Top 10 Programming Languages in 2020

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Hey human, welcome back. In this article I am going to talk about Top 10 Programming Languages in 2020. Please note that, this list is not about what these languages are capable of, rather I will talk about what you will be benefitted with, if you learn one of these languages or all of them! So, without further ado let’s start, bottom up.

10. Ruby

Not the gemstone.

Ruby is a high-level and general purpose programming language designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in the mid ’90s. Ruby has evolved into an interpreted and dynamically typed language. It is implemented in C and offers garbage collection.

Ruby focuses on developer happiness and productivity like everyone’s dearest, Python. It is the least popular language in this list but surely is a great option for beginner and also because Ruby on Rails is getting popular now.

As of today, Ruby is ranked #31 on StackOverflow and Ruby on Rails, a Ruby based backend development framework is ranked #19.

Pros

  • Open source
  • Flat learning curve, easy for new developers
  • Used by some big projects like Twitter, GitHub, AirBnB etc

Cons

  • Lack of informational sources, not that great community support
  • Debugging is tedious in Ruby
  • Slow, as it is an interpreted language

9. Go (or Golang)

Hmm. Google.

Go is an open source, statically typed and compiled programming language designed by The Go Authors at Google. Go makes it easy to build simple, reliable and efficient software, according to Golang.org.

Go is quite similar to C in syntax but The Go Authors assure that it has better garbage collection, structural typing, CSP-style concurrency and is memory safe.

Go is extensively used by Google itself and they have used it to develop enterprise projects like Kubernetes. It is obviously backed by Google and is currently an emerging language so you might not see it’s popularity in StackOverflow or GitHub.

Pros

  • Fast, Secure, statically typed
  • Easier to learn, cleaner syntax
  • Smart standard Library

Cons

  • No GUI Library
  • Implicit interfaces
  • Absence of Virtual machine makes complex programs less efficient

8. R

Hey, R developers (or scientists, because you know, DATA SCIENCE!).

R is a programming language and software environment statistical computing, data analytics and scientific research. BIG WORDS! It is the most commonly used for Data Analytics and Machine Learning. It provides an excellent framework and built-in libraries to develop powerful Machine Learning algorithms.

R is open source and free. It has grown popular in the recent years due to its clear syntax, features and easy-to-use interface. It has also been adopted by some enterprises as their main Analytics stack/tool.

R has a #15 ranking as of today on StackOverflow. But don’t let that fool you, it is the simply the most used and preferred language for data and statistical computing in our world. So the job opportunities are great.

Pros

  • Great community support
  • Available on various operating systems
  • Open source, grants the freedom to make changes as per the requirements — just use GitHub

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Poor memory management
  • Lack of security features

7. Swift

Contained. For and by Apple.

Swift is another general purpose and compiled programming language particularly used to develop iOS, macOS, iPadOS and other Apple OS applications. It is developed by Apple Inc.

Earlier, developers used Objective-C to develop Apple OS applications but later Apple developed Swift and make it the standard to be used within The Apple Ecosystem. Swift is based on the ideas of many popular languages like Rust, Python, Objective-C, Haskell etc that’s why it’s syntax is loved by developers.

If you are looking an ‘Apple Ecosystem job’ then you must learn Swift. Being the standard for Apple’s platform it is very popular. It is ranked #24 on StackOverflow as of today however the tag iOS which is basically Swift is ranked #11 by the same website.

Pros

  • Makes development rapid, because of its concise syntax
  • Safe and fast in terms of performance
  • Can be used as a full stack technology

Cons

  • Limited to native libraries and tools
  • Small community
  • Incompatible with third party tools and IDEs

6. PHP

PHP = Hypertext PreProcessor

PHP is a general purpose scripting language which is commonly used for web development. It is a popular choice among web developers and is widely used as a full stack tech for web development.

PHP is available for many platforms and powers million of websites in the World Wide Web. It runs on the server meaning that it is a backend technology which interacts with the database and provides service to the frontend requests.

It is a common belief that if you want to become a web developer then you must know PHP because as I said earlier it is used extensively in the web technology domain. PHP is ranked #6 as of today on StackOverflow.

Pros

  • Compatible and cross-platform
  • Large community support
  • Highly scalable

Cons

  • Interpreted and slow in comparison to other scripting languages
  • Not optimized for desktop apps
  • Debugging is difficult

5. C/C++

A legacy.

Everyone knows a thing or two about C/C++, yes? Anyways, I will treat them as a single entity here as both the languages are used in almost the same fields.

C/C++ are general purpose programming languages used widely by system programmers and game designers. They are known for their speed and syntax. C++ is an extension of C language, which is strictly a procedural oriented programming language. C++ was made to utilize the speed of C with the concepts of classes and object oriented paradigm.

No doubt, C/C++ are still being used extensively since the past 40+ years. And probably they will be used the same in the coming years. C++ is ranked #9 and C is ranked #16 on StackOverflow on the writing date of this article.

