The Languages of Computer Science

Computer programming languages have been an important part of computer science and every major technological development in recent times. They are used to create form and function to just about everything we use, including smartphones, electronics and websites. As programmers become more skilled and adept at writing programs, the quality and intelligence of the technological devices we engage with continue to improve, and the languages of computer science will continue to evolve. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by the University of Florida’s Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program.

Related program: B.S. in Computer Science

UF Online Infographic: The Languages of Computer Science

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Popular Programming Languages and Their Usage

Websites are more innovative, responsive, and offer a host of features and functions all while being immaculately designed using one or a combination of some of today’s most popular programming languages. These programming languages include: C, C++, JAVA, JAVASCRIPT, PHP, RUBY, Objective C, and Python. C is used as the foundational programming language that many of these newer languages are based on. The other languages are used for building improving how websites work, allowing for dynamic pages, features and overall design. Popular websites and apps currently using these programming languages in one form or another include Google and Bloomberg (C++), GoToMeeting app and The Wall Street Journal (Java), Facebook and Twitter (JavaScript), Yahoo and Wikipedia (PHP), Groupon and Amazon (Ruby), iPhone apps (Objective-C), and YouTube and NASA (Python).

Of course, there are domains outside of websites where programming languages are also featured heavily. These domains include the frameworks of computer science departments and laboratories. The top 20 U.S. Universities Computer Science departments use Python (13), Java (11), Matlab (6), C (4) and C++ (2) programming languages to power their operations. On the other hand, 20 of the world’s most popular technologies use JavaScript (54.4%), SQL (48%), Java (37.4%), C# (31.6%), PHP (29.7%), Python (23.8%), C++ (20.6%), C (16.4%), and NODE.JS (13.3%) to power their devices.

Developer Occupational Breakdown

Computer programmers often work as developers in a number of different areas and capacities. These range from the area with by far the most programmers --- full-stack web developers (32.4%) --- to the area with the least --- database administrators (0.2%). Other areas include (in descending order): students (13.4%), back-end web developers (10.1%), mobile developers (9.1%), desktop developers (8.3%), front-end web developers (6%), embedded app developers (2.9%), enterprise level developers (2.9%), executives [cio, up of eng., cto, etc] (1.8%), and system administrators (1.6%).

Projections for the Future of the Programming Industry Careers

The projected period of growth marked as the future of computer programming software, is the 7-year period between 2015 and 2022. It is expected that during this period, growth for computer occupations --- namely software development and computer programmers --- will take place at a total rate of about 18%. Software developers are expected to move from approximately 1,018,000 developers in 2015 to 1,240,600 in 2022. Similarly, computer programmers are expected to increase in numbers from approximately 343,700 in 2015 to 372,100 in 2022.

Other Trends and Projections: Open Source Projects, New Languages and Responsive Design

Open source is one of the most used platforms in programming and developmental technology today and this trajectory is likely to continue upward. Since 2010, there has been a 24-percentage point shift between 2010 and 2015 in companies creating software for clients using open source --- moving from 42% of companies to 66%. It is not surprising therefore that an expected 88% of companies and 78% of developers are expected to increase their contributions to open source projects within the next 2 to 3 years.

In addition to the growth of open source projects and software being developed, there is also the emergence of new, improved and more powerful programming languages. Apple’s Swift --- the successor to Objective-C --- is likely to take front row and center in the next few years having already risen from #68 to #22 on Redmonk’s language ranking. Google’s Galang, an open source cloud development language is also expected to increase in popularity and usage as we move forward. Importantly, new user-friendly “drag ‘n’ drop” technology is also now available to programmers. Thanks to languages like MIT Scratch, Code Studio and Google Blockly, programmers are now able to build code for their projects without heavily relying on text-based code. They can build their programs simply by dragging and dropping blocks. This is a development that is currently emerging, and is likely to be further developed and perfected as the next few years.

Finally, responsive design is a challenge that programmers are likely to have to continue to meet head on. This is as technological markets continue to demand programs for devices that vary in sizes. From eyewear (Google Glass) to watches (Apple watch), programmers will have to continue to build programs and design systems that are able to fit a variety of screen sizes and consumer needs.