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Most Popular Programming Languages for Automation

Ufuoma Ogono - March 05, 2022

Automation is when a process is programmed to run on its own without human intervention. It saves time and improves productivity in various industries. Not all industrial robot languages are ideal. You will need to learn the best programming languages for automation if you want to pursue a career as an automation developer.

This article details the five most popular programming languages for automation and why they are important. It also includes a quick guide on how to learn automation. Read on to discover the preferred language of an automation engineer.

What Is Automation?

An automation developer programs control systems to run the production of goods and services without the need for human intervention. Automation is used in different industries like utilities, manufacturing, operations, national defense, and a host of others. Information technology automation uses programming languages to repeat processes. This helps productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

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What Are Programming Languages?

Programming languages are rules designed by software engineers to send instructions to computers. These programming languages are written in lines of code. When it’s arranged in the right order, they can be used to create software programs. The software can be anything from a mobile application to the interface of a manufacturing machine.

What Programming Languages Do Automation Engineers Use?

Automation engineers use scripting, object oriented, and high-level programming languages to provide automated software solutions. They often use the same automation languages as mechanical engineers, artificial intelligence engineers, and machine learning engineers in a development team. There are numerous programming languages used by automation engineers.

Best Programming Languages to Learn for Automation

  • Python
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • PHP

Which Programming Language Is Best for Automation?


Python is one of the most common programming languages used by automation engineers. This high-level, object oriented programming language is scalable and can be used in small and large-scale automation projects. It is a preferred programming language in the automation industry, with Python developers earning about $111,899 annually .

Python is an ideal option for automation because it is a server-side, scripting language. This makes it an ideal language for selenium automation testing. The popular language has a wide range of libraries and frameworks. Consider using automation tools like Pywinauto, Behave, Robot frameworks, and Selenium.


C# is a popular automation programming language in the C family. It is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language with powerful features that make it a prime solution in automation. The object and component-oriented programming language is used for automation testing on Visual Studio.

C# is a loved programming language that supports binding with Selenium, one of the best automation frameworks in the tech industry today. Install Visual Studio to create your Selenium C# automation framework, complete the setup, and start your automation.


JavaScript is a general-purpose programming language typically used for website and web application development. It also happens to be an ideal tool for automation, thanks to the JavaScript for Automation (JXA), an interface for automation. AppleScript, the programming language designed by Apple, was created on JXA.

JavaScript, a front end development programming language, currently has the largest resource library in the industry. This will make it easy for you to learn the language . There are also free online courses to learn on your own.


Java is one of the oldest programming languages still relevant today. It was developed in 1995 and is known for having few implementation dependencies. Organizations like Oracle Corporation and Google use Java for automation.

As a Java developer, you will need to learn how to use automation testing tools like Mockito, Spock, JUnit, TestNG, Selenium, and REST. If you need to learn to code in Java before learning how to use it to create automation tools, you should be able to get the knowledge you need in a few months.


PHP is another popular open-source programming language that is commonly used for server-side development. The scripting language has similar capabilities as Python and it can be used for automation. Like the other preferred programming languages for automation testing, PHP can be used on the Selenium framework.

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Some other great PHP frameworks for automation testing are PHPSpec, PHPUnit, Codeception, and Behat. Other options for people who want to learn PHP for automation are Peridot, Kahlan, and Atoum.

Which Programming Language Should I Learn First for Automation?

JavaScript is the first programming language you should learn for automation because of its application in web technologies. You do not need to install any fancy software for JavaScript automation as long as the open-source tools are already on your browser. The setup of this ideal programming language saves time and improves efficiency on laptop and desktop applications.

After you have mastered JavaScript for automation, you should consider learning Python next. While JavaScript is the prime language of choice for web automation testing, Python follows closely because it is easy to learn. Python also has a range of use cases from web development to data science.

Is it Possible to Choose the ‘Wrong’ Programming Language for Automation?