Regardless of their rankings, C/C++ are really good technologies to get placed in a top tier job. Some system analysts consider C/C++ (along with assembly of course) sufficient for them to perform the plethora of their tasks.

Pros

  • Wide community and resources support
  • Fast, like really fast
  • Freedom of switching between programming approach if you use C++

Cons

  • Unsafe since it allows improper type conversions, pointers are still used and no boundary check for arrays
  • Absence of Garbage collector
  • Not-so-sophisticated memory management

4. C#

It’s sharp, not hash.

C# is another general purpose and multi paradigm programming language. It was developed by Microsoft Corporation as a part of the .NET framework. It is most commonly used to develop Windows applications.

It has the features of both C and Java. It is known for its multi paradigm nature and its ability to be written in different typing disciplines. It was originally designed to develop .NET applications but now it is used to develop websites, mobile apps, video games and even VR.

C# is currently ranked #4 on StackOverflow and has stayed around that place for quite some time now. And its not going anyway down going in the near future because, globally, the OS usage share of Windows is 77% and Microsoft really takes care of it.

Pros

  • Large community support
  • Backed by Microsoft and great demand of Windows application developers
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Need of a Windows system to work with .NET framework
  • Older versions of .NET not supported by Microsoft now
  • Not a cross platform language and depends mostly on .NET framework

3. Python

Work less, do more.

Python is another general purpose and interpreted programming language. It came into bright light in the recent years and became popular because of its simple, descriptive, readable syntax, significant use of whitespaces and multi paradigm approach to write code. It is dynamically typed.

It is one of the most used programming language at the current day and hour. It is used in backend web development using Django, TurboGears, Machine Learning using NumPy, Tensorflow, Panda, etc and frontend application development using Kivy and Tkinter.

According to the 2019 Developer Survey by StackOverflow, Python is second most loved programming language (after Rust) and it is also the fastest growing major programming today. As of now, Python is ranked #3 on the same website. So you get the idea — the hype is real and so is demand and opportunities.

Pros

  • Easy and simple, for everyone, a professional, an experienced and even a novice programmer
  • Multi paradigm
  • Large community support

Cons

  • Slow
  • Not a good choice for memory restricted tasks
  • Not native to mobile application development

2. Java

“Want to print something? Create a class!”

Java is a general purpose, object oriented and one of the most popular and widely used programming languages. It is used to create mobile, desktop, web applications and servers, games and much more. The largest share of Java usage comes under mobile applications (Android Platform) and Web Servers using Spring and Spring Boot.

The owner of Java implementation is Oracle Corporation. Java has mainly three implementations — J2SE, J2EE and J2ME. According to Oracle, 3 billion devices run Java.

As of today, Java is ranked #2 on StackOverflow. It is also used in Android application development. Android itself is ranked #9 on the same website. So you get the idea about the extensive use and demand of Java.

Pros

  • Huge community
  • Enterprise computing standard
  • Works on multiple platforms

Cons

  • Single Paradigm language i.e. OOP
  • Complex and verbose
  • Not free for commercial use

Honorable Mentions

Here are some honorable mentions which were not put in this list but are surely great choices to learn today.

  • Rust — most loved programming language
  • Kotlin — object oriented, statically typed and cross platform
  • Clojure — dynamically typed, functional and top paying language in India
  • Scala — statically typed, functional and top paying language in the US

1. JavaScript

NOT related to Java, in any way.

Here it is! The language which started as a browser script but now runs everywhere.

JavaScript is a dynamically typed programming language. The ‘Script’ suffix suggests that it is a scripting language, but it depends on how you use it. It is just-in-time compiled and runs on a browser and runtime environments like Node.js.

Talking about its applications, today, JavaScript is used everywhere from client machines to servers, from desktop to mobile applications, from 3D games to IoT devices and much more. It has been the most commonly used programming language for the past 7 years! And its usage doesn’t seem to go down in the coming years, although Python is growing faster than JS.

JavaScript is of course ranked #1 on StackOverflow. JavaScript development frameworks are being developed on daily basis and JS developers love them. It has frameworks for frontend, backend and even mobile application development and they are very popular. Despite the great number of JS developers, the demand is still high so its never too late to add this magnificent language in your stack.

Pros

  • Fast, being client side language, doesn’t depend on server for response
  • Huge community support
  • JS frameworks backed by big companies like Google and Facebook

Cons

  • Not secure, since it runs on client machine
  • No static typing
  • Dependence of external libraries makes it difficult manage the application

So, I guess that’s a wrap up. I hope you liked this article. I tried to keep the facts and information to be the latest possible. Anyways, time flies and technologies change. Thanks for reading, stay connected, stay at home, stay safe.

A frontend developer proficient in Android, React.js and with a 2 years of industry experience in Android.

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