27 Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2023 (Ranked)

27 Programming languages

It is essential knowledge for software developers and other computer-related professionals to know what are the most sought-after programming languages moving forward into 2023. Everything in society is operated by programming – computer languages are used to program everything from heart monitors to traffic lights to cellphones. 

A software developer’s employment requires them to be proficient in several different programming languages. Learning a specific set of programming languages can open up new doors for prospective career paths and be used to create more desirability to be hired in the market.

In this guide, I’ll cover a large range of programming languages and their purposes to give you a better idea of what paths you can take as a programmer.

What is a Programming Language?

Broadly speaking, a programming language is a means of communication between programmers (developers) and computers. A programmer writes some lines in a high-level programming language, which is then translated to a lower-level programming language and machine code for the hardware to operate with and complete the necessary computations.

These are all aimed to achieve the task the programmer is trying to communicate, such as calculate an arithmetic problem or generate a set of digits for a new password.

In general, a program is a set of instructions created in a certain language (such as Python, SQL or Java) to do a specific purpose.

What are the Best Programming Languages to learn in 2023?

Below is a list of the best and most relevant Programming Languages for programmers and developers to learn with the current scene in 2023.

1. Python

  • Main uses: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Data Science
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $116,000 per year

Python is a high-level programming language used for general-purpose programming with a design philosophy that emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C++ or Java.

The newest version of the language, Python 3.6, includes many updates and improvements. It has been widely adopted by individuals and businesses large and small across many different industries. Some of the world’s leading companies that use Python include Dropbox, Instagram, AirBnb, Spotify, and Reddit.

For all this, Python is without a question, the language to learn in 2023.

2. Javascript

  • Main uses: Web Development, Creating web and mobile apps, Game Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $90,000

JavaScript is a high-level and dynamic programming language and one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Since the HTML5 specification was released, JavaScript was designed primarily to solve the problems related to creating interactive pages. We have started to see a lot more of JavaScript in web applications. Nowadays, It’s mainly used to create a variety of popular applications such as Google Maps and Gmail.

3. C#

  • Main uses: Application Development, Website Development, Game Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $109,000

C# was a language developed by Microsoft and became popular in the 2000s as an Object-Oriented Programming language. It is widely used in the development of Windows, Android and iOS applications. C# can be a useful and flexible language to learn to be applied to many applications and developers are very high in-demand.

4. Go (Formerly Golang)

programming language
  • Main uses: Cloud-based and Server-side Applications, DevOps, Automation and much more!
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $180,000

Go, or Golang, was developed by Google for web applications and large cloud systems. Since its introduction, it has been widely adopted and is now used in established companies such as Google, Uber and Dropbox due to its flexibility and simplicity. It has continuously gone toe to toe with big programming languages such as python and in a few years, we may even see Go give a few languages a run for its money.

5. SQL

  • Main uses: Database Management, Data Analytics
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $71,000

SQL is the acronym for Structured Query Language. SQL is a programming-free database language that lets you manage and execute queries or commands to and from the database. It supports multiple databases, including Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, IBM DB2 and several others. Jobs in SQL mainly revolve around Data Analytics or Application Development that use large amounts of data.

6. Java

  • Main uses: Web and Application Development, Game Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $99,000

Java is one of the most popular Object-Oriented Programming languages in the world, mainly used to make websites, games and applications. It appears frequently in the backend of large tech companies such as Google, Twitter, Youtube and Amazon. New Java frameworks are created and are being widely adopted every day. If you can learn java you are well on your way to a successful career as a software developer.

7. Kotlin

  • Main uses: Web and Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $130,000

Kotlin was announced at Google I/O 2016. It’s statically typed programming language and is interoperable with Java, which means that it can be used in existing projects based on the Java ecosystem. Kotlin is also open source and free, just like Java. It is used extensively in Android apps and companies such as Pinterest and Coursera have adopted it. Kotlin is supported by the same people that brought you IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio and Gradle.

8. C

  • Main uses: New language development, Embedded systems, Operating system programming
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $99,000

The C computer programming language, is a general-purpose programming language designed to be compiled on virtually any computer architecture. The first implementations of the language quickly gained popularity among programmers in the late 1970s and 1980s. There are a huge number of applications built using C as the main or one of the languages. Apple uses Objective C for their iOS (iPhone, iPad) applications and Google uses C for Android based apps.

