The IT industry, particularly the software development sector, differs from most other business areas in its growth dynamism and innovation speed. It can be clearly seen in the diversity of methods and approaches of interaction between software engineers and machines, which is embodied in the multitude of existing programming languages, their specificity, and the pool of tasks for which they are designed.
Without special knowledge and competent advice, attempting to understand their variety may lead to confusion. And it is especially critical when the challenges facing your business need you to make responsible and rapid decisions.
In this article, we’ll discuss what are the most popular programming languages at the moment and compile a kind of top 10 from Academy Smart. We hope that the format with a minimum of technical information and focus on the areas of application of a particular programming language helps you understand what kind of specialists you need to work on your project in the future.
TOP-10 best programming languages by popularity
Currently, about 600 programming languages are used to implement various economic, production, and business technologies. Of course, such diversity is not only due to market needs. On the contrary, a creative search for the best solution plays a significant role here, which allows achieving the results faster, easier, and more elegant, of course, in terms of code size and purity as well as consumption of used computational power.
There are various approaches to ranking programming languages’ popularity. Large communities of professional programmers, such as GitHub and TIOBE, and scientific and even governmental organizations have ratings based on industry analysis. They take into account many factors, including the scope of the language, the cost of development, programmer preferences, the dynamics of language learning, etc. However, it is noticeable that they are aimed more at the developer audience, representing trends in their professional field, as we detail in our review of the Top 15 Highest Paying Software Jobs In 2023.
Creating our list of top programming languages, we decided to shift the focus from the industry’s dynamics to the prevalence of technology in the world around us. In other words, on the things that require programs written in one programming language or another.
Agree that the wider the area of language application is and the more consumers it covers, the more popular it is with software developers and, of course, with its customers. And it does not matter how futuristic the technology is or how old the programming language that brought it into reality is too if millions of people use it on hundreds of thousands of devices daily. As we think, it is a simple idea and an understandable basis for a practical rating, in which you will find something that is guaranteed to work now and is likely to be helpful for you as well.
The list of popular programming languages, which we will look at below, will include those that are particularly in demand in 2023:
- HTML & CSS;
By getting to grips with it, you’ll see why, in most cases, some of them will indeed be chosen as the basis of the technology stack for your project. You will also learn what software developers’ specializations will require to create your project. And finally, once you understand what you need, you can order the services of these specialists at Academy Smart.
Top computer languages for custom software development in 2023
The main advantages of JS programming are quick and easy coding, the broadest functionality of the mature language, and a wide variety of libraries and development environments for specific tasks.
Coding tools & platforms
Let’s note that the language is actively being improved. Wonderful tools and frameworks have been created on the foundation of JS to optimize the coding process for specific needs. They are currently at the forefront of developing complex and feature-rich mobile, desktop, and cloud applications.
- AngularJS – framework for building dynamic single-page applications;
- Vue.JS – progressive framework for optimizing the development of SPA applications;
- Ember.js – framework for creating scalable single-page web applications;
- Node.JS – framework for the development of server applications;
- Express.JS – back-end development platform, compatible with SQL databases;
- Next.JS – framework for Jamstack developing and creation of server applications;
- React Native – framework for cross-platform front-end development;
- Backbone.js – library for SPA and client software creation;
- jQuery – library for the event, CSS animation, and Ajax management;
- React.JS – library for creating desktop and mobile user interfaces (UI);
- Ajax and Comet – specific browser algorithms to optimize the speed of web page loading and data exchange.
- US – $110,000 per year;
- Western Europe – $70,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $45,000 per year.
2. HTML & CSS
Strictly speaking, technologies that take 2nd place in our rating are not programming languages. However, many people perceive them that way, and they are used directly with popular coding languages. This pair of perfect tools for creating web pages and online applications is the hypertextual markup language HTML and cascading style sheets CSS. The combination of data structuring that HTML provides and their design with style sheets is the optimal basis for cross-platform front-end development of any websites and mobile applications of varying complexity now.
HTML as a primary user interface and embedded JS script for calculation of factorial function
HTML & CSS usage
The primary purpose of HTML is to organize and type interface data. It is used to mark up semantics (paragraphs, headings, quotations, lists, links, tables, etc.), multimedia (images, videos), and service objects (buttons, forms, etc.). The modern HTML 5 standard perfectly supports interactive page elements and multimedia integration to create engaging interfaces.
CSS tables are used to visually design page elements that have been marked up in HTML. They help position, shape, size, and color the page elements, including various special effects like shading or stroke. The modern standard CSS 3 is a potent and flexible tool for creating the interface’s appearance.
