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Top 10 programming languages to learn in 2024

Gopi Gorantala
Gopi Gorantala
16 min read

Table of Contents


As we step into the arena of 2024, the demand for skilled software programmers continues to surge, and staying ahead of the curve is more crucial than ever. Choosing the right programming language to master can significantly impact your career path.

We all know that the pandemic has commenced the raise of adopting technology. Hence, coding is one of the most desired skills in the market right now.If you’re new to the field of software development, the toughest part of learning programming is deciding where to begin.

Hence, in this composition we present the top 10 best programming languages to learn in 2024, based on market trends, employment opportunities and overall relevance.

Table Of Contents

What is a Programming Language?

What are the major types of programming languages?

What are the various ways to classify programming languages?

What are the best beginner level programming languages to learn?

What are the top 10 programming languages in 2024?

What is a Programming Language?

To communicate with each other, we need a specific language. so, likewise in order to communicate with computers, programmers also need a language is called Programming language. In a simple way, Computers “think” in binary — strings of 1s and 0s. Programming languages allow us to translate the 1s and 0s into something that humans can understand and write.

A programming language is a set of instructions written in any specific language ( C, C++, Java, Python) by programmers to perform a specific task.This set of instructions is usually viewed as incomprehensible code structured following a definite programming language syntax.

What are the major types of programming languages?

Programming languages can mainly be classified as low-level and high-level programming languages.High-level languages are more complex than low-level languages. At the same time, a high-level language affords more readability in comparison to its low-level counterpart, which needs specialist knowledge in computer architecture to interpret.

Each of the different programming languages can be broken into one or more of the below types(paradigms):

  • High Level/ Low level
  • Declarative/ Imperative/ Procedural
  • Object Oriented/ Concurrent
  • Compiled/ Scripting
  • Logical

Procedural Programming Languages

A programming type that uses procedures to abbreviate and categorize the code into reusable blocks is a procedural programming language. C, Pascal and FORTRAN are the most in-demand programming languages supporting this paradigm.These are the best programming languages to learn as they are widely used in the fields like engineering, gaming and finance. Procedural programming can be less flexible.

Functional Programming Languages

Unlike procedural languages, functional programming languages are more flexible. It is composed of a series of functions. This programming paradigm stresses the use of model computations and data transformation. Haskell, Clojure, Lisp and Scala are the languages supporting this paradigm.Functional programming have no mutable state. You can program functions and parallel work as instructions. These codes support nested functions and consist of independent units that run coherently making this more efficient.

Object-oriented Programming Languages

In an object-oriented programming language( widely known as OOPS), objects define the data and the behaviour of the objects. These objects typically include data attributes representing the object's state and method. This language enables users to make a complex system with interconnected objects. One of the reason why this language so in demand is the feature of inheritance. It creates a ranking of classes that share common features while still allowing customisation. Some popular object-oriented programming languages are Java, Python, C++, and Ruby. All these languages are top programming languages, but they share the principle of being object-oriented.

Scripting Languages

The scripting language is interpreted rather than compiled. So, it is very much simple to learn with easy syntax and dynamic typing . The two types of this language are server-side scripting languages and client-side scripting languages. These languages make communication possible with other programming languages.

  • Python - The easiest programming language used among developers is Python. It is an object-oriented programming language. The language has a high-Level data structure, and built-in libraries, that make it easy to use and suitable for rapid application development. It is easy, decoded and has a dynamic semantic language.
  • Perl - The language is dynamic with innovative features that make it popular and different from what is available on Linux and Windows Server. Websites with high traffic usually use Perl, including IMDB, as it helps in text manipulation tasks.
  • Bash - Bourne -Again, SHell is a scripting language that is the default command interpreter on most Linux/GNU operating systems. This language is easier than most of the other programming languages. Bash makes it easier to create script store documentation for others and provides useful reusable scripts.

Logic Programming Languages

As the name suggests, this is computer programming based on formal logic. This programming language program consists of a cluster of logical statements or rules that determine relationships among objects. It allows the system to extrapolate new information.Artificial intelligence and expert systems commonly use this language where reasoning and conjecture are required. To summarise, logical programming is a secure and flexible approach to solving problems in computer programming which is suitable for every type of problem.

