Video: What programming languages do you need to know to earn more?

Arguing about which programming language is the best one is a favorite pastime among software developers. The tricky part, of course, is defining a set of criteria for “best.”

With software development being redefined to work in a data science and machine learning context, this timeless question is gaining new relevance. Let’s look at some options and their pros and cons, with commentary from domain experts.

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Even though, in the end, the choice is at least to some extent a subjective one, some criteria come to mind. Ease of use and syntax may be subjective, but things such as community support, available libraries, speed, and type safety are not. There are a few nuances here, though.

Execution speed and type safety

In machine learning applications, the training and operational (or inference) phases for algorithms are distinct. So, one approach taken by some people is to use one language for the training phase and then another one for the operational phase.

When choosing a programming language for data science and machine learning, there are some special considerations. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The reasoning here is to work during development with the language that is more familiar or easy to use, or has the best environment and library support. Then the trained algorithm is ported to run on the environment preferred by the organization for its operations.

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