9. Swift

  • Main uses: iOS and macOS Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $119,000

Swift is a general purpose programming language developed by Apple, mainly used for native iOS and macOS development. It was modeled after python for its simplicity and elegance. Many popular applications have been written in swift such as Linkedin, Lyft and even WordPress! It was created with new coders in mind, hence, is a great option to pick up. Especially so if you are looking to dive into app development in the iOS/macOS environment.

10. PHP

  • Main uses: Web Development, Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $91,000

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language. It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, and now runs on more than 20 million websites worldwide. It supports a wide range of databases and has a great community. Since it has been consistently updated and evolving to keep up with trends, it is definitely a great programming language to learn.

11. Rust

  • Main uses: OS Programming, Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $110,000

Rust is a high-performance and statically-typed language that helps developers created robust and safe applications. Initially, it was created to solve the pitfalls of C/C++ programming languages, and has since been used by multiple large companies such as Dropbox, Firefox and many other startups. It is extremely lightweight and its focus on performance makes it a great programming language to learn as it continues to grow in popularity.

12. Perl

  • Main uses: System Administration, Cloud Programming, Database Management
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $117,500

Perl is a general purpose programming language which can handle many web and system operations. IIt’s a great alternative to shell scripting where you can use it to control more processes on server. Perl is also used by a lot of open source programs such as Linux, Apache, MySQL, and others.

It is versatile and can be utilized for Web Development, Database Programming, Network Programming, and System Administration. Perl’s flexibility comes from its extensive collection of libraries and modules, which allow you to use it for numerous tasks. It has been around for awhile, and will continue to be, so it is worth getting to know.

13. R

  • Main uses: Statistical Inference, Data Analysis, Machine Learning
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $123,000

R is a programming language and free software developed by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in 1993. It is used to perform statistical analysis and graphical display of data. R can be used to perform complex calculations, such as linear regression or time-series analysis, as well as machine learning algorithms, such as k-nearest neighbors or support vector machines.

It has been used by companies such as Uber, Google and Facebook. Hence, it is definitely worth a look.

14. Node JS (Javascript environment)

  • Main uses: Server-side Programming, Backend Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $116,000

Node.js is one of those terms that has seen a lot of hype over the past year or so, and for good reason. Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications – in other words it enables you to create real-time apps really easily using JavaScript.

15. Scala

  • Main uses: Data Processing, Web Development, Distributed Computing
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $141,000

Scala is a computer programming language that has gathered enormous reputation in the past years and has established itself as one of the top programming languages suited for big data, embedded and internet of things applications. Created by Martin Odersky, who also was involved in designing java virtual machine language, Scala’s popularity has been growing since 2012.

It is one of the most powerful programming languages to date, combining elements of many other languages such as Object-Oriented Programming and especially Functional Programming. If you are looking into Functional Programming, Scala could be the language for you.

16. Ruby

  • Main uses: Web and Application Development, Automation, Server Programming
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $119,000

The Ruby programming language is a general-purpose, object-oriented language that serves many purposes. It is used for desktop applications, static websites, data processing services, DevOps, web servers and web scraping and crawling. When combined with the Rails application framework it can be used for database-driven web applications. It has been compared to the functionality of Python often and has been found to be less constricting in some instances.

17. MatLab

  • Main uses: Math and Computation, Algorithm Development, Data Science
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $112,000

The MATLAB language is designed for technical computing. It allows users to express problems and solutions in familiar mathematical notation, while it performs computations efficiently and facilitates interactive visualizations. If you are looking into working with algorithms or heavy computations with large datasets, you will most likely end up using MatLab down the line.

18. Dart

  • Main uses: Front-end Development, Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $95,000

Dart is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language with C-style syntax developed by Google in 2011 for creating frontend user interfaces for the web and mobile apps. It is under active development, compiled to native machine code for building mobile apps, and inspired by other programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and C#. As the Frontend Developer demand continues to rise, this could be the language to learn if you are looking in this area.

19. NoSQL

  • Main uses: Database Management, Big Data Systems, Web and Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $125,000

NoSQL has become an increasingly popular form of database management due to its scalability and efficiency with high traffic. It is basically the opposite of SQL, where no schemas or relations need to be defined. It is a completely different database management paradigm that is becoming widely adopted. If you frequent database programming, NoSQL could be a useful part and parcel of your skillset down the road.

