Programming Tech

The 20 Most Popular Programming Languages in 2023

Computer programming used to be a mysterious and exclusive world. A select few people were considered computer programmers with cutting-edge coding skills. A solid understanding of the top programming languages is essential in many IT jobs today, and yes, we mean more than one. 

Your plans for career advancement or career change may require you to master a programming language, and you may wonder which one to choose. You want to make the right choice since learning a language takes time and money.

There are several factors to keep in mind when making your decision, such as the difficulty level you are willing to tackle, the programming language knowledge you already possess that meshes well with your coding skills, or your reasons for learning a top programming language in the first place.

Learning the right programming language is essential whether you’re developing a mobile application, gaining certification, or learning new skills. In this article, you’ll learn which programming languages are in demand among employers in 2023. The details of each language, its complexity, and its use will be explained.

What is a Programming Language? 

The purpose of a programming language is to allow programmers (developers) to communicate with computers. A programming language is a set of rules that allows string values to be converted into machine code, or, in the case of visual programming languages, into graphics.

Generally, a program is a set of instructions written in a particular language (C, C++, Java, Python).

How Can I Learn the Best Programming Languages in 2023?

What is the best programming language for me to learn? Python and JavaScript are two of the most popular languages in the startup industry. Django (Python), Flask (Python), and NodeJS (JavaScript) are common Python-based backend frameworks used by startups. The best programming languages for beginners are also these languages.

The following is a list of the most popular programming languages that will be in demand in 2023.

  1. Javascript 
  2. Python 
  3. Go 
  4. Java 
  5. Kotlin 
  6. PHP 
  7. C# 
  8. Swift 
  9. R 
  10. Ruby 
  11. C and C++ 
  12. Matlab 
  13. TypeScript 
  14. Scala 
  15. SQL 
  16. HTML 
  17. CSS 
  18. NoSQL 
  19. Rust 
  20. Perl

1. Javascript

The World Wide Web relies heavily on JavaScript, a high-level programming language. The language is used by 97.8 percent of all websites as a client-side programming language. Originally developed for web browsers, JavaScript is now used for server-side website deployments and non-web browser applications as well. 

Originally known as LiveScript, Javascript was created in 1995. JavaScript, however, was promoted at the time as Java’s “younger brother.” As it evolved, JavaScript became its own language. JavaScript and Java are two different languages, although there are some similarities between them.

Many organizations use Javascript, the most popular programming language in the world. Java developers earn an average of $112,152 per year.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Skills Needed: HTML and CSS to define the content and layout of web pages
Platform: Cross-platform (desktop, mobile, web)
Popularity Among Programmers: The most popular programming language in the world
  • Easy to learn and implement
  • Used everywhere on the web
  • Can run immediately within the client-side browser
  • Reduces the demand on the website server
Downsides: Can sometimes be interpreted differently by different browsers which makes it difficult to write cross-browser code.
Degree of Use: Widely used; highly applicable
Annual Salary Projection: $112,152

2. Python

The readability of Python makes it an easy language for beginners to learn. With extensive support modules and community development, easy integration with web services, user-friendly data structures, and GUI-based desktop applications, it is a free, open-source programming language. Deep learning and machine learning applications are commonly written in this programming language. 

2D imaging and 3D animation packages like Blender, Inkscape, and Autodesk use Python. A number of popular video games have also been created using it, including Civilization IV, Vegas Trike, and Toontown. Scientific and computational applications like FreeCAD and Abacus, as well as popular websites like YouTube, Quora, Pinterest, and Instagram use Python. The average salary for Python developers is $109,092.

Level: Beginner – Python enables a beginner to become productive quickly
Skills Needed: Problem-solving, abstract thinking
Platform: Web, Desktop
Popularity Among Programmers: Becoming continuously more popular
  • Flexible
  • Naturally/Intuitively readable
  • Highly regarded official tutorials and documentation
  • Scripted as opposed to compiled
Downsides: Doesn’t start with programming basics (known to abstract too many important basic concepts)
Popularity: Becoming continuously more popular both in technical education and business uses
Degree of Use: Coding skills widely used; popular in both technical education and business use
Annual Salary Projection: $109,092

3. Go

The Go programming language was developed by Google in 2007 for APIs and web applications. Due to its simplicity, as well as its ability to handle multicore and networked systems and massive code bases, Go has become one of the fastest-growing programming languages in recent years.

