Tag Archives: java

  • Best Programming Languages for Linux Devs


    Ask any knowledgeable developer to name the first programming language they would associate with Linux, and he or she would likely answer C, given the closely aligned history of Unix and C.

    But in the 24 years since it first appeared, Linux has probably been home to every programming language known to humankind: Not just obvious languages such as C, C++, Python and Java but also C# (Mono), Fortran, Pascal, COBOL and Lisp and many more.

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    In a December 2014 survey, readers of Linux Journal placed Python at the top of their list of best programming languages (30.2 percent), followed by C++ (17.8 percent), C (16.7 percent), Perl (7.1 percent), and Java (6.9 percent). Those rankings have remained largely unchanged over the past few years—unsurprising, considering the Linux world is a rather conservative place. (One language rapidly moving up Linux Journal’s list is Google Go: It jumped from 1.8 percent in 2013 to 2.4 percent last year.)

    Unlike Windows with its built-in GUI, Linux leverages whichever GUI toolkit you use (e.g., Ot, GTK+, wxWidgets) unless you limit yourself to terminal programming. Of course, not all Linux development requires a GUI: Think of servers or daemons, which are Linux’s equivalent of Windows services. So let’s look closer at each of Linux Journal’s top five languages in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each for Linux development.

    Python and C++

    Python just seems to get more and more popular, and is arguably the best general-purpose language currently around. It’s easy to learn, helped by having an interpreter (pypy) and compilers such as cpython, Jython (generates Java code) and others that take Python and produce il code (on .NET), or C, C++ or JavaScript.

    Developing AAA games and High Performance Computing (HPC) is where Python hasn’t done so well. C++ currently dominates those spaces, with Python having notably little impact on mobile development other than in open-source. I’m not sure we’ll ever see AAA games development switch to Python but it’s certainly making inroads into the HPC arena. (I like C++ but attaining expert programming knowledge in it seems to require being a full-time developer; compare that to Python, which can be picked up by young children.)


    C is as close to the metal programming as you’ll ever get unless you code in assembler; Linus Torvalds lists this closeness as a reason why he likes it. It’s simple to learn, and once you master pointers, you can do pretty much anything. However, you have to write a lot of code to do things that come standard in other languages; string handling in particular is tedious and error-prone. For low-level coding, C is hard to beat and there’s lots of software written in it (probably much more so on Linux, which is largely written in C).


    For many years Perl—described by many developers as the “Swiss Army chainsaw” of scripting languages—was the language for sophisticated text processing scripts, and came installed on Linux/Unix like systems by default. It’s been around since 1987, with a massive install base to match: According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) carries over 140,776 modules, by more than 11,804 authors, and is mirrored worldwide at more than 250 locations.

    Despite (or perhaps because of) Perl’s age, languages such as Python, PHP and Ruby have gradually come to replace it. But don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.


    Linux has always seemed like the natural home for Java, at least with regard to server-side technology. The pattern of client-side Windows applications talking to Linux Java servers is a common one and very popular in enterprises. The Java JSP Web server technology hasn’t come close to PHP or ASP.NET in terms of adoption rates, but you can find (often expensive and resource-intensive) JSP Web hosting. Java powers many Internet game servers, most notably Minecraft.

    Two other languages that work well on Linux are JavaScript and Go. After ten years of being lambasted for poor performance, JavaScript became seriously cool when popular websites such as Google Maps began to leverage it. JavaScript continued to improve; thanks to better engines, it’s now able to run graphically intense browser games.

    If that wasn’t enough, JavaScript has emerged as a serious server-side language, with Node.js being one of the best-known frameworks.

    Google Go

    At less than five years old, Google Go has gained its share of admirers; Google, Dropbox and other companies use it for their respective internal systems. With an easy-to-learn C-like syntax, it compiles and executes programs very rapidly and makes writing concurrent code a lot easier than a multithreaded approach. It comes with an extensive standard library that’s complemented by many third-party libraries. Although it’s a general-purpose programming language, it’s strong as a systems language, and useful for implementing Web servers.


