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  • Writer's pictureZeddBytes

Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn in 2024

Updated: Mar 16

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Did you know that according to the TIOBE Index, there are 265 programming languages in the world. Sounds a lot right?

Well, not all 265 are prominent. In fact, most people can hardly recall a handful names whenever the word 'programming language' sprouts in their mind.

There are multiple reasons why a few of these languages have stood-out and gained global recognition.

Some are quite beginner friendly and easy to learn, while others are useful in diverse applications, ranging from web development to cloud computing and data analysis.

With Programming being one of the most in-demand skills, we've compiled a list of 10 such languages for you.

The list has been compiled after sifting through the latest industry reports, developer surveys and community insights.

Read more in this blog and let us know in the comments section which language you're planning on learning.

1. Python

Python is often considered the most beginner-friendly and easy to learn programming language in the list.

Created in 1991 by Dutch programmer Guido Van Rossum, Python has found use in a variety of tasks including website development, data science, machine learning, game development, data visualization and more. 

Its popularity isn’t merely due to a simple syntax. Developers can create code once and deploy it on multiple platforms, for different use cases, making Python a cost-friendly and multi-facet language.

This is a reason behind the rising popularity of Python, which has overtaken Java and C in 2022

Other factors that have contributed to its continued acclaim are a comprehensive documentation and large community of over 15 million developers.

Python is also highly compatible with different operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Linux, and FreeBSD.

An average Python developer can expect to make over $118,000 a month, making it a lucrative career path.

Below are some of the leading industries making use of Python the most, according to a survey by Market Splash:

2. JavaScript

Designed by Brendan Eich in December 1995, JavaScript is used to develop web applications, alongside HTML and CSS.

While primarily, JavaScript has been renowned for front-end development tasks such as adding dynamic content and animations, it’s being increasingly used for back-end development in recent years. 

Apart from being relatively easy to learn, JavaScript has a low compilation time since it is a client-side script.

Additionally, JS is highly interoperable and works perfectly with other languages and therefore numerous developers prefer it in developing many applications.

Backend libraries like NodeJS and NestJS are robust backend frameworks that handle server-side operations well.

Similarly, ReactJS, which is built on top of JavaScript, is the most popular frontend framework in 2023, with over 40% developers choosing it as their preferred library.

In fact, React has emerged as the go-to choice of leading companies like Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Amazon and Spotify.

The average JavaScript developer can earn around $106,000 a year, with some experienced engineers earning up to $170,000:

Bar charts showing the range of salaries for a JavaScript developer annually in the USA

3. Java

An open-source language, Java was created by renowned computer scientist James Gosling in May 1995.

According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023, Java was the third most popular programming language, with 30.55% developers choosing it. 

Java is now owned by Oracle and is primarily used for IoT, AI, game development, enterprise web and mobile apps.

The manner in which it eases writing, compilation and debugging has contributed to its prevalence even after nearly three decades.

One advantage of using Java is its cross-platform capability, which means that you can compile code on desktop and use it on a mobile device without having to tweak it.

It is also an object-oriented language which helps with code reusability, simplifies error detection and reduces data redundancy.

Java is used by some of the leading companies globally including Instagram, Google, eBay, Spotify and Groupon.

While it sounds similar to JavaScript, both the languages differ quite a lot. The former is used for both front-end and back-end development, while Java is mainly used for backend. 

Java is an object-oriented programming language primarily used for developing complex enterprise applications. JavaScript is a scripting language used for creating interactive and dynamic web pages.

The chart below shows some leading industries where Java is used prominently:

Graph showing the distribution of industries using Java

4. C#

C# or C-Sharp, is a general purpose, object-oriented programming language that was developed by Microsoft Engineer Anders Hejlsberg in 2000.

It is built on top of the .NET framework and is mainly used to develop Windows desktop apps, games such as Unity and cloud-based services.

Some standout features of C# include its ability to reuse components for faster development and its flexible, bug-free data types. C# has a wide range of components that can easily boost any project.

C# consistently remains among the top 5 popular programming languages since the past few years, with 27.6% programmers reporting to use it regularly in 2023.

Moreover, it has an automatic garbage collection which ensures that the system does not stall during execution time.

Its cross-platform ability, coupled with a strong memory backup have given C# an edge over languages such as C, C++.

Besides, C# is quite in-demand and ranks fifth in the most demanded skills by employers:

Graph showing most popular technologies on DevSkiller, with C Sharp being on 5th position

5. C++

A general purpose, cross-platform language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1985, C++ is a popular choice for game development.