The combination of HTML and CSS is practically universal, and they can be used to create an adaptive design for pages of any complexity. It’s easy to see this by observing the many web pages and mobile apps built with them daily.
HTML & CSS specification
You may find comprehensive information about the current HTML standards in the documentation of W3C and WhatWG organizations. The W3C specification represents the current standards for Cascading Style Sheets.
Coding tools & platforms
- Bootstrap offers a collection of pre-built responsive components and styles, making creating modern and mobile-friendly websites easy.
- Foundation provides a responsive grid system, UI components, templates, flexibility, and customization options to build websites tailored to specific needs.
- Bulma is a lightweight CSS framework known for its simplicity, ease of use, and modular approach, making it convenient to build responsive layouts.
- Material-UI provides ready-to-use React components with a modern and visually appealing design language.
- Tailwind CSS is gaining popularity for its utility-first approach, giving a wide range of pre-defined utility classes that can be used to style HTML elements quickly.
- Semantic UI focuses on intuitive and human-friendly class names and offers comprehensive UI components and layouts samples.
- US – $80,000 per year;
- Western Europe – $50,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $35,000 per year.
Python is one of the most popular coding languages, which many developers consider universal due to its applicability in many industries, including the innovative. Although it appeared in the 80s of the last century, during its evolution, it has significantly surpassed such powerful competitors as Java and C in prevalence and demand among programmers today.
The implementation of a factorial function in Python
It is a free, open-source programming language with an extensive active community and many libraries and frameworks for various technical tasks. It is compatible with well-known programming languages, such as C++, and integrates easily with third-party plugins, web services, data structures, and desktop GUI applications. At the same time, its syntax is based on English, and it is a relatively easy code language to learn. So Python is popular as both a primary and an additional programming language among both beginners and experienced programmers with a long experience.
To appreciate how flexible and versatile language is, note that Python is actively used to create API, develop server systems, parsers, scanners, 2D-image packages, and 3D animation. It is also in demand for creating websites, web and desktop applications, data analysis systems, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Python is used by developers of many well-known online services such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube and by GameDev employees for their famous video games (Eve Onlive, Civilization IV, or Battlefield, for example). Python is used to run computational applications such as Abacus, FreeCAD, and to create scripts in Autodesk, Blender, and many other programs.
The current version of the Python language specification is available on the documentation page.
Coding tools & platforms
Additional technologies related to Python coding:
- Django – framework for creating complex programs and applications;
- Flask – framework for additional flexibility in working with databases and plugins;
- CherryPy – framework for rapid development of web applications;
- TensorFlow – library for computing and plotting neural networks and deep learning;
- Pandas – library for modeling and data analysis.
The scope of Python is as diverse as the salaries of programmers in various sectors of the economy. On an average year, a Python developer can earn the following:
- US – $100,000;
- Western Europe – $70,000;
- Eastern Europe – $33,000.
SQL is a rather old declarative programming language whose sole purpose is to manage data in relational databases of various sites and applications.
The implementation of a factorial function in SQL
SQL was created specifically as a tool for creating, modifying and managing data, aimed at the average user. However, over time, given many additional tools and regulatory requirements, SQL has become a specific programming language.
Judging by its prevalence and demand, SQL is currently the best in its class. Compared with competitors, it provides more rapid and accessible data processing and integrity. SQL programming is ubiquitous in developing web applications, online stores, and data warehouses managed by various DBMS.
Certain difficulties with SQL also exist. It is quite slow, especially with large amounts of data. It is no secret that developers of database management systems rarely adhere to recommended standards, generating a kind of SQL language dialect, making it difficult to portability of procedural declarations between them. Yes, the language itself doesn’t fully meet the requirements of the relational data model, tending to become obsolete. However, an appropriate alternative to SQL is not yet visible, so even NoSQL databases with a fundamentally different data structure are now equipped with SQL-like query languages based on it.
The most recent version of the SQL language standards is published on this page.
Coding tools & platforms
SQL is a language for interacting with relational databases, so there are no specific frameworks for it. However, various libraries and tools provide additional functionality and convenience for SQL work using other most popular programming languages. Here are some examples:
- SQLAlchemy is a widely used SQL toolkit and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) library for Python.
- Hibernate is a powerful SQL framework for Java.
- Sequelize is an ORM for Node.js that supports multiple SQL dialects, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
- Entity Framework is an ORM solution for .NET applications.
SQL developer salaries traditionally depend on the programmer’s experience and location. The average annual rates are:
- USA – $75,000;
- Western Europe – $57,000;
- Eastern Europe – $25,000.
