Basics of programming languages ​​with tips for job searching

Around three decades ago, the time was easy for developers. Because back then there was neither the World Wide Web that we know today, nor smartphone apps, Industry 4.0 or digital change. IT experts are now among the sought-after applicants on the job market. But which programming languages ​​are important and what role do they play in the application?

Top programming languages: Weighing the advantages & disadvantages

This selection is based on the so-called "Tiobe Index". This is an index of the world's most popular programming languages ​​updated monthly by the TIOBE Programming Community. In more detail, the results are based on the number of qualified engineers worldwide, courses and third-party providers. Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo !, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. 

Tiobe Ranking 2002-2020

The graph shows the most popular programming languages ​​over the period from 2002 to 2020. C and Java lead the ranking and regularly replace themselves in first place.

Source see: . 


The following performance is not shown according to a current ranking. 


programming language 


Advantages and disadvantages


JavaScript is the programming language most commonly used for web applications. In addition to dynamic websites, it can also be used to develop applications or interactive user elements. 

A streamlined JavaScript is used for programming very fast websites such as Progressive Web Apps (PWA) or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).  


  • JavaScript does not require any additional programs to run. A browser is sufficient
  • Offers many uses, especially for web-based applications


  • There are no uniform recommendations for implementation.
  • Programming language can make websites slow with too much code.


Java is particularly suitable for extensive web applications in the backend. These applications increase the functionality of websites or apps. 

Java runs on computers with the "Java Virtual Machine". This is a kind of emulator of an independent computer that can save, delete or change files. 


  • In theory, Java can be run on any computer if the interpreter is installed
  • Java is highly object-oriented


  • The programming language can become a security hole
  • Java cannot be executed on Apple smartphones and is rather slow

C and C ++

C and C ++ are some of the oldest programming languages ​​that are still actively used. Most operating systems are based on it. The programming languages ​​are mainly used for programming hardware-related software. Many different elements can be programmed from computer games to applications and operating systems. 

The programs and systems written in C and C ++ can become very complex. 


  • C and C ++ are suitable for complex, hardware-related applications
  • There are many standards, libraries, and templates.


  • Developers need more time and experience to program with it


This programming language has developed from a hobby project into a popular and very easy to learn language. For example, Python manages without brackets, instead it is indented.

Python can be used for developing web applications as well as for user interfaces. Python is well known in the Rasperry Pi. This programming language is also used in many scientific libraries.


  • Python is very easy to learn
  • The programming language requires very little code


  • The execution speed is sometimes a little slow
  • Programming errors are more difficult to identify due to the lack of type safety

C # (C Sharp)

C # is a further development of C ++ by Microsoft. The programming language is similar to Java. This means that web applications, but also games for computers or the Xbox can be written. 


  • Complex applications can be programmed
  • The compatibility with Windows operating systems is high


  • Programs in C # are not as compatible with platforms other than Windows
  • Licensed products from Windows are required for development

Visual Basic

This programming language is based on "Basic", one of the first programming languages ​​to become more widespread. In Visual Basic, applications are predominantly programmed in the .NET framework today. It can also be used to create macros for Office programs. 


  • The language is easy to learn
  • Visual Basic can be used quickly for smaller applications


  • The programming language is not suitable for complex applications


PHP is mainly used as a programming language for programming websites or intranet pages. PHP is used here to display a website in a browser and to control the backend. The program written in PHP determines, for example, which elements should be visible. It runs on a server. 

Mostly PHP is combined with CSS, JavaScript and HTML. 


  • PHP is open source
  • The programming language is supported by all common server types


  • PHP can increase the server load
  • PHP can reduce the loading speed of websites


SQL is a programming language with which database queries can be carried out. In addition, databases can be filled with it, read out or parts deleted. 

Mostly, SQL is used in the backend of websites, for example to play the data of products in an online shop. 

Anyone who deals with SQL must master the basics for creating and editing databases. 


  • Simplifies the control of large data sets and networks
  • Several users can access the SQL database at the same time


  • Requires Windows as the operating system
  • Must be licensed for commercial use


In addition to the programming languages ​​presented here, there are others such as Go, Swift or Ruby. In comparison, however, they are rarely used. However, as a developer it can never hurt to think outside the box in terms of programming language. Since the basic structure is similar to many programming languages, learning new programming languages ​​is often associated with relatively little effort. 

How do I best indicate my programming skills in the application?

Presentation of IT skills

Programming languages ​​are not comparable to our natural language. This can be used in very different contexts and is universally applicable. However, programming languages ​​are mostly geared towards specific application scenarios. 

  • List the programming languages ​​that are most important for the job advertised in the job posting. 
  • At the same time, it is best to sort your programming knowledge so that your most important skill is at the top. 
  • Evaluate your knowledge with a rating. Popular methods are gradations ( basic knowledge, good, very good) or a graphical representation (bars, as used in the example or point system). 
  • It is best to support your knowledge of the respective programming languages ​​with examples or products that you have programmed to date. Depending on the tender, you can also add a code section you have programmed as a reference, provided that no third party rights are violated.

Future employers should use the programming languages ​​you have listed to easily see how you can help the company with your knowledge.

As an IT professional, how many programming languages ​​should I be able to master?

When you apply for a position as a developer or programmer, the amount of programming languages ​​you have mastered does not matter. Rather, it should be clear that you really have a command of the specified languages. In addition, it is far more important that your applicant profile matches the advertised job. It will be of little help if you are an expert in C # but we are looking for developers for web applications with database connections. 

Receive individual tips

The personnel consultants from Computer Futures specialize in the various programming languages ​​and can therefore provide you with the best possible support. Would you like to exchange ideas or do you need specific recommendations for your application? We are happy to help you  with practical recommendations. Simply fill out our contact form and we'll connect ASAP.