One of the most popular logical languages is Prolog which consists of a set of facts and rules to describe a problem and reason about it.

What are the various ways to classify programming languages?

The programming languages are further classified into the following types:

Front-end vs. Back-end Languages

Front-end languages are called client-side languages, which are used to create virtual and interactive website elements that users can see. The front-end languages include HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Backend languages are known as server-side languages. They create logic and functionality behind the scenes of the website, like processing, storing and managing the user's account and authentication. Python, Ruby, and Java are some of the backend languages.

High-level vs. Low-level Languages

High-level languages are easy to read and write since they are understandable. Developers can write code at a higher level of abstraction without worrying about the underlying hardware or operating system, as it is close to natural languages. They have built-in libraries and frameworks to simplify ordinary programming tasks.Examples of high-level languages are Python, Java or Ruby.

On the other hand, low level languages are much more complex to understand and write. The code written in languages is very efficient and directly manipulates the hardware and memory of the computer. Yet the developer needs to rely on manual efforts and understanding. Assembly language and C are examples of this type of language.

Interpreted vs. Compiled Languages

The interpreter directly executes and reads the interpreted code line by line without compiling it into machine code. It can be executed immediately without requiring separate compilation steps, such as Python, Ruby and JavaScript.

In contrast, the compiler first translates the compiled languages into machine code. Further converts the human-readable code into a structure that computers can execute. Languages like C, C++, and Java fall into this category.

What are the best beginner level programming languages to learn?

With continuous updates in the tech market, a candidate should be up-to-date with new languages.

Following factors should be kept in mind while making decision of what programming languages to learn:

  • Understanding one’s goals and the career path after learning the programming language.
  • Conduct deep market demand research and decide on what field you want to enter.
  • Learn the skills and languages that are demanded in the choosen field.
  • start with the easy language to learn and slowly elevate to hard one. Python and Ruby are great languages to begin with.
  • Look about the material online and join the communities and workshops with the people who are top in the desired field.
  • lastly, Keep always learning as the market changes rapidly.

JavaScript and Python, two of the most popular languages in the startup industry, are in high demand. Most startups use Python-based backend frameworks such as Django (Python), Flask (Python), and NodeJS (JavaScript). These languages are also considered to be the best programming languages to learn for beginners.

Below is a list of the most popular and best programming languages that will be in demand in 2024.

  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

JavaScript is a high-level programming language that is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web. It is used as a client-side programming language by 97.8 percent of all websites. JavaScript was originally used only to develop web browsers, but they are now used for server-side website deployments and non-web browser applications as well. 

Javascript was created in 1995 and was initially known as LiveScript. However, Java was a very popular language at that time, so it was advertised as a “younger brother” of Java. As it evolved over time, JavaScript became a fully independent language. Nowadays, JavaScript is often confused with Java, and although there are some similarities between them, the two languages are different.

Javascript is the most popular programming language in the world and is in high demand among various organizations.

2. Python

Python is one of the most popular programming languages today and is easy for beginners to learn because of its readability. It is a free, open-source programming language with extensive support modules and community development, easy integration with web services, user-friendly data structures and GUI-based desktop applications. It is a popular programming language for machine and deep learning applications.

Python is used to develop 2D imaging and 3D animation packages like Blender, Inkscape, and Autodesk. It has also been used to create popular video games, including Civilization IV, Vegas Trike, and Toontown. Python is used for scientific and computational applications like FreeCAD and Abacus and by popular websites like YouTube, Quora, Pinterest, and Instagram. Python developers earn avergae annual salaries of about $109,092.

3. Go

Go was developed by Google in 2007 for APIs and web applications. Go has recently become one of the fastest-growing programming languages due to its simplicity, as well as its ability to handle multicore and networked systems and massive codebases.

Go, also known as Golang, was created to meet the needs of programmers working on large projects. It has gained popularity among many large IT companies thanks to its simple and modern structure and syntax familiarity. Companies using Go as their programming language include Google, Uber, Twitch, Dropbox, among many others. Go is also gaining in popularity among data scientists because of its agility and performance.