The goal of Golang, also known as Go, is to meet the needs of programmers who work on large projects. The simple structure and familiar syntax have made it popular among many large IT companies. Among the companies that use Go as their programming language are Google, Uber, Twitch, Dropbox, among others. The performance and agility of Go have also made it popular among data scientists.

The average annual salary for Go developers is $141,654, but it can go as high as $261,000.

Level: Beginner to intermediate
Skills Needed: Easy to learn if you already know at least one other programming language; otherwise, you just need patience and a willingness to learn.
Platform: Cross-platform, mainly desktop
Popularity Among Programmers: Not as popular as Java or Python, but it has been increasing in popularity
  • Widely considered a “minimalist” language
  • Easy to learn
  • Transparent code
  • Compatible
  • Fast
Downsides: No generics (which means you may end up writing more code than you would in other languages); very little library support; Go developer community is not very robust or supportive
Degree of Use: Widely used, particular for Google applications (created at Google)
Annual Salary Projection: $141,654

4. Java

Today, Java is one of the most popular programming languages.

Because of its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) capabilities, this general-purpose programming language is owned by Oracle Corporation and has an object-oriented structure that makes it a standard for developing applications for all platforms (Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, etc.). Java is therefore recognized for its portability across multiple platforms, from mainframes to smartphones. Java-based applications are running on more than 3 billion devices today.

The Java programming language is widely used in the development of web applications and big data systems. Several popular websites, including Google, Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube, use Java on their backends. Numerous applications rely on it as well. There are also many new Java frameworks, including Spring, Struts, and Hibernate. There are hundreds of ways to learn Java since there are millions of Java developers worldwide. There is also an extensive online community of Java programmers that supports one another in solving problems.

Although Java is a more complex language to learn, experienced developers with Java coding skills are in high demand. Java developers earn an average of $109,225 per year.

Level: Intermediate
Skills Needed: Problem-solving, knowledge of the object-oriented structure
Platform: Web, Mobile, Desktop
Popularity Among Programmers: One of the world’s most popular; high demand
  • Regarded as a good start for learning to think like a programmer and gain coding skills
  • You’ll be able to access/manipulate the most important computer functions, like the file system, graphics, and sound for any fairly sophisticated and modern program that can run on any operating system.
Downsides: Lots of new vocabulary to learn; a higher-level language
Degree of Use: Widely used; highly applicable
Annual Salary Projection: $109,225

5. Kotlin

Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language originally developed and introduced by JetBrains in 2011. It was released in 2016 as the first version. The language supports functional programming and is interoperable with Java.

Android apps, web applications, desktop applications, and server-side applications are developed using Kotlin. It was designed to be better than Java, and people who use it are convinced it is. Kotlin is used in most Google applications. A number of companies use Kotlin as a programming language, including Coursera, Pinterest, and PostMates.

There is potential for Kotlin developers to earn up to $171,500 a year, with an average earnings of $136,000 a year.

Level: Intermediate to advanced
Skills Needed: Prior experience with programming languages, particularly Java
Platform: Web, Mobile, Desktop, Server
Popularity Among Programmers: Increasingly popular; used for Android applications
  • Less code-heavy than Java and other languages;
  • Relatively easy to adopt
  • Fully compatible with Java
Downsides: Fluctuating compilation speed; no static keyword in Kotlin
Degree of Use: Widely used; highly applicable
Annual Salary Projection: $136,000

6. PHP

The PHP programming language was created in 1990 as an open-source project. As more than 80% of websites on the Internet are built using PHP, including Facebook and Yahoo, many web developers find it essential to learn this language.

PHP is primarily used by programmers to write server-side scripts. It is also possible to write command-line scripts in this language, and high-level PHP programmers can create desktop applications in it. 

