Getting a software developer job in the UK: which programming language is best?

If you’re considering getting a software developer job in the UK – or switching from your current role – the first question most people ask is, “Which programming language is best?”

Well, no single programming language dominates the IT jobs market. But there are a few that can open up huge swathes of roles to anyone who wants more from their chosen career path.

Here are just three of the best programming languages to learn in 2024:

Which programming language is best to learn?

1) JavaScript

JavaScript has rapidly become the go-to choice if you want to become a software developer in 2024 and beyond.

This programming language is mainly used for front-end web development. In the age of dynamic web applications, even experienced developers in other front-end-focused languages would be well advised to update their knowledge of this new darling of the community.

JavaScript is so flexible that it gets used in back-end development too, creating mobile apps and powerful web applications. Some of the biggest websites – including Facebook and Gmail – rely on JavaScript to function.

All in all, JavaScript is an excellent choice of programming language to learn whether you are aiming at your first software development job or your tenth.

It also helps that this language’s flexible syntax and utility across all major browsers make it very forgiving for beginners to pick up.

2) Python

Even more so than JavaScript, Python is regularly reported as being very easy for beginners to get a handle on and for its user-friendliness in general. If you take a look at its syntax, you’ll see that it’s similar enough to English for most beginners to feel at home very quickly.

Python is also a programming language that can be used in a huge range of different careers and industries, including:

-Data analytics

-Web and software development

-Data science (with extra libraries)

-Machine learning (with extra libraries)

-Mathematics and engineering (with extra packages)

This scientific, mathematics, and engineering bent – on top of the fact that Python integrates easily with a large number of other languages – makes it an excellent choice for those with prior experience in these fields.

It is also a programming language that the market remunerates well. It’s not uncommon for even mid-level Python web developer jobs to offer salaries of £75 000 or more.

3) SQL

SQL isn’t used to write programs. Instead, “Structured Query Language” is all about storing, manipulating, and getting information from databases.

The upside of SQL is that it is all about the data. And, in the modern world, data is where the big money is.

SQL is certainly used in web and software development. Websites like Facebook rely on being able to query databases quickly, easily, and regularly. But you can also use your SQL expertise to apply for jobs in data science or business intelligence and anything related to databases in general.

The downside is that SQL has its own markup language that you will need to learn. There are also several variants of SQL (though once you’ve learned one, the rest tend to follow more easily).

With that one proviso, being an SQL programmer is a very lucrative skill. Knowledge of this database-related language also opens you up to a more varied set of careers than perhaps any other option on this list.

Getting a software developer job in the UK

Perl. Ruby. Rust. Scala. C (as well as C# and C++). The list of top programming languages it might be best to learn to get a software developer job in the UK can go a lot further than those listed here.

But, between them, JavaScript, Python, and SQL cover a broad section of the market. They are always in demand and some even lend themselves to careers beyond software development should you wish to broaden your horizons in the future.

Looking into learning a new programming language before you apply for a new IT job?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT recruitment company. Our market-leading AI recruitment technology pairs you with exclusive jobs you won’t find anywhere else.

Contact us today. Chat with an expert about your career plans – our open, honest, and transparent recruitment process is all about working to help you meet your goals.