Spring 2018 is already here, and with the year flying by (like it always does), it’s time for a bit of a pause and a status check. At the heart of our world of technology is the underlying programming language. It follows, that if you want to stand out from the crowd and develop cutting-edge software, you must keep pace with new and upcoming languages. Although mainstream languages like Java, C, C++, and Python continue to be among the most popular in the software industry, emerging languages are just as (or sometimes more) capable of delivering great outcomes.
Emerging Languages of 2018:
Software development is one of the most dynamic industries out there. Languages, frameworks, and technologies arise, become popular, and then die an inglorious death. Developers have to constantly learn new skills (and languages) to outperform the competition. That’s why this collation of the top 5 emerging and influential languages for 2018!
If you’re an aspiring product developer, this is a good insight into what’s trending; if you’re an experienced hand, here is your chance to unlearn/re-learn.
- Elixir: First appeared 7 years ago in 2011, Elixir is a dynamic, functional programming language designed to build distributed, scalable, fault-tolerant applications. Used by companies like Pinterest, Elixir helps in creating high-availability, low-latency systems. It boosts performance by running on the Erlang VM.
Since the Elixir code runs inside lightweight processes, thousands of processes can run concurrently in the same machine. This offers substantial horizontal and vertical scaling. What works for Elixir is its high-scalability, high-extensibility, fault-tolerant nature, its functional programming capability, the fact that it is Erlang compatible, and part of a growing ecosystem.
- Swift: Debuted first in 2014, Swift is a powerful, intuitive, general-purpose programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Being a multi-paradigm, compiled programming language, Swift serves as a good replacement for the Objective-C language for OSX and iOS development. Used by companies like Uber and Airbnb, Swift is new-programmer friendly and ideal for developing robust and lightning-fast applications – a must in today’s fast-paced world. What works for Swift is its modern, forward-thinking nature, its easy and fun-to-use Playgrounds, its security features, Objective-C interoperability, its fast and powerful performance, and the fact that it is open-source.
- Haskell: First released in 1990, Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose functional programming language that ensures excellent software performance. Haskell uses two popular systems:
- the built-in type system determines the type of every expression at compile time – reducing the possibility of bugs and ensuring code optimization, and
- the lazy evaluation system which delays the evaluation of expressions until its value is needed – avoiding repeated evaluations and reducing run time.
Being used by companies like Facebook, Haskell is ideal for applications that need to be highly modifiable and maintainable. What works for Haskell is its expressive syntax, its clean code, shorter lead-times, higher reliability, code re-use features, powerful abstractions, and built-in memory management.
- Scala: Scala, which first appeared in 2004, is the perfect combination of an object-oriented and functional language, offering you the best of both worlds. Since Scala runs on the Java Virtual Machine, it provides language interoperability with Java; it allows you to use Interact seamlessly with Java libraries and also overcomes many of the challenges associated with Java. Just like Haskell, Scala also uses the same type interface, and hence reduces the possibility of logic errors. The simple and straightforward syntax and highly functional code make development entertaining and fun. What works for Scala is its code reuse feature, high flexibility and extensibility, and built-in class hierarchies.
- Go: Google Go, appeared first in 2009, is a compiled, open-source programming language ideal for building simple, reliable, and efficient software. Used by companies like BBC, Go offers immense speed, and is easy to deploy – you can cross-compile your applications, and easily run your original code on multiple machines. Since there are no complex abstractions or clever metaprogramming in Go, it makes it easier for new programmers to learn and excel at development. What works for Go is its simplicity, scalability, its straightforward syntax, its code optimization and error-checking feature.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list. The world of software development is blessed with an undying energy and new technologies and languages, all with their own virtues appear each day. Languages like Elm, Rust, and Kotlin could easily find mention in a list like this put up by someone else. Working in software development requires you to always keep pace with technological innovations and to hone your skills with the ever-changing technology landscape. As demands grow, and projects get bigger and more complex, innovation in programming languages becomes key. Staying abreast of new and upcoming languages is crucial to developing bug-free software faster and smarter. Leveraging these (re)emerging programming languages will help you surge ahead in our competitive industry! You can thank us later.