PHP is considered to be a relatively easy language for beginning developers to learn. There are several online communities dedicated to PHP professionals, making getting support and answers easy.

A PHP programmer earns on average $107,409 per year.

Level: Beginner to intermediate
Skills Needed: Simple if you have a background in programming languages, but relatively easy to learn for newcomers
Platform: Cross-platform (desktop, mobile, web)
Popularity Among Programmers: Used by nearly 80% of all active websites, so it’s very popular with web developers
  • Open-source
  • Easy to develop and may be integrated with many different tools
  • Cost effective
  • Flexible with database connectivity
Downsides: Not very secure; not well-suited for large applications; poor error-handling; cannot support a large number of apps
Degree of Use: While it’s used by the vast majority of websites, its use is declining
Annual Salary Projection: $107,409

7. C#

As Microsoft’s object-oriented programming language, C# gained fame in the 2000s. One of the most commonly used programming languages for the .NET framework is C#. According to the creator of C#Anders Hejlsberg, the language is more like C++ than Java.

As it utilizes the integrated development environment product Microsoft Visual C++, C# is the best programming language for Windows, Android, and iOS applications. In addition to Bing, Dell, Visual Studio, and MarketWatch, C# is used on the back end of several other popular websites. C# developers earn around $111,760 per year.

Level: Intermediate
Skills Needed: A basic understanding of how to write code
Platform: Cross-platform, including mobile and enterprise software applications
Popularity Among Programmers: Relatively popular, but not as popular as Java (its closest rival)
  • Fast
  • Simple to use
  • Object-oriented
  • Scalable and updateable
  • Interoperable with other codes
  • Open source
  • Extensive library
Downsides: Less flexible, as it depends on Microsoft’s .Net framework; poor x-platform GUI
Degree of Use: Used by roughly one-third of all software developers, particularly relevant for Microsoft developers
Annual Salary Projection: $111,760

8. Swift

In 2014, Apple developed Swift for Linux and Mac applications, making it one of the top ten programming languages in the TIOBE Index.

Open-source, Swift is an easy-to-learn programming language that works almost like Objective-C. It can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix, and requires fewer coding skills compared to other programming languages. A professional who develops iOS applications earns an average annual salary of around $106,652 on average. Swift is used in popular iOS apps like WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, SoundCloud, and even Flappy Bird.

Level: Beginner to intermediate
Skills Needed: Willingness to spend time reading tutorials (which are widely available); no prior experience with programming languages required
Platform: Mobile (Apple iOS apps, specifically)
Popularity Among Programmers: Gaining in popularity, especially among Apple iOS application developers
  • Relatively easy to learn
  • Clean syntax
  • Less code
  • Faster than comparable programming languages
  • Open source
Downsides: Still a young language; poor interoperability with third party tools; lacks support for earlier versions of iOS
Degree of Use: Used extensively for creating iOS apps used on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch
Annual Salary Projection: $109,652

9. R

The R language is an open-source alternative to the S language. The majority of S code runs without modification on R.

Statisticians use R applications for modeling, calculation, testing, visualization, and analysis of linear and nonlinear data. It is possible to interface with a number of databases and process both structured and unstructured data using R applications.

The learning curve for R is moderate, making it more difficult for beginners than some of the other languages discussed in this article. Like other open-source programming languages, R has an active online developer community, which is always helpful when learning new coding techniques.

Level: Intermediate
Skills Needed: Easier if you already know Javascript or Python, but it’s recommended for people with a firm grasp of mathematics
Platform: Mainly desktop
Popularity Among Programmers: Not nearly as popular as it once was, mainly due to rival language Python’s soaring popularity
  • Open source
  • Great support for managing data
  • Wide variety of packages available
  • Cross-functional with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS
  • Ideal for machine learning applications
Downsides: Objects are stored in physical memory, which can strain resources; lacks basic security; slower than Matlab or Python
Degree of Use: Widely used for analytics
Annual Salary Projection: $90,940

10. Ruby

Start with Ruby if you’re looking for a language with a relatively easy learning curve. It was developed in the 1990s to have a more human-friendly syntax while remaining flexible from the standpoint of its object-oriented architecture, which supports procedural and functional programming notation. Ruby on Rails (“RoR”) is a web-application framework implemented in Ruby. A Ruby developer boasts that the language is easy to learn and easy to write in. The attributes of Ruby have led to a large Ruby developer community and a growing interest in the language among beginners.