The general-purpose programming language Java, which belongs to Oracle Corporation, is still stably positioned in the top, being the industry standard in the field of developing cross-platform applications for a variety of devices.
The implementation of a factorial function in Java
Java is used to develop high-performance cross-platform software, web and mobile apps, and client-server applications. Java is often used to create technical systems for the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning. Java is also well-known as a platform for developing mobile and console games.
A key feature of Java is its Virtual Machine (VMJ) usage paradigm. It allows the program code execution on any device, regardless of the hardware and operating system type, if a VMJ for such a device exists. Of course, programmers and their customers greatly appreciated the practical ability to transfer once-written code to other devices without the expense of later adaptation. Today, more than 3 billion devices are running programs written in Java, and the number is constantly growing.
Even though many specialized Java programming tools are available on a paid basis and the language itself requires some effort to learn, the Java developer community is one of the largest and most active in the IT industry. Experienced Java programmers are in high demand.
Among the disadvantages that somewhat limit Java usage is quite complex code that requires more programming time and memory, so Java is more often used on the server side rather than the interface. In addition, there are better choices than Java for cloud applications. Of course, the license price for specialized Java development tools will also have to be included in the cost estimate when creating software based on it.
The current version of Java programming documentation can be found on the Oracle company website.
Coding tools & platforms
Technologies that are often used in conjunction with the Java language:
- Spring – framework for creating secure, cross-platform enterprise web applications;
- Spark – framework for working with data science, data engineering, and machine learning;
- Hibernate – library for easy operation with SQL databases;
- Jackson – library for data processing.
The earnings of a Java developer depend on the programmer’s qualifications, the sphere of his realization, and location. On average, Java coders earn the following:
- US – $110,000 per year;
- Western Europe – $89,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $50,000 per year.
Solid skills in top computer programming languages, which we have already reviewed by this time, are a must-have experience for companies providing custom software development services. You may see how proficient Academy Smart programmers are at it.
The implementation of a factorial function in TypeScript
The primary usage TypeScript founds in the developing and upgrading of cross-platform front-end stack for mobile applications, interfaces of desktop and web applications based on JS, as well as their back-end. It is one of the best solutions for large-scale web projects now. That’s why TypeScript is increasingly popular with full-stack developers. TypeScript is also being used more and more for scripting in DevOps.
The language, in all senses, is good and promising, but it requires a certain level of professionalism to apply its tools as effectively as possible.
TypeScript documentation for developers is available on the project website.
Coding tools & platforms
Technologies that help TypeScript coding:
- Angular – framework for integration with HTML and CSS when developing websites and web applications for PCs and mobile devices;
- Svelte – compiler framework to create high-performance web applications;
- Deno – runtime environment for debugging package management and server security;
- Aurelia – modules suite for component development.
The skill of mastering TypeScript increases the advantages of a JS developer in the labor market significantly and raises the income bar:
- US – $120,000 per year;
- Western Europe – $85,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $65,000 per year.
Microsoft developed C# as an applied development language for the .NET Framework, devoid of its predecessor’s weaknesses, C. For this reason, C# is one of the best and in-demand tools for creating a server and desktop Windows operating system applications. However, like other C-like languages, C Sharp can be used on different platforms and operational systems. That’s why it is often employed to create utility software for embedded devices such as IoT and develop mobile applications for iOS and Android.
The implementation of a factorial function in C#
C Sharp usage
Programmers use C Sharp most often as a part of back-end technologies for web-based and cloud-based applications (Azure), data processing, and DevOps. C# is widely applied in game development on the Unity platform and for machine learning and artificial intelligence tasks.
Among the main advantages of C# are computational speed and usage simplicity, good interoperability with code in other languages, and convenient scalability.
On the other hand, the dependence on the .Net environment limits the flexibility and applicability of this technology with few compatible stacks.
Complete documentation for C# development is available on the Microsoft website.
Coding tools & platforms
The main related C# technologies:
- ASP.NET – framework for building web apps and services;
- Accord.NET – machine learning platform;
- LINQ – relational database component.
C-Sharp programming skills are rated on average:
- US – $93.000 per year;
- Western Europe – $68,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $51,000 per year.
C++ is an extended version of one of the oldest programming languages, C, used today to develop various applications. Despite its venerable age, C++ is not about to leave the programming languages popularity trends, as it provides developers with superior control over executable code and its cross-platform portability.
The implementation of a factorial function in C++
Most often, this programming language is used to code operating system kernels, application programs for embedded devices (for example, IoT or smart clock), client-server and desktop applications, and software products with a large amount of graphics, for instance, in video games. C++ is also often used for neural networks and machine learning, especially when computational speed and efficient resource consumption are required.
