Which Programming Language Should a Freelancer Learn?

To be a successful freelancer, one must learn the art of programming. It is the building block of any good web developer’s work. Programming languages are often used to control the flow of data within a program by telling it how to behave based on certain inputs.

In order to know which programming language to learn, you must first understand what they are, why they’re important, and how you can use them in your projects.

A good place to start is with things that seem complicated but aren’t really: data types and variables, functions and methods, arrays or lists (depending on your preference), objects as well as events like mouse clicks or keyboard presses that trigger certain actions within an application/website, etc.

1.  Java

Java is one of the most popular programming languages. It’s used in many large companies because it has many features that help produce high-quality software.

Java programs are compiled into bytecode and interpreted by a JVM (Java Virtual Machine). It’s an object-oriented language with strong support for encapsulation and modularity.

It’s also a statically compiled language, but there are JIT compilers that can optimize code execution at runtime, making Java almost as fast as C++.

While Java may not be the first choice for many developers, for some it’s the only choice for client-server web applications. It may be on its way out with new technologies such as NodeJS gaining popularity, but it still has solid foundations to keep it relevant in the future.

If you want to become an Android developer then learning Java is essential it’s the official language of Android development and therefore the most supported option by Google and the open-source community.

2. Python

Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. Created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991, Python’s design philosophy emphasizes code readability with its notable use of significant whitespace. Its language constructs and object-oriented approach aim to help programmers write clear, logical code for small and large-scale projects.

Python is dynamically typed and garbage-collected. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including structured (particularly, procedural), object-oriented, and functional programming. Python is often described as a “batteries included” language due to its comprehensive standard library.

3.  Javascript

There are two types of developers: front-end and back-end (full-stack developers bridge the gap between the two). Front-end developers focus on what you see in the browser, like a website’s layout, design, or interaction; back-end developers write code that controls what happens behind the scenes.

JavaScript is one of those odd languages which can be used both as a front and back end technology. A lot of modern web applications use it for client-side/front-end development to make web pages more interactive and user-friendly. Because of this fact, JavaScript also has the advantage of being compatible with virtually every browser out there.

As far as learning goes, FreeCodeCamp has very good courses on javascript that you can complete in about 300 hours – enough time to become job-ready!

4. C #

C# is a modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. It was designed to be easy to use and easy to read, but it’s also powerful enough to build very high-quality applications. C# is an open-source and completely free language built on top of the .NET platform that consists of an impressive library of built-in functions and can be used on Windows, Linux, or macOS.

Why should you learn C#? Because it’s a beautiful language that allows you to build a variety of applications from web apps to mobile apps that run on the .NET framework. C# has been widely adopted by developers all over the world for its powerful features and it has become one of the most popular programming languages out there in terms of job demand. Learning this language will open up many doors for you as a programmer since Microsoft employs so many developers who are continuously working with C# every day.

5.  Ruby On Rails

Ruby is a programming language designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto, or “Matz”, who wanted to create a language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming. He drew inspiration from languages such as Perl and Lisp.

Ruby on Rails (usually just called “Rails”) is a web development framework written in the Ruby programming language. It is also open-source, meaning that it is free to use and you are free to modify the code under certain conditions (details can be found here).

6. PHP

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (or PHP) is a server-side scripting language that has been around for nearly 30 years. A large portion of the web runs on PHP, and one of its most popular uses of it is to build simple websites with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.


It’s easy to learn if you’re familiar with other programming languages.

There are many frameworks that use PHP and make it easier to create dynamic websites such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla!, and Yii Framework.


Not fast enough for some applications such as real-time games or high-traffic web apps.

7. Go

Go is a general-purpose, open-source programming language developed by Google. It is also referred to as Golang due to its domain name, golang.org. Go is statically typed, compiled, and syntactically similar to C language – with the added benefits of memory safety, garbage collection, and structural typing.

Go comes with various built-in features making it highly productive such as:

Easy to learn and fun to write since it resembles pseudo code (you can quite easily convert it into a human-readable form).