Yes, it is possible to choose the wrong programming language for automation. This mistake will stall the entire development project because you will need to either stop to make changes or start afresh. To choose the right programming language, you need to consider the type of project. For example, JavaScript is ideal for web automation testing. This means that it can be used to create maintainable test code.

How to Learn Automation?

You can learn automation online or pursue a degree in robotics, software engineering, or computer science. If you plan to pursue industrial automation, you may benefit from an apprenticeship program in a company of your choice. If an apprenticeship or university degree isn’t an option for you, the steps below will help you learn automation.

Choose a Specialization

Automation is applicable in a range of industries, so it helps to determine which industry you would want to work in. This way, you can choose a learning path that is in line with your future career plans. It will also influence whether you pick fixed, programmable, or flexible automation.

Learn a Programming Language

Your career path should now be clearer to you once you’ve chosen a specialization. Start by learning JavaScript, Python, or any other programming language that can be useful in the field of automation. You can learn programming on your own on platforms like Coursera or Udemy.

Apply the Language to Automation

Once you understand the basics of programming, learn how to use programming for automation, whether test automation, robotics, or defense. Some courses to look at are Software Testing and Automation: the University of Minnesota by Coursera and Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming by Udemy.

Create a Portfolio

As soon as you have coding and hands-on experience, you can create a work portfolio. The portfolio should be a collection of all your hands-on automation projects. Make your successful projects public so others can see them. You can host your portfolio on a website of your own.

Apply for Paid Jobs

Create a resume, attach it to your portfolio, and apply for paid jobs in the industry of your choice. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, consider applying for entry-level positions and working your way up from there.

How to Learn Automation: Top Resources

  • Appium . This website is excellent for people who want to automate mobile app testing. The open-source framework provides the perfect virtual environment for automated testing of iOS, Android, windows, and other operating systems.
  • Udemy . Udemy is a reliable online learning platform that can help you learn automation for free or at a reasonable price. You can learn industrial automation, app automation, and other courses to master the Selenium framework.
  • Selenium . Master automation by using the Selenium framework. This open-source framework is one of the most popular resources used for web browser automation.
  • Boozang . Boozang is a popular choice to practice efficient test automation. The difficulty level is low as Boozang is not just for a community of developers, but it is accessible to broader user communities.
  • Coursera . Coursera is an elearning platform with several courses for different types of specialization. Browse through the collection and pick the most suitable option for you.

Ready to Break into Tech?

If you are ready to break into tech, learning programming for automation is one of the best ways to start. The evidence in the technology industry shows that automation is here to stay. Once you’ve learned Python , C#, Java, JavaScript, or PHP for automation, you can break into other tech branches that interest you. All you have to do is take the first step by learning with the resources at your disposal.

Best Programming Languages for Automation FAQ

Which language is easiest to learn for automation?

Many professional developers use Python because it is the easiest language to learn for automation. It has a straightforward syntax and is currently one of the most human-readable languages in the industry, with a wide variety of test frameworks.

Which language is best for industrial automation?

Python, C#, and Java are currently the top three programming languages for industrial automation. They have the right combination of features, frameworks, and libraries for quick and efficient application.

Python or C++ better for robotics?

Python is just as good as C++ for programming. However, Python is easier to learn, especially if you are a beginner in the programming or robotics industry. Another factor that makes Python popular in robotics is its application in machine learning.

Is automation difficult to learn?

Automation is not difficult to learn if you have the right knowledge and combination of tools. The type of automation you choose will also influence the difficulty level. For example, it is easier to switch from manual to automated testing than to dive into robotics.

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Ufuoma Ogono

About the author: Ufuoma, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a veteran freelance writer whose work has also appeared in Smartereum, Cyber Jam Limited, and Binance. Her goal as a content writer is to help readers chase their careers in technology and follow their dreams. Ufuoma attended Delta State University, where she earned her BSc in Sociology and Psychology.

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