Top 5 Best Programming Languages for Data Engineers

5 min read
Updated: Oct 12, 2022

We, as humans, have been greatly influenced by computers over the past few decades. These computers primarily function through programs put on the computer to make them behave a certain way. Programs have to be written in specially designed programming languages. It is quite a common fact that there are over 6500 spoken languages worldwide, but have you wondered how many programming languages exist? As per the stats on Wikipedia, there are approximately 700 programming languages. However, I have handpicked a few programming languages that are recommended by expert techies in 2022 and seem to be a hot career option. 

Data engineers’ most commonly used programming languages as of 2022 are Python and Java. Other programming languages to make up the list of top 5 were namely Scala, Bash, and SQL.


This programming language is infamously known as “write once, run anywhere” because the applications that are written using Java language can run on any platform that supports Java. The most common association of this language would be seen in the development of client-server applications across large businesses worldwide.

Java is a strictly object-oriented programming language, and the core aspect of Java is to run on multiple operating systems. Java’s components include a compiler, core libraries, and JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Most web developers take a keen interest in this language as it was widely used in the Android app industry; however, after the introduction of Kotlin, another popular programming language that is faster than Java, a significant decline in the popularity of Java was seen. 

One of the significant drawbacks of Java as a programming language is that the company that owns it, Oracle, charges a license fee. In addition to this drawback, Java is not an ideal choice for mostly run-on cloud applications. Overseeing this programming language’s drawbacks, tech experts still recommend Java as a career option.

According to the job portal, the average salary of a Java developer is around 103 thousand dollars per year. So, if you are aspiring to be a web developer, Java is one of the programming languages you should have in your skill set.


Python is perhaps one of the best languages for data engineering beginners. The learning process of Python is undemanding and has simple syntax, unlike other programming languages. Coding in Python is fun and easy to implement, and professionals use Python to deliver powerful, high-quality big data and data science applications.

Python is classified as a high-level programming language used by big players like YouTube, Google, Reddit, Instagram, Dropbox, and many more. While you can do Android App Development, Web Development, Machine Learning, Automation, Deep learning, and whatnot using Python, Data Science is extensively responsible for the popularity of Python used in Robotic and Self-Driving cars. According to a survey, Python ranked fourth, with as many as 10 percent of participants considering developing their skills in Python.


Officially released in June 2004, Scala was designed by Martin Odersky. Scala means a scalable language. Similarly to Java, Scala is also an object-oriented programming language and runs on JVM. As a programming language, Scala does not have any concepts of primitive data and is only considered a static-type language. Scala interoperates with existing libraries and Java Codes.

Debugging the codes is easier as compared to the other programming languages and is most helpful in building different frameworks. Significant companies are planning to make Scala a mainstream language. Lift, Akka, Play are some of the common frameworks that already exist. Scala codes are much easier to read because of their clear and precise syntax. Scala is crucial for big data as well. If you are into data engineering, this language is a must-learn to match industry standards. 


Bash, an acronym for Bourne Again Shell, is used and designed to communicate between two programs. While other major programming languages are designed to read files, control devices, do mathematical calculations, and many more, Bash is specifically intended to take commands/input from a user. Everything is governed by a shell program known as the “bash shell language .”Brain Fox has written the bash shell program, an upgraded version of the Bourne Shell Program.

Bash has many exceptional features compared to other programming applications; however, the key elements to look at would be Interacting Shells, Persuasion, Compatibility, Shell Arithmetic, and Document Stack.


Structured Query Language or popularly referred to as SQL, deals with Relational Databases. If you are a Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Database Developer, Data Scientist, or any from any other IT profession, then SQL is a language you must have in your CV. Data from shopping, electronic medical, banking, and other library management systems are stored and organized in a collection of tables known as the relational database.

SQL queries can help extract data from this relational database. Data can be accessed in seconds using only a couple of commands. Complex data can be stored in SQL tables to help spot a trend in a business that could result in increased profits.

One of the prominent features that make SQL a global language is that it can run on databases with its programming language. Writing short programs and running them on the database server using any SQL dialect. This will result in the automation of tasks that are repetitive hence saving time.

While there are many exceptional object-oriented and structured programming languages, Java, Python, Scala, Bash, and SQL have been a choice of many big data and data engineering professionals across the globe who have had extraordinary experiences in problem-solving and task automation using these programming languages.

Learning these languages will enable you to work on various operating systems. Knowledge of these programming languages, mixed with some basic concepts and notions of algorithms, can open tremendous data engineer job opportunities.


James Kirk Egypto (Nonbeliever)


I have been doing SEO analysis and Outreach Specialist for 3 years.

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