Fast compilation times since it’s basically C/C++ without header files.

Scalable thanks to its concurrency feature that allows for multiple processes running at once (it can use all the cores on your machine).

Cross-platform compatible – so you don’t need another set of code for different hardware architectures.

The reason why I have included this in my list is because of its growing popularity among developers who prefer writing maintainable code rather than focusing on just getting the job done. It’s also becoming a favorite among startups looking for leaner alternatives to Ruby or Python web frameworks like Rails or Django respectively; even some companies are starting to migrate their existing infrastructure from PHP/Ruby/Python over to Go due to its performance gains in comparison with other languages mentioned above.

8. Swift

Swift is a general-purpose programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Swift is designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and the large body of existing Objective-C code written for Apple products. It is built with the open-source LLVM compiler framework and has been included in Xcode since version 6. On platforms other than Linux,[9] it uses the Objective-C runtime library which allows C, Objective-C, C++, and Swift code to run within one program

Swift is easy to learn; it provides interactivity and power due to its high-performance compiler; it safeguards your code from errors by using modern programming features that help catch bugs at compile time; interactive playgrounds make learning swift easy you can write code next to results as you go along instead of flipping between editor and console window.

Swift provides powerful apps that run lightning-fast. Because it eliminates entire categories of common programming errors, swiftlets you work faster and more productively than ever before. Writing software is interactive because swift understands what you type while you type it it highlights mistakes as you make them and then suggests fixes as well. You can even paste keyword shortcuts into your code if you don’t want suggestions

9. Kotlin

You can use it along with Java to create an Android app. It was created by Jetbrains, the company behind IntelliJ IDEA, one of the most popular IDEs used for Android development. If you are already familiar with programming languages like Java or C#, Kotlin will be extremely easy to pick up and learn. 

You’ll find that it has a lot of features impacting the code portability and maintainability. As you know, Google announced first-class support for Kotlin on Android at its IO conference in May 2017.

A few months later, at the end of October, Google officially announced that Kotlin is now its preferred language for Android development. Today, Kotlin is still new but there are many libraries to choose from when you want to build something from scratch using this language!

10. C++

C++ is a programming language that was originally developed by AT&T Bell Labs in the 1980s. It’s now a general-purpose language used in applications such as video games, banking software, web browsers, and more. This makes it useful to learn: C++ programmers are in demand across many different industries and the skills they develop while learning can be applied to other jobs down the line.

There’s no question that C++ is an effective tool for programmers, but if you’re an aspiring coder looking to get started on freelancing projects with minimal confusion or frustration, this may not be the best language, to begin with. Like some of the other languages on this list (Java for example), C++ has a reputation for being difficult to learn because of its vast libraries and complex syntax. 

Final Thought

If you already have experience with code and are looking for something that will make your programs run faster, consider giving it a go but if you’re just getting started, don’t let it intimidate you! As far as websites go, there are plenty of online resources available where you can learn free of charge; I’d recommend sites like Codecademy or Udemy for beginners who want solid introductions to what programming is all about before diving deeper into specific languages.

Frequently  Asked Questions

As you start considering learning a programming language to get into freelancing, there are a few questions you might have. Here are the most common ones and their answers:

Is Learning Programming Language Difficult?

Programming languages can be overwhelming, but it’ll be worth your time. Just stick with it.

Should I Learn A Programming Language Or Web Development?

Web development is definitely a good place to start because it makes finding your first jobs easier and gives you an easier entry point into coding overall. But if you want to specialize in app development, for example, then focusing on that would probably be more beneficial for you in the long run.

How Do I Start Freelancing With No Experience?

The best way to get started is by doing small projects at first and slowly building up from there. You’ll find that getting practice will help turn your inexperience into confidence over time!

But What If I Just Want To Get Into Freelancing Without Learning How To Code?

If you have no interest in learning how to code, there are still ways of getting into freelancing. You don’t have to learn how to code in order to create apps or websites you can hire other people who are already good at coding and have them create the app or website for you. You can then sell that app or website on your own as a freelancer, and keep all of the profits.

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