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Hackernoon logoBest Programming Languages to Start Freelancing in 2020 by@yassine@pairdesk

Best Programming Languages to Start Freelancing in 2020

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@yassine@pairdeskYassine Rachid from Pairdesk

Make it easy for developers to fully profit from their passion with pairdesk.com

Programming has been one of the most in-demand and highly-paid skills for the last two decades, and the demand is only increasing. In addition to this demand and popularity in the market, working as a developer also provides a lot of flexibility. You can work from wherever you want and contribute to projects all around the world. All of these reasons make software development highly compatible with the freelancing lifestyle.

At first, however, it can be difficult to decide which programming language to invest hundreds of your hours in to master. We are a team of developers who had been working as freelancers, until we decided to create our own contracting network pairdesk.com. Pairdesk has a mission to let programmers fully profit from software development. Pairdesk is the first commission-free contracting network that connects passionate developers with clients all over the world. During our freelancing and entrepreneurial projects, we had to make decisions regarding the choice of programming languages and tech stacks innumerable times. What we concluded was that the best programming language doesn’t exist. Programming is a large toolbox that provides many languages, and each one shines in particular fields. That’s why almost all organisations choose to mix multiple programming languages to build their systems. For example, an organization could decide to use JavaScript to build interactive web views, use java to build a reliable backend, use python to analyze their data, use Swift to build a native iOS application and then integrate all of them to make a fully-fledged system.

That’s why you should examine the market, ask yourself which field interests you and then choose a programming language accordingly. There are more than 700 existing programming languages and numerous fields and industries compatible with the world of programming.  We will, however, examine 5 languages that are the most popular in its respective field. This selection will explore the cases in which these particular 5 shine, and let you choose the best for your field of interest. All of them can enable you to work easily as self-employed, and, once mastered, can provide competitive compensation in this rapidly evolving industry.

JavaScript

Initially, JavaScript was created to make interactive effects inside web browsers. It quickly became a standard in web development, and has spread to many other fields. Today, JavaScript has one of the biggest and most diverse communities in the world, creating a framework and runtime environment to develop almost anything you can imagine. 

For someone who wants to specialize in web development, JavaScript is a must-have. These days, all modern websites will integrate JavaScript, in one way or another, into their projects.

Also, for someone that has just started in software development and doesn’t have any idea in which field they want to engage themselves, JavaScript is the most polyvalent language. With one language, you will be able to explore many fields of software development, and then choose the area in which you would like to specialize.

From a freelancing standpoint, JavaScript provides a way to build entire applications from the frontend to the backend. You can easily apply it to different kinds of projects and create them with only one language. Some clients will search for one developer that can build an entire application in a short space of time. Such developers are called full-stack developers, due to the versatile and complete nature of their work. JavaScript is often a good choice in these situations, as it enables you to rapidly deploy applications for POCs and Demos, or build stable applications ready for production.

Cases in which JavaScript shines:

  • Building a fast-single page web application using React, Angular or Vue.js.
  • With one single code base, create iOS and Android applications using Ionic or React Native.
  • Code Windows, Mac and Linux desktop applications using Electron.js.
  • Implement real-time and scalable servers using Node.js.
  • Create Artificial Intelligence by implementing neural networks using Tensorflow.js.

Stats source

Java

Influenced by C++, Objective-c and others, Java initially appeared in 1995. Compared to the languages at this time, Java was a simpler solution. It dispensed with memory management, multi-inheritance, and many other complexities to let you focus on business logic. It has been designed to be a general-purpose language and portable to any environment. Java’s versatility has enabled it to be adopted by industries and companies that are looking to develop applications to support their main business operations. Java provides an object-oriented programming language to write well-structured code.

Today, Java has conquered the world, and we can find some portion of Java in almost any mature organization: Big Techs, financial institutions, airline companies, big retailers,etc. Java has proved its reliability over the years. However, it is a bit harder to learn, compared to other modern languages. You have to master object-oriented programming and its design patterns in order to write a clean and extensible application. On top of that, developing Java programs can be a slow process when compared to other modern languages. For the same program, you will have to write more lines with Java than Python or JavaScript. In java, you have to explicitly declare everything and declare all types. No uncertainty of behavior is tolerated on Java. The high predictability and the maturity of this language makes Java the tool of choice for any large organization that manipulates critical information.

In terms of freelancing, Java experts are the kings of consulting. Large organizations offer very generous compensations for Java expertise, since their work is often related to sensitive projects.

Cases in which Java excels:

  • Use Spring Framework to implement microservice architecture.
  • Creating cloud-native applications using Spring Cloud.
  • Building transactional systems using Hibernate, JPA, SQL.

Stats source

Python

Python is the fastest-growing programming language in the world, as it is quick and easy to write. Its simplicity attracts a diverse range of background talents, including a wide usage by mathematicians and scientists. This mix of competences created a new discipline named Data Science. This field uses scientific methods, algorithms, and systems to extract and analyze from different structured data. Along with this, new trends such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data require just such diverse skills. Furthermore, the python community is composed of statisticians, scientists and developers, and has been able to serve these new trends well, providing many libraries, making it accessible to the vast majority of developers.

Cases in which Python excels:

  • Usage of TensorFlow to write machine learning software.
  • Implementation to deploy small applications using Flask or Django quickly.
  • Usage of Pytorch to write tensor computation with strong GPU requirements.
  • Usage of Python Spark to process large amounts of data.

Stats source

Kotlin

Kotlin is a cross-platform and general-purpose programming language. Kotlin is also based on Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM enables a computer to run Java and its derived languages like Kotlin, Scala or Groovy. Being part of the JVM family, Kotlin is fully compatible with any other Java program. Unlike its father, Java, which retains a reputation for its reliability and maturity, Kotlin is a language that evolves fast and integrates all modern programming paradigms. You can envisage Kotlin as a futuristic version of Java.

On 7 May 2019, Google announced that Kotlin is now its preferred language for Android. Since October 2017, Kotlin has been included as an alternative to Java in Android Studio. 

Kotlin has also been adopted widely by enterprise application development. The most java popular web framework, Spring, has introduced Kotlin in its 5.0 version. 

From the standpoint of today’s freelancer, Kotlin provides you with a solution to write an end-to-end mobile application. From the API to the mobile view, you can write everything with this modern language.

Cases in which Kotlin excels:

  • Writing of native and performant Android applications.
  • Implementation of web API using Kotlin and Spring 5.

Swift

Swift is also a general-purpose language. It is mainly used to write native iOS applications. Swift is mainly designed to work with the Cocoa framework. This language uses the Objective-C runtime environment which allows C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift code to run in one single program.

For a freelancer, swift is the best language in which to write iOS and Mac applications. You need, however, to be sure that you want to specialize in the Apple product. One known drawback of Apple is that we often feel locked down to their tech ecosystem.

Cases in which Swift excels:

  • Writing a native and smooth IOS mobile application.
  • Implementation of a Mac Desktop application.
  • Writing API using Vapor.



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