There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the early stages of leading your startup. Since nearly every startup incorporates technology in a foundational way, one important factor to think about is which programming languages you’ll use.
Whether you’re in search of the best programming language to build a minimum viable product (MVP) to gain attention for your concept and attract investors or want to release your finished product as soon as possible, this decision matters — a lot.
Here, you’ll find a list of the top languages that will help you build your startup, as well as tips for what to look for when selecting the ones that are right for your business.
How to Choose a Language for Your Startup
Time to Market
In the early stages of your business, releasing your product or MVP as early as possible without sacrificing quality is essential. You’ll need to choose a language that supports fast development.
Some languages are open-source with a large community and free resources, such as libraries and frameworks. Not only do these languages provide opportunities for more cost-effective development, but they can also mean a speedier process since you’ll be able to reuse code offered through libraries without having to build it from the ground up.
It’s important to pay attention to the most commonly-used languages in your industry. While you don’t necessarily need to follow suit, it will give you an idea of what developers in the field find advantageous when building their products. There may be certain perks and benefits when the languages are used with your industry’s specifications in mind.
Strengths of Your Team
The languages you choose will guide your entire hiring and recruitment process, given that some developers specialize in certain areas over others. You may have already hired team members who have preferences, too.
Of course, many startups elect to outsource development for a variety of reasons, such as keeping costs low. Still, it’s a good idea to play to the strengths of your team, even if you augment them with additional personnel.
As you scale your startup, you need a language that will allow movement and growth. But you must also account for different scenarios. That’s why it’s essential to choose a language that is flexible and growth-friendly.
Best Languages for Startups
A server-side, scripting language, PHP is widely-used for young and seasoned businesses alike. Although there are many ways to apply PHP, it’s often used to create dynamic web applications.
Additional qualities that make it a good choice for startups are the fact that it’s open-source and high-performance. Thanks to its ease of use, it can also speed up your time to market.
Ruby is best known for its popular Ruby on Rails, a Model View Controller (MVC) framework that facilitates web application development. But Ruby is a great pick for startups in its own rite. The object-oriented language was created with usability and practicality in mind, leading to simple, user-friendly development. Perhaps this is why businesses like Airbnb, Twitter, Basecamp, Github, and Shopify have used Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
This general-purpose language is flexible, object-oriented, and widely used. While it’s predominantly used to build software on Windows, it can also be used on other platforms. Its popularity means that the language comes with plenty of support and a vast community, which assists with troubleshooting and any questions you might have.
Developers apply it to a huge range of products, including web and mobile apps, but it can be particularly powerful for game development when built via the Unity game engine. A high-level language, C# is fairly easy to read and write, although there is a bit of a learning curve.
One of the most popular languages in the world, Java has stood the test of time. It offers a number of features startups can appreciate, including scalability, usability, automatic garbage collection, and the ability to run on any operating system. It’s also open-source.
Java can be used to create a wide variety of products, including web and mobile applications. It was once the only official language of Android development, a position it now shares with Kotlin.
Developed by Apple, Swift is ideal for creating iOS applications and other Apple-supported programs and products. With its simple syntax, it is user-friendly, as well as high-performance. One important feature is its unique approach to safety, with an easy debugging and error identification process.
Although Swift is still a young language, it’s easy to learn and an excellent choice for new businesses, particularly those producing products for Apple platforms.
Considered to be one of the most versatile programming languages and used by the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Google, and Netflix, Python is high-level, object-oriented, and simple. It’s very popular and has a large community, supporting easy and fast development for products and services across many different fields. This also makes for cost-effective programming.
As a reliable and efficient language, it’s the ideal language for a new business that needs to build a solid foundation from the get-go at a low cost.
Depending on your industry, products, and services, team, and particular niche, you’ll most likely find that there are many languages suitable for your startup. However, the characteristics these languages offer will set you up for maximum success. Consider your individual needs when making your decision — different languages have different qualities.