Particular attention of developers to C++ is due to its remarkable ability to combine the properties of high-level and low-level languages and perform procedural, object-oriented, and generalized programming in one language environment. In addition, C++ allows flexible and efficient memory usage control, making this language very popular in cases where high performance is critical. Moreover, the language is constantly evolving, updating, and extending standards and has many implementations for different platforms, both paid and free. Naturally, C++ is in many ways compatible with its predecessor C, although their application fields are usually slightly different.
The relative disadvantages of C++ are the complexity of its syntax and larger code size, as well as the high labor intensity of programming. Coding in C++ is not suitable for some devices with little memory. It is known that negligence in the code can make a program unportable to another platform, at least until it is eliminated. Specific security issues also stem from the C++ data type logic itself. Anyway, the programmer’s qualifications and knowledge of modern methods and libraries minimize the impact of these harmful factors.
Current C++ development standards are set out in the ISO/IEC documentation.
Coding tools & platforms
Technologies extending and supplementing the capabilities of the C++ programming environment:
- Qt/QML – a framework for creating cross-platform applications;
- Juce – cross-platform toolkit for developing GUI applications and plug-ins;
- Cinder – library for generating images;
- Microsoft LightGBM – gradient enhancement tools for machine learning;
- OpenCV – library of computer vision and machine learning algorithms.
Experience, industry, and location significantly affect the income of C++ programmers, although the average annual wage rates for these specialists remain consistently high:
- US – $98.000;
- Western Europe – $65,000;
- Eastern Europe – $48,000.
A decent place in our programming language ranking is occupied by PHP, which in its better days held the first place in terms of demand. Even today, despite less interest, PHP is one of the leading development tools for web pages. And it is not surprising. The PHP evolution went hand in hand with the Internet expansion. And about 80% of all sites on the web are running on this technology now.
The implementation of a factorial function in PHP
PHP is used in back-end scripting for static and interactive web pages, applications, and e-commerce platforms, as well as Content Management Systems (CMS) and some console applications.
The main advantages of PHP are flexibility and simplicity of syntax, compatibility with different types of databases, and portability to different platforms. Like any other developed language, there are ready-made comprehensive frameworks and content libraries for coding in PHP. Given the prevalence of this technology and the relatively low cost of its implementation, the choice in favor of PHP is still a cost-effective solution.
However, PHP’s influence is gradually narrowing in favor of more modern technologies. PHP scripting loses out to competing back-end solutions in terms of security and execution speed. Therefore, we note that for massive web applications, it is no longer suitable.
The current version of the PHP language documentation is located here.
Coding tools & platforms
The main accompanying technologies:
- Laravel – open-source web framework for development using the MVC architectural model;
- Symphony – framework for rapid creation and management of web applications;
- Yii – framework for developing large-scale web applications using the MVC model;
- PHPUnit – library for unit testing of web applications.
In addition to the fact that this technology is gradually giving way to more modern and advanced solutions in the field of web development, the average salary of a PHP developer is also relatively lower:
- US – $88,000 per year;
- Western Europe – $44,000 per year;
- Eastern Europe – $30,000 per year.
Golang, or Go, is one of the youngest programming languages, which quickly became popular due to its ease of use and ability to solve the most complex computational problems.
The implementation of a factorial function in Golang
Often, Go is used in creating software for embedded or back-end systems, as well as for DevOps. However, recently high speed of execution of programs in Golang has been in demand in data science, artificial intelligence, and even GameDev.
Google originally developed the language to benefit its large software projects, so it is based on concise and transparent code that improves program execution speed and security. Its simplicity has found an efficient application in network and multi-core systems on various platforms and in the environment of cloud technologies.
Following a minimalist philosophy, the language lacks some tools that could make Go programming more flexible. Of course, being a comparatively new tool, Golang doesn’t have such a wide set of complex frameworks and libraries yet as more mature programming languages. Despite this, Golang is growing dynamically, as is the need for developers proficient in it.
This page provides comprehensive information about Go standards and programming.
Coding tools & platforms
Among the technologies associated with Go are:
- Fiber – framework for developing Web applications;
- Echo – high-performance framework for web development;
- Go-kit – the standard library of microservices;
- GORM – relational database library.
A highly qualified Golang Software Engineer today is a specialist in demand on the market, and therefore the average annual income of such a programmer is quite high:
- USA – $120,000;
- Western Europe – $70,000;
- Eastern Europe – $55,000.
Academy Smart programming cases
That is the list of top-10 computer programming languages in 2023 from the viewpoint of Academy Smart. Of course, it only covers some current technologies, and we intentionally limited our review to the most universal and popular today.
