Becoming a programmer might be the hottest career choice right now.
Programming jobs can pay three times more than the combined average for all professions in the U.S. Plus, the programming market is booming, with the number of jobs projected to grow by one-fifth by 2028.
When all that is considered, it’s no wonder many people are eager to learn a programming language and enter the fray. The issue is that there are so many language choices. Also, programming doesn’t represent a single line of occupation. Instead, various software, businesses, and job roles require different languages.
If you’re interested in learning a programming language, this article will provide some much-needed assistance. We’ll give a breakdown of the most widely used options and help you find the most popular programming language, in general and relative to specific branches of programming.
- Determining the Most Popular Programming Language
- Most Popular Languages by Frequency of Use
- Most Popular Languages by Demand
- Most Beloved Programming Languages
- Most Popular Languages by Profession
- Top Programming Languages for CV Engineers
- Top Programming Languages for DevOps Engineers
- Top Programming Languages for Cloud Engineers
- Top Programming Languages for Software Engineers
- Top Programming Languages for Back-End Developers
- Top Programming Languages for Data Scientists
- Top Programming Languages for Full-Stack Developers
- Top Programming Languages for Front-End Developers
- Top Programming Languages for UX Designers
- Top Programming Languages for BI Analysts
- What Programming Language Is the Most Popular?
Determining the Most Popular Programming Language
Finding the most popular programming language is more complex than listing the biggest names in the industry.
Some programming languages are popular because they’re used often. Others might be in high demand on the job market. And some languages may be more beloved by developers than the rest due to their convenience.
Finally, specific programming languages are popular because they achieve a particular purpose or serve best in one branch of programming.
Let’s look at the most popular programming language in each category.
Most Popular Languages by Frequency of Use
In terms of how much they’re used overall, the most popular programming languages right now include:
- The C language family (C, C++, C#)
This should come as no surprise to anyone even vaguely familiar with programming.
C represents one of the longest-standing programming languages. It’s been used since the 1970s, so this language is prevalent.
Python is an IT and AI programming staple. The development in these areas has been massive in the past couple of decades, so Python use has experienced considerable growth.
Java has been used in numerous industries since its inception. The language is highly favored for desktop and mobile applications, especially for big data.
Most Popular Languages by Demand
The list of most popular languages by demand can change depending on current market circumstances. As certain areas of programming experience more development, languages used in those areas will naturally be in higher demand.
Similarly, some competing programming languages might surpass others in functionality and create a shift in demand that way.
In 2022, the market had the most demand for experts in the following languages:
- Visual Basic
- Objective C
It’s worth mentioning that most of the programming languages listed here have been in demand for years. List leaders are highly versatile languages, as might be expected. In contrast, more specialized options like SQL, R, and Objective C are located further down the list.
Most Beloved Programming Languages
The list of most beloved programming languages is quite different from other lists here. The reason is that the entries consist of languages developers love working with. However, the languages might not be as commercially useful or needed in the job market as others.
This list is compiled according to the annual survey done by Stack Overflow. The survey is quite extensive, and the question of the most beloved language had nearly 71,500 responses with the following results:
As you can see, several of the most used and demanded programming languages didn’t make the top 10 on this list. This shows how different programming languages are when looked at from another angle.
The list of the most beloved languages is fascinating compared to languages that programmers would want to learn next. That information is based on the same Stack Overflow source:
Obviously, there are certain languages like Rust, TypeScript, and Python that rank highly on both lists. In other words, developers who use them love working in those languages, and those who aren’t using them yet would like to learn.
Most Popular Languages by Profession
Here our subject goes beyond merely listing popular languages. Instead, we look at the essential aspect of programming languages: What do you need them for?
You’ll be interested in different programming languages depending on your desired line of work. Likewise, each category will have several languages most popular among employers and users.
To organize this section, we’ll take the top 10 jobs in programming and see which languages dominate each of those jobs. Arranged by salary height, the leading programming work positions are:
- CV engineer
- DevOps engineer
- Cloud engineer
- Software engineer
- Back-end developer
- Data scientist
- Full-stack developer
- Front-end developer
- UX designer
- BI analyst
Top Programming Languages for CV Engineers
CV stands for “computer vision,” although that doesn’t really explain what a CV engineer does.
In essence, CV engineers are involved in AI analytics and machine learning. Data analysis is a crucial part of this profession, as is finding patterns in the data.
Python is the leading programming language among CV engineers, but knowing only that language likely won’t be enough. Depending on your area of work, you’ll probably need to get familiar with, for instance, network or mobile-oriented languages.