 Ruby developers earn an average salary of $121,000 per year.

Level: Beginner – Ruby and Ruby on Rails have evolved to become extremely popular for web developers.
Skills Needed: Problem-solving, abstract thinking (ability to visualize what application users want to see)
Platform: Web
Popularity Among Programmers: On the rise
  • Flexible
  • The syntax is considered easy to read and to write (no specialized “vocabulary” to get started)
  • Enforces good programming style


Degree of Use: Least broadly used
Annual Salary Projection: $121,070

11. C and C++

Programming languages such as C#, Java, and JavaScript all have their roots in C, one of the oldest and most popular programming languages. The C++ programming language is an enhanced version of the C programming language. There are many developers today who don’t learn C on their own, while others believe that learning C first will give them a solid foundation for learning C++. In computer science and programming, both languages are widely used. 

Applications developed in C and C++ are largely portable thanks to compilers that support a wide range of platforms. C and C++ are both considered high-performance languages. This makes them a popular choice when developing applications that have a high performance requirement, such as client/server applications, commercial products like Firefox and Adobe, and games. The average salary for C and C++ developers is $118,366 per year.

Level: C – Intermediate to Advanced

C++ – Beginner to Intermediate

Skills Needed: Problem-solving, basic computer knowledge. As C and C++ are geared toward low-level management of computer resources,  knowledge of computer functions such as memory management is beneficial.
Platform: Mobile, Desktop, Embedded
Popularity Among Programmers:
  • C – There has been a higher migration from C to C++
  • C++ – One of the world’s most popular languages
  • C – Used to learn the fundamentals of programming at the lowest (hardware) level
  • C++ – allows for a much higher “control” than other languages
  • C – Coding in C is stricter, not very beginner-friendly language, the steeper learning curve
  • C++ – A bit more challenging to pick up and become productive with than C (and even more so than Java)
Degree of Use:
  • C – One of the most widely used
  • C++ – Widely used
Annual Salary Projection: $118,366

12. Matlab

The Matlab programming language was developed by MathWorks in the mid-1980s. Scientists and engineers can use it specifically.

Matlab is used by programmers to build machine learning and deep learning applications. Data analysis, algorithm creation, image processing, and research verification can all be performed using Matlab-based programs.

Matlab is generally easier to learn than the other programming languages on our list. There is an extensive Matlab FAQ section on MathWorks’ website.

Level: Beginner
Skills Needed: Basic knowledge of programming is recommended, but not required
Platform: Mostly desktop
Popularity Among Programmers: Not as popular as Python (its closest rival), but its popularity is increasing for hardware engineering and running visualizations
  • Can be used to easily run and test algorithms
  • Easily debugged
  • Enables extensive data analysis and visualizations
  • Relatively simple to learn
Downsides: As an interpreted (vs. compiled) language, it’s relatively slow; installation files take a significant amount of space on the computer
Degree of Use: Not used extensively, outside of the science and research domains
Annual Salary Projection: $100,766

13. TypeScript

The TypeScript programming language is a newcomer to top programming language lists, but it’s making headway. The typed version of JavaScript was developed by Microsoft in 2012 for large code bases. JavaScript-based projects with typed code can be created with TypeScript in both client-side and server-side development, helping to catch errors and prevent systemic problems.

