In order to choose a programming language, developers need to take into consideration multiple aspects, such as time/effort balance and long-term prospects of a certain language. If you were to look at the early 2000s, PHP and Ruby on Rails seemed to be the best languages to help you boost your career as a developer. Nowadays, neither make top 5. 

Whether you are looking to begin your career as a developer or simply want to learn a new programming language, this article explores the most demanded languages of this year. 

Number 1: JavaScript

Developed in 1995 by Brendan Eich, and inspired by Java, JavaScript has, for a long time, been the rough diamond of programming. Over time, its community has made every effort to transform it from a browser-based scripting language to a flexible, modern language. Although it still has not become the clear-cut diamond it can be, JavaScript’s rough edges have been drastically sanded down nowadays. 

JavaScript is everywhere, so it should come as no surprise that it was pricked by 71,5% of professionals developers surveyed last year. One of the biggest advantages of JavaScript is most definitely its speed, as it runs immediately on browsers and it does not need to be compiled on the client side. JavaScript allows you to write web services, manage IoT and even experiment with machine learning. 

If that does not convince you to choose JavaScript as your main condign language, maybe the widespread support all across the software industry, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft will. All over the internet, you can find an overwhelming amount of both free and paid tutorials, courses and videos that cover every possible topic regarding JavaScript. 

Along with HTML and CCSS, JavaScript has become the cornerstone of web development and is used by nearly every browser today, along with being the thing that turned web browsers into application platforms. Basically, what makes browsers interactive. 

Number 2: Python

Compared to any other language, Python seems to be the one that has grown in popularity the most, throughout recent years. At first, it was mostly used by developers because it required fewer lines of code for executing specific tasks, but this on-growing interest in Python has to do with its high usage in data science. 

What makes Python one of the most popular coding languages is the fact that it eliminates the annoying conventions of other languages. For example, Python does not require using semicolons to indicate the end of a statement. This has become quite a strong statement used in the ongoing Python vs Java battle.

In recent years, Python seems to be slowly replacing Java, not only in university programs, but also in elementary and high school, becoming the most popular general-purpose coding language used for both data science and machine learning. Its versatility is exactly what dove the interest of many big names around the world. Google has used it for crawling webpages, Spotify uses it for song recommendation and even Pixar has used it for producing movies.  

Python was released a bit over 10 years ago and is a high-level coding language that is mostly used as a connecting language between large existing software components. 

Number 3: Java

Near half of professional developers use Java on a daily basis. What makes Java pass the test of time and reach its 24th anniversary is the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which makes it possible to run each language on various devices and hardware platforms. 

Java was designed to deal with many data types and memory management tasks that used to draw developers crazy. Its ability to simplify app development is exactly what makes it so popular amongst large corporations and if your plan is to land a job at a big enterprise, this is the language for you. 

Java is also primarily used to write native Android applications, which makes many developers turn to it in the first place. And who could blame them, when Android has a bigger market share than all of its competitors combined?  

As they eras pass, Java is still considered amongst the most stable language, which makes most of the fortune 500 companies use it to develop back-end applications. 

Number 4: C/C++

Yes, C and C++ are two separate languages that both have different programming models, but their close link is what places them on the same place. 

Although other languages have surpassed C in terms of usage for app development, user interfaces and machine learning, it still plays a very important role when it comes to building operating systems embedded systems. Linux is the best example to support this, as it is the most popular operating system of all time. Well, Linux’s key part, the Linux kernel is written in C. 

C++ is a more modern version of C and is the main language used for any application based on performance. It is quite popular, especially in the financial sector, where companies use C++ in their backend systems. Graphically intensive apps, such as game development, virtual reality and augmented reality use C++ as well, because of its high-speed. 

Number 5: C# (C- Sharp) 

While less popular than other languages on the list, Microsoft’s C# has the potential of outrunning Java in the following years, especially due to its determination to deliver new features and capabilities. This is mostly due to the company’s effort to distance itself from the dependence on the Windows operating systems. And, despite developers’ antipathy for all things Microsoft, C# is quite popular amongst them, with around 40% of developers using it. 

In order for C# to become independent, Microsoft is making sure that it can work with both in-house technologies and open industry standards. C# has become very popular in game development, with Unity, the most popular game engine, widely using it for scripting. 

C# is quite a new language and is quite easy to digest, as it was designed with ease of use in mind. On top of that, the average base pay for C# developers is around $95,000 per year. Pretty convincing, right?