Angry Birds, Counter Strike, Word of Warcraft and StarCraft are some of the most popular games built using C++.

C++ is a multi-paradigm language, which includes logic, structure, and procedure of the program.

This makes it a favorite choice for database tools like MongoDB and MySQL, which are utilized extensively by Adobe, Google, YouTube, Netflix etc.

In fact, web browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Safari incorporate C++ in their code structure.

It is used to develop back-end services that fetch data stored in databases and render code into interactive web pages.

Below are some leading companies that have C++ as part of their tech stack:

Image collage showing top companies that use C++

6. PHP

PHP, an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor, was created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994.

It is an open-source, server-side scripting language mainly used for web development.

PHP is particularly popular for building dynamic web pages and web applications.

WordPress, one of the most widely-used content management systems, is also built on top of PHP.

PHP continues to be a prominent language due to its extensive use in the web development community.

Besides WordPress, it is used in other content management systems such as Drupal and Joomla.

Similarly, e-commerce websites like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce make use of PHP to power their online stores.

With features like easy integration with HTML and support for various databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL, PHP remains relevant in powering a significant portion of the internet.

It is also quite in-demand in 2024, with the average developer making over $100,000 annually.

Google trends graph showing the interest over time in the search query 'PHP' in the US in the last 12 months

7. Dart

Dart was designed by Google Engineers Lars Bak and Kasper Lund in October 2011.

However, it was until 2017 when Dart started gaining popularity when Flutter, a mobile app development framework built using Dart, was released. 

It has an easy to learn syntax, especially for developers with a Java or JavaScript background.

However, its true power lies in its integration with Flutter, a UI toolkit for building cross-platform mobile, web, and desktop apps using a single codebase. 

Flutter's hot reload feature allows developers to quickly iterate and see changes in real-time, speeding up the development process.

Moreover, Flutter's rich set of pre-designed widgets and extensive documentation make it ideal for building beautiful and responsive user interfaces.

Since the past 3 years, Flutter has overtaken React Native as the favorite framework for cross-platform mobile app development:

Graph showing the most popular mobile app development frameworks, with Flutter being on fifth position

With Flutter's growing popularity among developers and its ability to deliver high-performance, cross-platform applications, Dart has emerged as a promising language for mobile app developers in 2024.

8. Rust

Rust, created by Mozilla in 2010, is a systems programming language designed for safety and concurrency.

With its emphasis on memory safety and zero-cost abstractions, Rust offers developers the performance of low-level languages like C and C++ without sacrificing safety and ease of use.

Rust's unique ownership model and strict compiler checks help prevent common programming errors like null pointer dereferencing and data races, making it particularly well-suited for systems programming tasks such as operating systems, game engines, and web servers.

Its growing adoption by companies like Dropbox, npm, and Microsoft underscores its potential as a language for building reliable and efficient software.

Even the developer community is showing increased interest in Rust, as evident by Stack Overflow Developer survey results over the years:

Graph showing the increasing number of using and wanting to use Rust since 2019

9. Go

Go, also known as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled programming language developed by Google in 2007.

Designed for simplicity and efficiency, Go aims to offer the performance of a statically typed language with the ease of use of a dynamically typed language.

With built-in support for concurrency through goroutines and channels, Go is well-suited for building scalable and concurrent applications, particularly in the distributed systems and cloud computing.

Its straightforward syntax, fast compilation times, and extensive standard library make it an attractive choice for developers working on projects ranging from microservices to web servers.

Google trends graph showing the interest over time in the search query 'GO' in the US in the last 12 months

10. Kotlin

Kotlin, introduced by JetBrains in 2011, is a statically typed programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Initially developed as a more modern alternative to Java for Android app development, Kotlin has since gained traction as a versatile language for building server-side applications, web applications, and desktop applications:

Graph showing the uses of Kotlin in Android, backend, SDK and other development purposes

With its interoperability with Java and concise syntax, Kotlin offers developers increased productivity and readability compared to traditional Java development.

Kotlin is officially supported by Google as a first-class language for Android development further, making it a valuable skill for mobile and backend developers alike.

In a Nutshell

Whether it's web development, mobile app development, data science or game development, there's a language tailored to meet the demands of modern software development.

Depending on your career goals, you can learn new languages easily, even if you don't have a programming background. With so many online courses, bootcamps and free resources, it's very easy to start a career in tech today.

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