Most Popular Web Programming Languages 2014
I am a full time web application developer, because of that I am familiar with the technologies I will be discussing here.
If you look at a complex web application like Google’s Gmail or say Yahoo Answers, they are not developed using one programming language, instead there are a few languages, used together, to make these web programs possible.
LAMP VS Windows
LAMP design is based on free software and is in wider use because of that. With a Windows solution there is significant software costs, such as the purchase of Microsoft Visual Studio. Also, if you for instance needed to install a forum on a site, you could find free forum software for LAMP, while for Windows you would have to buy it. The costs can add up quickly.
On the plus side Microsoft Visual Studio has large libraries that can be used to rapidly develop many types of web programs. Visual Studio let’s you use C#, C++, F# or Visual Basic. Of these, for the web, C# is the most popular and second is Visual Basic.
In the past when I have worked with other people’s programs, I have found C# ones to be consistently better structured, than PHP ones and therefor easier to work with. In my opinion PHP makes it easier to write badly structured code/script.
ActionScript is the language that Flash movies use. The use of ActionScript has been in slow decline, over the last couple of years. Many of the smaller jobs that use to be done with Flash, is now achieved by the use of jQuery. An example would be when creating simple animations. ActionScript is still popular where you need a lot of client side power, for instance when developing browser games.
It is difficult to measure just how popular any given programming language is. Opinions vary greatly depending on which programmer you ask.
One metric that you might consider is the numbers of jobs advertised requiring particular skills. The data below is from Jobs Tractor, for February 2014. What they do is to look for jobs advertised through Twitter, where the job isn't from a professional employment agency.
The data is probably somewhat skewed. Larger companies that are more likely to use Windows solutions, are less likely to advertise using Twitter. The ASP .net jobs are Windows web applications jobs. A percentage of the jobs counted as C# jobs is likely to be C# web application jobs.
Remember salaries are based on supply and demand not on number of vacancies.