In the 2021 State of JavaScript Survey, TypeScript was named “most adopted tech.”. The average annual salary for TypeScript developers is $75,199.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Skills Needed: Basic knowledge of JavaScript required
Platform: Web
Popularity Among Programmers: Rapidly gaining popularity among programmers, especially for large-scale programs.
  • Great for large-scale projects
  • It has the fastest growing GitHub community
  • Makes JavaScript development more efficient
Downsides: You need to know JavaScript first.
Degree of Use: Gaining heavy traction among web developers
Annual Salary Projection: $75,200

14. Scala

Scala is a general-purpose, type-safe Java virtual machine language that combines the best aspects of OO and functional programming languages. The Scala programming language is ideal for reducing and eliminating bugs in large, complex applications. Both object-oriented and functional programming are supported.

It is possible for programmers to use Scala for any task that they would normally use Java to accomplish. Despite its complexity, Scala is a very flexible language. New York Times, Netflix, and Twitter are among the companies that use Scala.

The average salary of Scala developers is $127,005.

Level: Complex
Skills Needed: Basic knowledge of Java, C, C++, or Python recommended, but not required
Platform: Cross-platform
Popularity Among Programmers: Scala’s popularity has taken several hits, probably due to its complexity. It enjoys a good reputation in the fields of big data and machine learning.
  • Faster than Python
  • Ideal for data analytics
  • Highly functional
Downsides: ·       It’s very complex

·       The SBT and compiler are clunky

·       Limited developer pool

Degree of Use: Extensive use in many companies’ data engineering infrastructure, especially data processing, web development, and distributed computing.
Annual Salary Projection: $127,005

15. SQL 

The SQL language is a standard language for querying databases. Access and manipulation of database data are possible with it. SQL is a declarative language that specifies the desired results, not the steps to achieve them. A SQL query is the world’s most widely used database query language for accessing and manipulating data.

The Benefits of SQL

  • Data can be manipulated and queried quickly with SQL, a standard database query language.
  • The SQL language is widely used in many applications and environments, including web applications, data warehouses, and e-commerce sites.
  • A number of benefits are provided by SQL over other database query languages, including improved performance, better data integrity, and easier manipulation of data.

The Cons of SQL

  • Learning SQL can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with programming or database concepts.
  • The performance of SQL can be slow compared to other languages, particularly when dealing with large databases.
  • The SQL language is not well suited for complex mathematical calculations or machine learning tasks.

16. HTML 

The HTML (HyperText Markup Language) standard language is used to create web pages and applications. Web pages are created using HTML. Images, links, and other types of content can be added to your web page using HTML. Creating a basic web page with HTML is very simple; it doesn’t require much knowledge of programming.

HTML structures can embed images and other objects within the created page, such as interactive forms. Structured documents can be created by indicating structural semantics for text elements such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotations, and other objects. Elements in HTML are delineated by tags, which are enclosed in angle brackets.

Benefits of HTML

  • HTML creates well-structured, standards-compliant, easy-to-maintain and update web pages.
  • Web developers can also start with HTML, which is easy to learn.
  • It is typically used alongside CSS and JavaScript to structure and present web content.
  • It also supports multimedia and interactive content, which makes HTML5 a powerful tool for developing engaging web experiences.
  • HTML5 includes new features such as video and audio elements, local storage, and 2D/3D graphics. This new version of HTML is designed to be more user-friendly and efficient than previous versions.

Cons of HTML

HTML has a few potential drawbacks as a web development language.

  • HTML is a markup language, so it is less expressive than programming languages like JavaScript or PHP, so designing complex web applications or pages can be more challenging.
  • Web developers must also encode any user input carefully to prevent security vulnerabilities since HTML is not a very secure language. 
  • Lastly, HTML can be quite challenging for newcomers to learn since it has a lot of different elements and syntax rules.

17. CSS 

The CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) language describes how a markup-based page is displayed. HTML or XML can be controlled by a style sheet, which is a set of rules for web browsers.

A CSS stylesheet is used to style all HTML tags, including the body of a document, headings, paragraphs, and other text elements. Grid components, table elements, and pictures are displayed 

CSS Benefits

  • HTML tags are styled with CSS, including the body of the document, headings, paragraphs, and other elements. It is also possible to style table components, grid elements, and images with CSS.
  • CSS is used by web developers to create websites that are responsive and accessible. The CSS language can make it easier for web developers to develop websites that look good on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. 
  • It is also possible to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities by using CSS.
  • It is easy to learn and use CSS. CSS is easily learnt online, and anyone can use it to style their website.