    All programming languages are just tools to help solve programming problems, and the choice of which to use is often determined not by the languages’ strengths but completely unrelated factors such as available hardware, internal politics, previous experiences and the like. Linux hardware varies from simple, low-cost systems to million-dollar “Big Iron” mainframes… But irrespective of the cost, it will run any of these languages.

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  • JavaScript Tops Popular Languages, As Swift Rises


    Developers assume that Swift, Apple’s newish programming language for iOS and Mac OS X apps, will become extremely popular over the next few years. According to new data from RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, Swift could reach that apex of popularity sooner rather than later.

    While the usual stalwarts—including JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, C#, C++, and Ruby—top RedMonk’s list of the most-used languages, Swift has, well, swiftly ascended 46 spots in the six months since the firm’s last update, from 68th to 22nd.

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    “When we see dramatic growth from a language it typically has jumped somewhere between 5 and 10 spots, and the closer the language gets to the Top 20 or within it, the more difficult growth is to come by,” RedMonk wrote in an accompanying blog posting. “Given this dramatic ascension, it seems reasonable to expect that the Q3 rankings this year will see Swift as a Top 20 language.”

    RedMonk pulls data from GitHub and Stack Overflow to create its rankings, due to those sites’ respective sizes and the public nature of their data. While its top-ranked languages don’t trade positions much between reports, there’s a fair amount of churn at the lower end of the rankings. Among those “smaller” languages, R has enjoyed stable popularity over the past six months, Rust and Julia continue to climb, and Go has exploded upwards—although CoffeeScript, often sited as a language to watch, has seen its support crumble a bit.

    Here are RedMonk’s top 20 languages:

    1. JavaScript
    2. Java
    3. PHP
    4. Python
    5. C#
    5. C++
    5. Ruby
    8. CSS
    9. C
    10. Objective-C
    11. Perl
    11. Shell
    13. R
    14. Scala
    15. Haskell
    16. MATLAB
    17. Go
    17. Visual Basic
    19. Clojure
    19. Groovy

    A more intensive look at RedMonk’s data is available on its blog.

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  • Which Programming Language Pays the Best?


    What programming language will earn you the biggest salary over the long run?

    According to Quartz, which relied partially on data compiled by employment-analytics firm Burning Glass and a Brookings Institution economist, Ruby on Rails, Objective-C, and Python are all programming skills that will earn you more than $100,000 per year. Java, C++, JavaScript, C, and R also topped the list, routinely racking up salaries of $90,000 and above.

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    “The dataset isn’t perfect, it’s missing newer but increasingly popular languages like Erlang and Haskell, likely because they don’t turn up all that frequently on job ads and resumes,” Quartz explained in the accompanying article. “A large number of the ads also don’t list salary.”

    But salary doesn’t necessarily correlate with popularity. Earlier this year, for example, tech-industry analyst firm RedMonk produced its latest ranking of the most-used languages, and Java/JavaScript topped the list, followed by PHP, Python, C#, and C++/Ruby. RedMonk predicted that new languages such as Apple’s Swift and Google’s Go, while ranked very low at the moment, will also climb into more prominent positions over the next few years.

    Meanwhile, Python was the one programming language to appear on Dice’s recent list of the fastest-growing tech skills, which is assembled from mentions in Dice job postings. Python is a staple language in college-level computer-science courses, and has repeatedly topped the lists of popular programming languages as compiled by TIOBE Software and others. (In addition to Python, other popular languages in college intro courses include Java, MATLAB, C++, C, Scheme, and Scratch.)

    “The best programming language may well be the one that is most likely to help you consistently find a job, not necessarily the one that pays best,” is how Matt Asay described, in a recent ReadWrite column, the dilemma facing today’s programmers.

    In other words, pursuing a language because of the six-figure salary, while tempting, might not prove your best option in all circumstances.