Top Programming Languages for DevOps Engineers
DevOps engineers build systems for businesses to improve their operations. At the same time, DevOps are partially responsible for customer experience.
Some primary jobs for a DevOps engineer include production error analysis, building company-specific tools for more efficient operations, updating systems, and integrating third-party tools.
DevOps engineers will need to be proficient in several languages, including:
Bash, PowerShell, and Groovy will be more situationally useful: Bash for Linux shell scripting, PowerShell for Windows servers, and Groovy for writing Jenkins pipelines.
Top Programming Languages for Cloud Engineers
The main job of a cloud engineer is to create and implement cloud policies for organizations. This can involve many duties – cloud engineers regularly migrate applications to the cloud or create new ones, deal with debugging, manage data storage, and provide cloud support.
Since there’s plenty of application development in a cloud engineer’s job, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that several crucial languages will match with those used by DevOps engineers:
Again, Python will be the basis of a cloud engineer’s toolset and will be significantly complemented by Go. Java represents a good choice since it’s not platform-dependent and offers relatively easy coding. Ruby is practically made for use with web applications, making it seamless to deploy on cloud-based systems. Finally, ASP.NET features excellent integration options, as well as increased functionality.
Top Programming Languages for Software Engineers
Software engineers are, as the name implies, responsible for developing new software. A software engineer’s job usually includes installation, testing, troubleshooting, and overall software management.
Software engineers utilize some general-purpose programming languages, as well as some that depend on specific platforms:
- The C programming language family
- Objective C
The C family, which includes C, C++, and C#, will be among the most powerful tools of a software engineer. The same applies to Python and Java.
Finally, the Swift and Objective C languages are designed for iOS and Mac OS application development, respectively.
Top Programming Languages for Back-End Developers
Back-end developers deal with database, application, and server technology. The most that users see of a back-end developer’s work is the functionality of a website or web-based app.
The most popular programming languages among back-end developers include:
Most of these languages are either firmly rooted in web back-end development or support that kind of functionality in addition to other features. PHP stands out as a long-standing specialized web development tool.
Top Programming Languages for Data Scientists
The job of a data scientist revolves around data gathering, reviewing, sorting, and organization. In addition to that, data scientists may need to set up crucial data infrastructure, provide data reports and visualizations, and create predictive models and machine learning algorithms.
The crucial programming languages for data scientists will include many familiar names and several new ones:
R is most useful for data analysis and visualizations, while SQL allows for structured data manipulation. Additionally, Scala deals with data engineering, and MATLAB handles computing. Finally, Julia is designed for advanced numerical analysis and computation.
Top Programming Languages for Full-Stack Developers
While a back-end developer deals with the server side and the front-end developer with the client side, a full-stack developer does both.
As you might expect, this job requires extensive knowledge of several key programming languages. These should help the developer create servers as well as build the website architecture on the front-end. Essential languages for full-stack developers include:
With this suite of programming languages, every full-stack developer should have a good basis to start a career. But learning additional languages specific for front and back-end development will only be a plus.
Top Programming Languages for Front-End Developers
Front-end developers work on the client side, which means their primary concern is to make a website user-friendly and well-designed.
Front-end developers will mostly deal with the well-known trio of languages:
These three languages will serve as tools to make any website look and feel great to navigate. Knowing additional languages doesn’t hurt but isn’t essential for this vocation.
Top Programming Languages for UX Designers
UX stands for “user experience,” which largely describes what a UX designer should do. Using market research, UX designers find new ways to make their services enjoyable, more accessible, and effective.
As a front-end profession, UX design will rely on the same tools as all user-side development:
Top Programming Languages for BI Analysts
BI or business intelligence analysts find trends and patterns in the market and use that analysis to aid the decision-making process in businesses.
A BI analyst will employ data mining, competitor data, or industry trends reviews.
Programming won’t always be a crucial part of a BI analyst’s work, but when the need arises, two languages might prove instrumental:
Python is a versatile solution for several tasks with many specific libraries for data science and analysis. Of course, R will be a powerful statistical analysis tool.
What Programming Language Is the Most Popular?
We’ve reviewed the most used, in-demand, and beloved languages, as well as those required in specific programming jobs.
So, what is the most popular programming language overall?
We’d have to say Python.
This language shows up consistently on all lists. It’s pretty easy to learn and represents possibly the most versatile solution of them all. Python can be used in back-end development and various branches of data analysis.