Let’s find out some of the famous scripting languages often used by system administrators and developers.
Scripting languages are most popular in automating specific tasks. Also, scripting languages are less code-intensive as compared to traditional programming languages. They do not require the step of compilation and are instead interpreted.
Scripting languages are of a specific kind that is used to give instructions through code to web browsers or standalone applications. They make coding simpler and faster, which is why they are widely used in web development. Scripting languages are also used in operating systems to create and automate startup files, games, statistical analysis software, office applications, and many others. They can efficiently run in multiple environments.
Here is a list of the most popular Scripting languages to be familiar with.
- Easy to learn and implement
- It is very fast on the client-side provides an unhindered network at the backend.
- Plenty of job opportunities as frontend, backend, or full-stack developer
- One of the most active developer community
- Provides excellent interactivity to the websites
- Can easily handle heavy server load and bandwidth
- Can efficiently work with other programming languages to build a variety of applications
Python is the second most popular scripting language currently. Guido van Rossum created Python, and the first release came out in 1991. Python scripting code is straightforward to read; it is pretty like English. In Python, you can create a file with a
.py extension and write your python scripts (code) and finally execute this file to run the python scripts inside it.
The code in the python scripts gets executed from top to bottom, one by one.
Developers majorly use Python scripting for automating daily tasks, reporting, security, etc. You can perform an automation task with Python in much lesser code lines than in any other programming languages like Java, C++.
- Very easy to learn
- Very portable, can work on any platform like Windows / Mac/ Linux
- Can extend with components in other programming languages
- A huge community for support
- Provides support for GUI programming
- Can easily integrate with other programming languages like C, C++, etc.
- Rich set of libraries and modules for several functionalities
PHP is a server-side scripting language that is a language for making dynamic and interactive web pages. PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor, which is a recursive acronym for PHP. It is open-source and free to use.
Even though it is a language that can do almost everything a programming language can do, it is mostly used for server-side logic. It means when you click on that login button on your Facebook login page, the logic that lets you allow to get into your account is what PHP is doing.
With PHP, you can create dynamic and beautiful web pages; you can collect data from a form that has been created in HTML, you can use it for data encryption. Out of PHP’s many functionalities, you can use PHP to create a simple CRUD application that stands for create, read, update and delete.
Companies like Wikipedia and Facebook are using PHP as it can handle millions of traffic with ease.
- Wisely used and extremely flexible language
- Supports several types of databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, NoSQL)
- Supports multiple server types (Apache, TLS server)
- Give efficient performance for websites with heavy traffic
- Provide more control to developers, so developer-friendly
- Compatible with the majority of operating systems and easily integrable with multiple technologies
R is mostly used for statistical computations and graphics. It is widely used by data analysts, data scientists, and statisticians. This scripting language is operated through a command-line interpreter.
R is commonly said as the language of data science. Developers write scripts in R to executes multiple commands in one go; this saves a lot of their time. A script here is a set of commands that usually includes commenting on what each piece of code is intended to do. An R script should save with the extension .r
- An active community supporting this scripting language
- Supports vector operations
- It comes with thousands of ready to use packages
- Provides cross-platform support
- Best suited for complex statistical computations
- Strong graphical capabilities
Ruby is one of the most flexible programming languages out there, and it gets out of your way unless you code the way you want to. If that sounds appealing to you, Ruby would be an excellent language for you to learn. The creators of Ruby have put a lot of work into making it as easy to use as possible. Ruby could save you a lot of typing.
Ruby’s flexibility has allowed developers to create some incredibly innovative software. There are tools like Chef, which Facebook uses to automate its server configuration, or SAS, which helps provide styling for the websites of Pandora, and most importantly, Ruby powers Ruby on Rails which is arguably the world’s most popular web framework. Airbnb and Kickstarter use rails to help run their websites, and so do many other companies.
- You can code in significantly fewer lines compared to other programming languages.
- Helps in faster development of software
- Well suited for test automation
- Provides a lot of in-built tools and libraries to help developers
- Follows coding by convention strictly to adhere to the standards
Perl is an open-source interpreted programming language with a huge community of programmers, libraries, and resources. It has a very powerful in-built regular expression framework, often why programmers decide to use Perl for bulk text processing.
Perl is platform-independent and is also used to generate HTML pages. Perl is nicknamed “The Swiss Army Chainsaw of Scripting Language” due to its flexibility and power.
- Relatively few keywords, simple structure, and easy to learn
- Supports a wide variety of hardware platforms with the same interface
- Provides an interface for all commercial databases
- CPAN, an archive of Perl library, consists of thousands of ready-made modules
- Supports automatic memory management and garbage collection
- It consists of easy debugging techniques
Groovy is very similar to Java. It has a Java-like syntax, and in case you already know Java, it will be effortless. It is a powerful dynamic language with aesthetic typing and static compilation. Groovy is designed to be less verbose than Java. The syntax is less complicated and follows a simple structure without unnecessary semicolons.
- Supports both static and dynamic typing
- Supports existing Java libraries
- Groovy scripts can have statements without class declarations
- Can easily integrate with existing Java applications
- Supports lists, maps, regular expressions
Bash scripting is also known as Bourne Again Shell. It is a shell scripting programming language where you execute shell commands through a shell script with extension
.sh. These shell commands are used on a terminal that has a shell interpreter. In bash shell scripting, you must add the complete path of the executable binary of the bash.
- The easiest way to automate mundane tasks
- Apart from single-character shell command-line options, it also supports multi-character
- It exists when unreferenced variables are encountered
- Executes all the startup files when the system starts
- Follows IEEE POSIX P1003.2/ISO 9945.2 shell and tools standard
Learn shell scripting on Udemy.
Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell created by Microsoft. System admins majorly use this for administering Windows OS and applications. It is built on the .NET framework. The commands you use in Windows PowerShell are called cmdlets.
- Very easy to learn and implement
- Provides object-oriented language features
- Easily automates a lot of administration tasks
- No need to define a variable type in PowerShell
- Allows to run jobs in the background on local or remote machines
- Using Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), it supports file transfer
- Scripts written here are reusable
That was my list of the most popular scripting language that a developer or a system administrator must know. I hope you have found this list interesting to get started with. Go ahead and choose a scripting language and try it out.