Go developers can earn an average annual salary of $141,654, and hitting up to $261,000.

4. Java

Java is one of the most popular programming languages used today.

Owned by Oracle Corporation, this general-purpose programming language with its object-oriented structure has become a standard for applications that can be used regardless of platform (e.g., Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, etc.) because of its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) capabilities. As a result, Java is recognized for its portability across platforms, from mainframe data centers to smartphones. Today there are more than 3 billion devices running applications built with Java.

Java is widely used in web and application development as well as big data. Java is also used on the backend of several popular websites, including Google, Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube. It is also extensively used in hundreds of applications. New Java frameworks like Spring, Struts, and Hibernate are also very popular. With millions of Java developers worldwide, there are hundreds of ways to learn Java. Also, Java programmers have an extensive online community and support each other to solve problems.

Java is a more complex language to learn, but experienced developers with Java coding skills are in high demand. The average Java developer earns around $109,225 each year.

5. Kotlin

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

Kotlin is used extensively for Android apps, web application, desktop application, and server-side application development. Kotlin was built to be better than Java, and people who use this language are convinced. Most of the Google applications are based on Kotlin. Some companies using Kotlin as their programming language include Coursera, Pinterest, PostMates among many others.

Kotlin developers earn an average of $136,000 a year, with the potential to earn up to $171,500.

6. PHP

PHP is an open-source programming language created in 1990. Many web developers find it essential to learn PHP, as this language is used to build more than 80% of websites on the Internet, including notable sites like Facebook and Yahoo.

Programmers mainly use PHP mainly to write server-side scripts. But developers can also use this language to write command-line scripts, and programmers with high-level PHP coding skills can also use it to develop desktop applications.

PHP is considered a relatively easy language to learn for beginning developers. PHP professionals have access to several dedicated online communities, making it easy to get support and answers to questions.

On average, PHP programmers earn average annual salaries of about $107,409.

7. C#

Developed by Microsoft, C# rose to fame in the 2000s for supporting the concepts of object-oriented programming. It is one of the most used programming languages for the .NET framework. Anders Hejlsberg, the creator of C#, says the language is more like C++ than Java.

C# is best suited for applications on Windows, Android, and iOS, as it takes the help of the integrated development environment product, Microsoft Visual C++. C# is used on the back end of several popular websites like Bing, Dell, Visual Studio, and MarketWatch. C# developers earn around $111,760 per year.

8. Swift

A few years ago, Swift made the top 10 in the monthly TIOBE Index ranking of popular programming languages. Apple developed Swift in 2014 for Linux and Mac applications.

An open-source programming language that is easy to learn, Swift supports almost everything from the programming language Objective-C. Swift requires fewer coding skills compared with other programming languages, and it can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix. Swift is used in popular iOS apps like WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, SoundCloud, and even in the game Flappy Bird. Professionals who develop iOS applications take home average annual salaries of around $106,652.

9. R

R is an open source language that is essentially a different version of the S language. Much of the code that developers write for S runs on R without modification.

Applications built in R are used for processing statistics, including linear and nonlinear modeling, calculation, testing, visualization, and analysis. Applications coded using R can interface with a number of databases and process both structured and unstructured data.

R has a moderate learning curve and is not as easy for beginners to pick up as some other languages in this article. However, like other open-source programming languages, R boasts an active online community of developers, which is always a plus when learning new coding skills.

On average, R developers earn average annual salaries of about $90,940.

10. Ruby

If you want to start with a language that is known for being relatively simple to learn, consider Ruby. Developed in the 1990s, it was designed to have a more human-friendly syntax while still being flexible from the standpoint of its object-oriented architecture that supports procedural and functional programming notation. A web-application framework that is implemented in Ruby is Ruby on Rails (“RoR”). Ruby developers tout it for being an easy language to write in and also for the relatively short learning time required. These attributes have led to a large community of Ruby developers and a growing interest in the language among beginning developers. The average salary for a Ruby developer is around $121,000 per year.

