4 answers

What programming languages should I know to impress potential employers?

Asked Milford, New Hampshire

My goal is to make a very comfortable life for myself but I need to get hired for that to happen. So what should I learn? Should I just try to learn every language I can or will that be a useless effort? #computer #computer-software #computer-science #information-technology

4 answers

Leon’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

I have been working in IT for over 40 years and I can tell you the first three traits listed in this website are especially true. "Be well rounded" I have an Management Informations Systems degree and I learned about computing and business. Understanding all about computers and programming is good but you need to know how they fit into a business. "Enjoy solving puzzles" When I worked on work related problems I often got the answer when I was sleeping at night in addition to the daily solutions. "Love learning" during my 40 year career I continued to learn about the latest changes in business and the computer industry. Currently I am retired and still learning more about computers. I have a Linux Mint lab of three desktop computers working with puppet.

The seven other traits are very important to a potential employer.

The Internet article:


Now to answer your questions about programming languages.

The Internet article:


This article went where employers publish job offerings (Indeed.com). I used Indeed.com regularly during my career. I agree SQL, Java, and Python would be the first ones you should learn. I have used all three during my career although I started with Perl which has be replaced by Python.

Since SQL is the first language on the list, lets discuss SQL and NOSQL. Recently I worked for a company that used huge Tera byte MongoDB data bases. This Internet article discusses the differences.


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Dhairya’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts
Hi Samuel, Awesome to see you're interested in programming and computer science! Don't listen to the advice above, with all due respect to Kelly. If she's talking about MS-DOS, which was the operating system for old microsoft computers, then it's irrelevant and outdated. If it's some proprietary assembly language, eh not worth your time. For starters, it's almost impossible to learn all of the programming languages in the world. Honestly, what employers hiring software engineers are more interested in your ability to solve computational problems. They expect that you'll learn their chosen language and tech stack as part of the on-boarding process. So what care more about is your computer science fundamentals. Are you familiar with foundational data structures: linked lists, arrays, hashtables, etc and common algorithms: mergesort, binary search, depth first and breadth first search, etc. Most software engineering interviews will have some sort of whiteboard challenge, where you'll be given a problem ( e.g. given a string "hello", determine it's a palindrome). You'll be asked to solve it and give the computational complexity of your solution ( i.e. big O score -> O(N), O(N^2) .. etc). You can use any language for your solution (but I'd recommend Python given its simplicity). I've listed a couple sites below but honestly there's many free resources to help you prepare for whiteboard interviews and coding challenges. If you want to impress an employer with you language background, I'd focus on learning a couple of language that is demand. Currently, Java is still the most widely used enterprise language, followed by C, C++ and Python. Java, C and C++ are primarily used for systems and backend development. For front-end development focus on Ruby, Javascript and a popular framework like React or Angular. If you're interested in data science, machine learning and AI, python and R are your go-to language and a solid foundation in C/C++ will push you to the top. So the TLDR: - Focus on computer science fundamentals: data structures, algorithms, and algorithm analysis - If you have a good idea of the type of programming you want to do, pick a language that is in demand. I've linked a list of most popular languages in 2018 based on job postings below. Good luck and post more questions if you em!

Joe’s Answer


Employers in this field are more interested in your ability to solve problems than what languages you know.  Languages can be learned, but having good problem solving skills is a must.  You should get all the necessary fundamentals in all your classes.

As far as languages go, I'd try to be as current as possible with the main languages (C++, Java, JavaScript).  Things can move rapidly, but I think these are the major ones at the moment.

Lastly things have more recently moved towards something called "Functional Programming".  I'm hoping that you'll learn more about that in college.

Kelly’s Answer

All computer Languages are useful, Dos which was the language after binary is coming back but very difficult to find anyone who can teach it. The reason it is returning is that all base programming was built on Dos. Anyone with any computer language experience can find work in the tech industry. Right now some gaming companies are looking for those with Dos Experience to be able to strip down their coding and rewrite gaming engines.
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