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  • Demand for IT Engineers Shows in Salaries

    IT engineers continue to be in demand, and the proof is in their salaries, according to the 2013–2014 PayScale College Salary report . Their roles accounted for a sizable chunk of the top 10 salaries across all industries when measured by median pay for graduates with at least 10 years of experience. Computer engineering majors, sharing sixth place with electrical engineering majors, had an annual median salary of $106,000 for those at the mid-career level. When starting out – with five years’ experience or less– they earned $65,300 a year, compared to the slightly lower $64,300 for electrical engineers. Meanwhile, mid-career computer science graduates also earned six figures. Their median salaries stood at $102,000. Within computer science degrees, the five top jobs in terms of demand are software architecture and development , mobile app development , Big Data analytics , healthcare IT and video game design . Skills that are particularly in demand include . NET development , Java , JavaScript , C# , C++ , HTML5 and ASP.NET . Mechanical engineering majors round out the top 10 list, with mid-career professionals earning a median salary of $99,700. Demand for these jobs should continue strong, as well. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in its 2013 salary report , “As the world’s population increases, so will the demands on the next generation of engineers to provide solutions for global challenges. Mechanical engineers will be at the forefront of solving these problems.” Over the past 10 years, there seems to have been a renewal of interest in mechanical engineering degrees, says Tom Perry, ASME’s director of engineering education. The number of students seeking bachelor’s degrees in the subject or related fields increased by 43 percent — to 130,000 — in 2012, he notes. He attributes this interest to the wide range of applications for mechanical engineering, from the long-held traditional use of control systems found in robotics to embedded systems used in sustainable energy smart systems. “It’s not just about mechanical engineering anymore,” Perry says. “This is not your grandfather’s mechanical engineering.” The post Demand for IT Engineers Shows in Salaries appeared first on Dice News .

  • Employers Say This is Why You’re Not Getting Hired

    It’s a continuing complaint: Employers who need skilled IT professionals say they can’t find people to fill their open jobs. But job seekers say it’s getting harder and harder to find a job. Why the disconnect? The unemployment rate in technology seems to underscore the employers’ arguments that there’s more demand than supply. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the rate dropped to 3.5 percent from 3.9 percent, according to Dice’s Q4 Tech Trends Report . That compares to a national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent in December. Skills in Demand The biggest issue is that there are just not enough people with the “right” skills, says Rob Reeves, CEO and president of Redfish Technology , a recruitment firm specializing in IT. Given the shifting tides in technology and the peaks and valleys of specific needs, even those with significant experience can find it difficult to get a job, he notes. “You have a certain need for a certain position at a certain time,” he says. That dynamic can leave some professionals out in the cold. The best advice for job seekers is to keep up on the shifts in IT. “There are breakthroughs and game changers,” observes Reeves, who points to examples like Java , security , the cloud , Big Data and mobile . Such skills are so coveted that supply and demand simply won’t match up at some point. Plus, employers want experience, but with new technologies there aren’t enough people available who’ve got it. Another factor: There are some positions an organization simply can’t do without. According to Reeves, that’s just what’s happening with front-end developers , full stack developers and DevOps engineers . Tough Specifications Nowadays, employers are even more exacting in what they want. When their job descriptions reflect that, prospective employees get discouraged from even applying. “Our job descriptions are certainly specific in terms of the technical requirements that our clients are seeking,” says Sophia Navickas, vice president of the search firm Lynx. “However, within broad categories, accomplished engineers can be considered if they have some subset of the required skills and have the ability to demonstrate their ability to come up to speed quickly.” As frustrating as this is for many, it’s good news for some. Those with the right skills are seeing bumps in salary, a trend that’s expected to continue. Average U.S. tech salaries rose to $87,811 in 2013 from $85,619 during 2012, according to the latest Dice Salary Survey . And employers are rewarding those with the needed experience and certifications at much higher rates. “The tech market hasn’t slowed down,” says Reeves. “It’s simply changed. In January, we had one of the biggest months, and last year was good, too. We see companies with multiple openings. The pendulum is on the candidate’s side — if you have the right skills, of course.” The post Employers Say This is Why You’re Not Getting Hired appeared first on Dice News .