11. C and C++

C is probably the oldest and popular programming language and is the root of other programming languages such as C#, Java, and JavaScript. C++ is an enhanced version of C. Many developers today skip learning C on its own, while others think learning C first provides a valuable foundation for C++ development. Both languages are widely used in computer science and programming.

C and C++ developers can make use of compilers for a wide variety of platforms, making applications developed in these languages largely transportable. Both C and C++ are considered high-performance languages. As such, they are widely used in developing applications where performance is a critical issue, such as client/server applications, commercial products like Firefox and Adobe, and video games. C and C++ developers earn an average of $118,366 each year.

12. Matlab

Matlab is a proprietary programming language owned by MathWorks and originally released in the mid-1980s. It is built specifically for use by scientists and engineers.

Programmers use Matlab to build machine learning and deep learning applications. Matlab-based programs enable users to analyze data, create algorithms, process images, and verify research.

Generally, Matlab is easier to learn than other programming languages on our list. MathWorks’ website has an extensive section dedicated to answering questions about Matlab.

The average Matlab developer takes home an average salary of $100,760 each year.

13. TypeScript

TypeScript is a newcomer to top programming language lists, but it’s making headway. It was developed in 2012 by Microsoft and is a typed version of JavaScript that is well suited for large code bases. TypeScript is used to create JavaScript-based projects with typing in both client-side and server-side development, making useful for catching errors and preventing systemic issues.

TypeScript was named “most adopted tech” in the 2021 State of JavaScript Survey. TypeScript developers typically earn an annual average of $75,199.

14. Scala

Scala is a general-purpose, type-safe Java virtual machine language that combines the best oop and functional programming languages into one special high language. Scala is ideal for reducing and removing bugs in large, complex applications. It supports both object-oriented and functional programming.

Programmers can use Scala for any task that they normally would use Java for. Scala is a complex language, but that complexity gives it a lot of flexibility. Companies that use Scala include Netflix, Twitter, and the New York Times.

Scala developers earn a yearly average of $ 127,005.

15. SQL

SQL is a standard database query language. It is used to access and manipulate data in databases. SQL is a declarative language that specifies the desired results, but not the steps to achieve those results. SQL is a powerful tool for accessing and manipulating data, and it is the world's most widely used database query language.

Benefits of SQL

  • SQL is a standard database query language that enables users to manipulate and query data in a database quickly.
  • SQL is widely used in many applications and environments, such as web applications, data warehouses, and e-commerce applications.
  • SQL provides many benefits over other database query languages, such as improved performance, better data integrity, and more accessible data manipulation.

Cons of SQL

  • If you are unfamiliar with programming or database concepts, SQL can be challenging to learn.
  • SQL can be slow compared to other languages, mainly when working with large databases.
  • And SQL is not well suited for certain types of tasks, such as complex mathematical calculations or machine learning.

16. HTML

HTML(HyperText Markup Language) is the standard language for creating web pages and applications. HTML is used to create web pages. You can use HTML to add images, links, and other types of content to your web page. HTML is a simple programming language; you don't need to know much about it to create a basic web page.

Images and other objects, such as interactive forms, can be embedded within the produced page using HTML structures. It enables the creation of structured documents by indicating structural semantics for text elements including as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotations, and other objects. HTML elements are delineated by tags, which are written in angle brackets.

Benefits of HTML

  • Benefits of using HTML include creating well-structured, standards-compliant web pages that are easy to maintain and update.
  • HTML is also easy to learn and is a great starting point for those new to web development.
  • HTML is used to structure and present content on the web and is typically used alongside CSS and JavaScript.
  • Additionally, HTML5 provides better multimedia and interactive content support, making it a powerful tool for creating engaging web experiences.
  • HTML5 is the latest version and includes new features like video and audio elements, local storage, and 2D/3D graphics. HTML5 is designed to be more user-friendly and efficient than previous versions of HTML.

Cons of HTML

A few potential drawbacks exist to using HTML as a web development language.