As you can see, it contains both time-tested languages and relatively young and promising development tools. Now you better understand in which situations they are usually used and can roughly estimate the tools that can be used specifically in your case.
Programming languages that are gaining popularity in 2023
In 2023 many excellent, valuable and modern tools for high-quality coding are available to you, which today can already compete with the most popular programming languages discussed above when solving particular engineering tasks.
The implementation of a factorial function in Dart
One of the main strengths of Dart is its ability to compile into highly optimized native code. It allows Dart applications to achieve excellent performance and efficiency. Dart also can execute just-in-time (JIT) compilation during development, which enables fast iteration and a smooth development experience.
Programmers usually use it for web, mobile, and desktop development. It is mainly known for associating with the Flutter framework to create native-like mobile and web applications. Additionally, with frameworks like Aqueduct and Angel, Dart can be used for server-side development.
Kotlin is a statically-typed programming language that runs on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Developed by JetBrains, it is designed to be interoperable with Java and has a more concise and expressive syntax while maintaining compatibility with existing Java codebases.
The implementation of a factorial function in Kotlin
Kotlin provides a range of features that enhance developer productivity and improve code quality. It supports object-oriented and functional programming paradigms and offers features such as null safety, smart casts, extension functions, and lambda expressions. These features help reduce common programming errors and allow developers to write more concise and readable code.
Kotlin is widely used for Android app development, offering excellent tooling and integration with the Android ecosystem. It gives enhanced APIs and language features that simplify everyday Android development tasks, resulting in more efficient and less error-prone code. Kotlin’s adoption by Google as an officially supported language for Android development has further boosted its popularity.
Swift is another modern, multi-paradigm programming language developed by Apple for building iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS platforms applications. It was designed to be safe, fast, and expressive, focusing on developer productivity and ease of use.
The implementation of a factorial function in Swift
Swift combines features from various programming languages to be powerful and intuitive. It includes powerful syntax constructs such as optionals, closures, generics, and type inference, which help developers write clean and efficient code. It seamlessly integrates with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, enabling developers to build rich, interactive user interfaces. Swift also benefits from Apple’s extensive development tools and libraries, including Xcode or Interface Builder.
One of the critical strengths of Swift is its safety features. The language is good for preventing common programming errors and creating robust code. It incorporates concepts like type safety, optionals to handle nil values, and automatic memory management using ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) for building more reliable and bug-free applications.
How to choose the best programming language to learn?
Becoming a good programmer is not easy. Note that knowing what is the most popular coding language is not enough to guarantee a successful career in the future. In addition to syntax and language standards, you will have to strengthen your knowledge of mathematics, logic, algorithms, statistics, and other things. If you are serious about learning a programming language, it is also important to consider the following three essential points:
- You have to determine your purpose for learning programming and your specific goals. Are you interested in web development, mobile app creation, data analysis, machine learning, or something else? Choosing the right and exciting area for you to apply your efforts will inspire your further professional growth.
- You should assess the availability of learning resources, online communities, and developer support for the programming language you’re considering. Active community means more learning materials, tutorials, forums, and libraries to assist you. It also provides opportunities to engage with fellow learners and experienced developers, allowing you to seek guidance and learn from others.
How to choose the best programming language for your project?
If you carefully read the material in this article, you might have noticed that, at the moment, there is no universal coding language capable of solving various problems equally effectively. Each of them has some advantages that define its area of best use and certain limitations that do not allow specific tasks to be performed at the expected level.
That is why choosing a technology for your project based only on the fact that it is among the top programming languages is a decision with dubious prospects. And not even because it may be a priori impossible to do. But first of all, it could be done better, easier, and cheaper by other tools intended for this purpose.
To select the best programming languages for your software product, you need to be an expert in information technology. Only a specialist can critically review the project specification, find problem areas and offer an optimal engineering solution based on the business goals of the software, its infrastructure, and the parameters of user devices. If you do not have enough competence in these matters, it is definitely better to entrust the choice of a technology stack to professionals.
Undoubtedly, Academy Smart may help you with the technical evaluation of your project, choosing the best tech stack, and providing experienced and knowledgeable programmers for development. Our long-term experience in custom software development as an outsourcing company and the work of our employees as programmers-outstaffers in various third-party projects allow us to sensitively and deliberately balance out the time-proven and most up-to-date technologies. Get in touch with our team, and we’ll turn the power of our skills into your profit.
TOP computer languages: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular coding language in 2023?
What are the newest programming languages?
What are the programming language trends in 2023?