20. HTML

  • Main uses: Web Development, Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $69,000

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the standard markup language used to create web pages. The idea behind HTML is to mark up content to be displayed in the web browser. Web browsers then interpret those markings or tags to display the content according to what it says in those tags. 

In this manner, HTML provides a way to let computers understand page layout and structure of a website, which essentially makes it a programming language for building websites. It is a programming language deeply rooted in many areas of computing and a must-learn for web developers, in combination with CSS.

21. CSS

  • Main uses: Web Development, Front-End Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $93,000

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. In simple terms, CSS defines how web pages are rendered in a browser. It enables you to set several style rules as declarations or rules which define how elements on a page are supposed to be displayed including their position, color, background color, etc. It is most commonly used in Front-End Development and is without a doubt, a must-have skill for Front-end Developers along with HTML.

22. Typescript

  • Main uses: Large scale Application Development, Server and Client-side Programming
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $130,000

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that helps your team organize code into well-structured, easily understandable types. It comes with the latest version of JavaScript and allows you to use all of its latest features. But it does more than just add new functions to your programming language. TypeScript can act as the glue that connects your application’s logic to the rest of the modern development stack.

23. Haskell

  • Main uses: Application and Production Scaling, Computational Programming
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $83,000

Haskell is a modern, standard, purely functional programming language that is suitable for everything from numerical to symbolic applications. Its syntax is expressive and its architecture rich. Haskell programs are written as mathematical functions and allows you to work and develop programs in a functional paradigm which is relevant when it comes to developing and scaling web applications

24. Flask (Python Framework)

  • Main uses: Web and Application Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $135,000

Flask is a Python web framework that was created in 2010 by Armin Ronacher. It is known for its simplicity and ease of use and has built-in support for URL routing, templates, sessions and comes with plenty of extensions available. Flask can be used as a stand-alone web server utilizing various web frameworks such as Google’s AJAX Toolkit and jQuery. It is easy to set up and use, and a great tool to add to your skillset.

25. Bash/Shell

  • Main uses: Unix/Command line scripting, OS Programming
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $74,000

Shell scripting is one of the most fundamental skills to have as a programmer that dates back to the early days of command line programming. While it may not be the most efficient and widely used form of programming today, it is definitely an important skill, albeit not alone, to have to navigate Unix systems and a good grasp of shell scripting will come in handy down the line.

26. Bosque

  • Main uses: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Development
  • Average Salary for a Developer: Not Available yet

The Bosque programming language, developed by Microsoft, aims to provide a mix of TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript, and Node.js features that make it useful for cloud developers. In the future, it looks to heavily supplement programmer productivity and improve software quality. It has also been hinted to have great potential in the AI and Machine Learning areas. If you are in those areas, keep your eyes peeled for this up and coming language.

27. Assembly

  • Main uses: OS Programming, Hardware Management
  • Average Salary for a Developer: $79,000

An assembly language is a type of low-level programming language that is intended to communicate directly with a computer’s hardware. While you may be wondering why this is even included in the list, a good grasp of the interoperability between your high-level code and lower-level code is important fundamental knowledge for a programmer to understand how your software interacts with the hardware to achieve the desired outcome.

Although, personally I would not recommend it unless you have a world of free time.

Which programming languages should I learn?

The programming languages of the future include Go, Kotlin, Python, TypeScript, R, Scala, Swift, Rust, Ruby and Haskell. These languages are currently in high demand among employers due to the skills required to use them effectively. Furthermore, proficiency or advanced skills in these programming languages would elevate a professional’s technical abilities and potentially open up more opportunities when looking for jobs.

To get an edge on the competition, Python, Go and Scala are great options that have been widely adopted by numerous large tech companies, such as Facebook, Adobe and Twitter.

Related: How to Learn Python For Beginners (6 Steps For Success)

Conclusion and Final Words

Ultimately, the factors presented in this guide, such as application or average salary, can act as guidelines for you to make a decision on which programming language or mix of languages is right for you. However, more often than not, any combination of languages in this list, if mastered, can lead to incredible job opportunities and will definitely not leave you short on possibilities to program.

Hence, take the information and add your own personal preference into your decision-making. But most importantly, do not get so caught up in deciding what to pursue without pursuing anything at all. After all, the most important thing is to take action and get programming!

Take a look at some of the courses I reviewed to get an idea of where to get started!

Read More: 7 Best Python Courses For Beginners in 2023 (Ranked)

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