  • First, because HTML is a markup language, it is not as expressive as a programming language like JavaScript or PHP, which means that complex web applications or pages can be more challenging to develop in HTML.
  • Additionally, HTML is not a very secure language, so web developers must carefully encode any user input to prevent security vulnerabilities properly.
  • Finally, HTML can be somewhat challenging to learn for newcomers, as it has a lot of different elements and syntax rules.

17. CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language used to describe how a page that was produced in a markup language is presented. A style sheet, which is a set of rules for web browsers, can control an HTML or XML.

All HTML tags, including the text in the document's body, headings, paragraphs, and other text elements, are styled using CSS. The display of grid components, table elements, and picture

Benefits of CSS

  • CSS is used to style all HTML tags, including the body of the document, headings, paragraphs, and other material. CSS can also be used to style how table components, grid elements, and images are displayed.
  • Web developers use CSS to create responsive and accessible websites. CSS can make it easier for web developers to create websites that look good on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
  • CSS can also help make websites more accessible to people with disabilities.
  • CSS is easy to learn and use. Many tutorials and resources are available online, and anyone can start using CSS to style their web pages.

Con of CSS

  • CSS can be challenging to debug. When there are errors in a CSS file, it can be difficult to track down the source of the problem.
  • And it can be time-consuming to write. CSS files can be large and complex, and it can take a lot of time to create and maintain them.

Overall, the CSS is a powerful tool that can be used to style web documents. However, it is vital to know the potential drawbacks before using it.

18. NoSQL

NoSQL databases are non-relational databases designed to provide high performance and scalability. And NoSQL databases are often used in big data applications, where data is distributed across many nodes.

The four key categories of NoSQL databases are as follows:

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

Benefits of NoSQL

  • NoSQL is a database system that does not use the traditional relational model.
  • NoSQL databases are often used for big data applications that need to scale quickly.
  • NoSQL databases can be faster and more scalable than relational databases.

Cons of NoSQL

  • NoSQL databases are generally less mature than SQL databases and, as such, may lack some of the features and functionality that SQL databases offer.
  • Additionally, because NoSQL databases are less standardized than SQL databases, it can be more challenging to find skilled personnel who can work with them.
  • And NoSQL databases may be less compatible with existing applications and infrastructure than SQL databases.

19. Rust

Rust is a programming language designed to be safe, concurrent, and practical. It is a systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety. Rust is also memory-efficient: it uses minimal memory, making it ideal for embedded systems.

Benefits of Rust

  • Rust is a fast and efficient language used to create high-performance applications.
  • Rust is also a safe and reliable language, which makes it perfect for developing mission-critical software.
  • Additionally, Rust is easy to learn and use and has a great community of developers who are always willing to help.

Cons of Rust

While Rust has many features that make it an attractive language, there are some drawbacks to using it.

  • There needs to be more support or documentation available for other languages because it is a new language, making it difficult to learn and use Rust.
  • Additionally, Rust only supports some platforms, and it can be challenging to integrate with existing codebases.

20. Perl

Perl is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. Although Perl is not officially an acronym, various backronyms exist, including "Practical Extraction and Report Language." Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions.

Perl is widely regarded as the " Swiss Army knife" of programming languages because of its versatility and power. It is used for various tasks, including web development, network programming, system administration, and more.

Benefits of Perl

  • Perl is a powerful programming language with many features and applications. It is widely used in system administration, web development, network programming, and many other fields.
  • Perl is easy to learn, and its concise syntax makes it an excellent choice for beginners. It is also very versatile, allowing you to write programs in various styles.
  • Perl has excellent support for many databases, making it a good choice for database-driven applications. It also has excellent support for graphics and multimedia, making it a good choice for media-rich applications.

Cons of Perl

Although Perl is an interesting and feature-rich programming language, it also has some cons.

  • First of all, it is more challenging to learn than some other languages like Python, and it has a very steep learning curve and can confuse beginners.
  • Additionally, Perl is not as widely used as other languages, so there is not as much support available.
  • Finally, it can be pretty slow compared to some other languages.

Gopi Gorantala Twitter

Gopi is an engineering leader with 12+ of experience in full-stack development—a specialist in Java technology stack. He worked for multiple startups, the European govt, and FAANG in India and Europe.