CSS Con 

  • It can be difficult to debug CSS. The source of a CSS error can be difficult to locate when there is an error in the file.
  • It can also be time-consuming to write. The process of creating and maintaining CSS files can take a lot of time.

It is important to note that CSS is a powerful tool that can be used to style web documents. To use it effectively, however, it is imperative to know the potential drawbacks.

18. NoSQL 

Non-relational databases such as NoSQL are designed to provide high performance and scalability. Data distributed across many nodes is often stored in NoSQL databases, which are commonly used in big data applications.

There are four main categories of NoSQL databases:

  • key-value stores, 
  • columnar stores, 
  • document stores, 
  • And graph databases.

Benefits of NoSQL

  • The NoSQL database system does not use the traditional relational model.
  • Big data applications that need to scale quickly often use NoSQL databases.
  • The performance and scalability of NoSQL databases can be greater than that of relational databases.

Cons of NoSQL

  • The features and functionality of SQL databases may not be available in NoSQL databases, as they are generally less mature.
  • It is also more challenging to find skilled personnel who are familiar with NoSQL databases since they are less standardized than SQL databases.
  • Additionally, NoSQL databases may be incompatible with existing applications and infrastructure.

19. Rust 

The Rust programming language is designed to be safe, concurrent, and practical. The language runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety. Rust is also memory-efficient, so embedded systems can benefit from its use.

Rust’s Benefits

  • The Rust programming language is used to create high-performance applications.
  • Aside from being safe and reliable, Rust is an ideal language for developing mission-critical software.
  • The Rust community is friendly and always willing to help, making Rust easy to learn and use.

Rust’s Cons

There are some drawbacks to using Rust, even though its features make it an appealing language.

  • The language is new, so learning and using Rust can be difficult because there isn’t much support or documentation available.
  • It is also challenging to integrate Rust with existing codebases, since it only supports some platforms.

20. Perl 

It is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. It was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language with the aim of making report processing easier. Perl is not an official acronym, but some backronyms exist like “Practical Extraction and Report Language.” Many changes have been made since then. 

Because of its versatility and power, Perl is often referred to as the ” Swiss Army knife” of programming languages. Among its many uses are web development, network programming, and system administration.

Benefits of Perl

  • The Perl programming language has a wide range of features and applications. Many fields use it, including system administration, web development, and network programming. 
  • Beginners will find Perl easy to learn, and its concise syntax makes it a great choice. You can also write programs in a variety of styles using it. 
  • Its excellent database support makes it a good choice for database-driven applications. Graphics and multimedia are also well supported, making it ideal for media-rich applications.

Cons of Perl

Even though Perl is a feature-rich and interesting programming language, there are some disadvantages as well.

  • The first drawback is that it is more difficult to learn than some other languages, such as Python, and it has a steep learning curve that can be confusing to beginners. 
  • There is also less support available for Perl because it is not as widely used as other languages. 
  • Lastly, it can be quite slow compared to some other languages.

Watch the video below to find out what programming languages are trending and in demand.

What is the Best Way to Get Started?

There are hundreds of programming languages, but only a few make it to the short list of languages you should know. The ones described above, in our opinion, lead the pack as best options for programmer training. It’s a great place to start if you want to become a programmer, make a lateral move into another field, or advance in your current career. The range of courses covers Python for beginners to Java for the experienced, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. 

Simplilearn offers both training and certification for learning a new language. With hands-on learning, industry-leading content, and 24×7 support, we offer a wide range of courses in all seven languages (Java, Javascript, C, C#, Python, Swift, and Ruby). This course will teach you the language, as well as provide you with the credibility of certification, which will make it easier for you to land a high-paying programmer position. Start your programming career off right with Simplilearn’s Postgraduate Program in Full Stack Web Development!

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