Home Business There are hundreds of programming languages. Which are the most in demand in 2024?

There are hundreds of programming languages. Which are the most in demand in 2024?

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There are hundreds of programming languages. Which are the most in demand in 2024?

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Like spoken languages, there are hundreds of programming languages out there. Some are used by millions each day—others have fallen in popularity while others wait in the wings for their time to shine.

Earlier this century, PHP was one of the most widely known programming languages. But today, faster and more efficient languages have overtaken it. 

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Among professional developers today, JavaScript is generally considered the most popular. The language has topped Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey as the most widely used for close to a decade. The most recent rendition found that 65.82% of professional developers used the programming language—with HTML/CSS, SQL, Python, and TypeScript rounding out the top five.

Data from GitHub is similar. JavaScript, Python, TypeScript, Java, and C# were the most used on its platform in 2023. 

But with rapidly technological advances, the half-life of skills—meaning the time it takes for half the knowledge to be useless—is decreasing, creating an increased need for upskilling. Luckily, there are a number of ways to gain these skills—whether from an advanced degree, bootcamp, or certification program. But, determining which programming language path to go down can be tricky.

What programming languages are the most in-demand?

Based on the usage data, many programming languages are in demand and popular, including JavaScript, Python, TypeScript, HTML/CSS, Java, C#, and more

Coding language Relevant fields GitHub usage (2023) Stack OverFlow – % of professional developer usage (2023)
JavaScript Web, software development ~5.8 million 65.82%
Python Data, AI, machine learning ~5.2 million 45.32%
TypeScript Software development (subset of JavaScript) ~3.4 million 43.75%
C# Web, software development ~1.8 million 29.16%

But that’s not to say they will be tomorrow. The coding languages that experienced the most growth in 2023, according to GitHub’s research, included:

“Both Rust and Lua are notable for their memory safety and efficiency—and both can be used for systems and embedded systems programming, which can be attributed to their growth,” the report states.

Stack Overflow’s research finds that HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Python are the leading languages among individuals “learning to code.”

Python is the programming language with the biggest demand, in the opinion of Thai Le, an associate professor of computer and information science at the University of Mississippi. His area of expertise includes the study of machine learning and natural language processing.

“Python is quite intuitive, and I think it’s easier to learn,” Le says. “And then if you use Python, you can do a lot of things not only—traditional computer science stuff, but also you can do a lot of data science projects using Python as well.”

Many top tech companies, such as Meta and Google, use Python to develop machine learning and AI platforms, he notes.

Go, a programming language designed by Google, is also growing in popularity and importance, says Li, because of its ability to help create swift and accurate learning models.

Which programming language is best?

Again, like spoken languages, picking a programming language to learn should be based on your interests and career aspirations. If you are looking to become a web developer, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript will be important. If becoming a data scientist or data analyst is more enticing, then Python, SQL, and R are key. Software developers may use C#, C++, or Java more often. Others in the tech arena may use Ruby, Kotlin, or Shell.

In the world of programming, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer as to the best or most important language. However, having the basic knowledge in some of the easier-to-learn programming languages like Java, Python, or Scratch may help build a foundation.

As AI becomes smarter and easier to use, computer programming is likely to look much different in the coming years—with the technology helping to automate processes, detect problems, and even propose solutions. And while AI isn’t likely to completely replace programmers any time soon, increased attention will be placed on more complicated tasks—thus emphasizing the need to master in-demand languages.

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