web pages, websites, and tools like CMS (Content Management Systems) and e-Commerce platforms, owing to its extensive qualities.
Most of the websites present in the online space have PHP as the coding language. In fact, Facebook, WordPress, Shopify, and Wikipedia, are built on PHP infrastructures.
Open source; free of cost and easily collaborative
Easy to use
Platform independent and adaptable to multiple technologies
Robust library and community support
Compatibility with other languages
Unstructured and inconsistent evolution of PHP versions; might be hard to keep up with the releases
Lacks versatility; not a lot compatible with emerging technologies
Limited debugging tools in comparison to other available languages
Security is a concern because of the open-source nature
C language is a middle-programming language and is primarily used to develop low-level systems such as operating systems, kernel development, etc. Released in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie, it is widely used in commercial and engineering fields. This coding language provides support to procedural programming. It is a sturdy but rigid language.
The language consists of 32 total keywords and can be executed comparably on multiple hardware and operating systems.
C++, on the other hand, is an object-oriented coding language and an extension or upgrade of C language. Released by Bjarne Stroustrup in the mid-80s, it is mostly used to develop games, GUI Desktop, etc.
This programming language provides support to multiple programming styles. A developer can make minor changes to as many functions as required to make C++ code compatible with other coding languages.
Enormous network support
Complex language to learn
Significant system memory is taken up by pointers
Security issues rooted in features like pointers, friend functions, and global variables
Lack of support for built-in code threads
Born out of the C language, C# (pronounced as “C sharp”), was developed by Microsoft in the 2000s and has made it to the list of top 10 programming languages list due to its diverse usage. This language is mostly used to design software such as Windows and mobile applications, video games, and enterprise systems.
The language definition consists of 86 total keywords and supports object-oriented coding. Moreover, it enables users to work with a high level of abstraction.
This general-purpose language automates with flexibility and completely integrated with Microsoft’s .NET framework. It facilitates efficient cross-platform development of custom software.
Based on the object-oriented programming (OOP) principles
Complete integration with the.NET framework
Scalable plus updatable
Over-dependence on .NET framework; not that flexible if .NET framework is not the main tech stack
Hard learning curve
Java has a very long-running usage and name in the programming language world. It was developed in 1995 by Sun Microsystem’s James Gosling and has been the de-facto, portable language for developing enterprise-grade applications for over 20 years now.
This object-oriented programming language is scalable and used to code Android applications as well as corporate software required to run on massive networks.
Comes with automatic garbage collection
Platform independence via JVM; follows the feature of WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere)
Supports portability feature
High performance; supports multi-threading
Massive community support
Slow due to various backend functions
Consumes more memory compared to native programming languages like C and C++
Speed; client-side script, speeds up the execution of the program
Easy to understand and learn
Popular; used as a tool by Google, Amazon, PayPal, etc.
Rich interfaces; enhanced user interactivity on the webpage
Versatile; facilitates front-end as well as back-end development
No old browser support; codes are run on different browsers before getting published and the older browsers do not support some new additional functions
Lack of debugging facilities
Single inheritance constraints
Created in 1990 by Guido van Rossum, Python is a modular coding language that has extensive applications in domains like web development, AI, ML, data science, etc. It is compatible with all key platforms like Mac, Windows, etc.
With 8.2 million users across the globe, Python can be used to work large data sets, scrap data, create workflows in collaboration with other software, or even design web apps.
Code written using Python can be executed immediately and enable programmers to develop software prototypes without taking much time.
Open source; free to use
Easy to learn, write and read
Gentle learning curve
Versatile; supports both procedural and object-oriented programming
Easy portability; write once, run anywhere
Huge standard library; built-in plus third-party library available
Large user base and community support
Slow; interpreted and dynamically typed language and thus the run-time compiler has a lot on its plate
Released in 2014, Swift is a relatively newer language that was developed and introduced by Apple. It has since the official language for iOS development, replacing Objective-C language. It is the preferred language for various young generation developers, freelancers, and programmers.
Over the years, numerous updates of Swift have come out that have helped it gain rapid popularity among Apple’s iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS platforms. Its user-friendliness, speed, high performance, and safety have made many programmers choose it.
This programming language is used to develop apps for virtually all the Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, watches, and other devices.
Offers full interoperability with Objective-C
Automatic memory management with Automatic Reference Counting (ARC)
Full stack potential and cross-device support; developing apps using Swift for both backend and frontend allows for extensive code sharing and reuse
Large community and support
Limited talent pool due to recent introduction
Relies heavily on third-party tools
Lack of support for earlier iOS versions
Though cross-platform still works best for native iOS development
Used by big names like Netflix, Pinterest, and Amazon Web Services, Kotlin is an open-source programming language that gained popularity in a short span. Released in 2011 and designed by JetBrains, the language comes with a variety of powerful features like lambda functions support, null safety, etc.
It is the official software development language for Android applications and is known for its simplicity, robust syntax, and faster compilation.
Less maintenance and support expenses
High-quality IDE support
Clean and powerful syntax
Relatively smaller community and thus limited resources and developed solutions
Slower compilation than Java
Commonly used in internet application development, Ruby is a server-side scripting, object-oriented language which was publicly released in 1995. It has a syntax akin to C++ and is used by programmers to create Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts.
Ruby supports procedural and functional programming and is a high-level language. It can be embedded into HTML with ease and is often used for web designing.
Twitter, Hulu, and GitHub make use of this language to build their websites.
Large community and support
Free of cost
Lack of flexibility in terms of changing the core codebase
It is the preferred choice for projects that require extensive data analysis, graphical data modeling, and spatial and time-series analysis.
R provides functions and extensions that allow developers to exploit a variety of techniques and capabilities.
Multiple packages; 10,000 packages stored in the CRAN repository
Great for statistics
Compatible with ML
Lacks basic security measures
Relatively slower language
Inconsistent documentation/package quality
All these programming languages for software development come with powerful features, functions, and backing, and one should choose them as per project requirements, considering their respective use cases.
How can Big Oh tech help you?
Q1. What is the most suitable programming language used in software development?
Python and C++ are two of the best programming languages used for software development, although all languages have their use cases and are ideal in different situations.
Q2. What are the 5 factors to consider when choosing a programming language?
The top factors to consider while choosing a programming language are: 1. The simplicity of language; easy to understand, write and read 2. Compile time 3. Level of abstraction 4. Security provisions 5. Ease of translation and execution
Q3. What is the most popular programming language used in artificial intelligence?
Q4. Which programming language is mostly used in Enterprise Backend Development?
Enterprise backend development widely uses Java as the most preferred language. Because of its widespread community support, With the popularity of Spring and SpringBoot, Java has become the de facto standard for restful APIs.