Whether you are a new or seasoned developer with decades of experience under your belt, your career could benefit greatly by learning one – or more – of the programming languages we showcase in this article. In addition to being a great addition to your resume, learning to develop software in one of these languages can also help your career longevity. They may also help make your daily work routine easier, as odds are they will fit within your existing technology and add functionality to any applications or web apps that you create.
The list of programming languages in this article is by no means a complete list. There are hundreds of programming languages around the globe, each with its own pros and cons. The vast majority of those languages are too obscure or unsupported to learn. However, there are a good number that are legitimate, and that could easily earn a spot on this showcase.
To be included on this list, we look at a few factors. First is how popular a coding language is overall. This includes its use among developers and apps built using the language. The second factor is how fast that language has grown in recent years, how well it is supported, and if there seems to be an upwards trend in the languages use. Are new companies using the language for their software development? Are there plenty of resources available to learn – and support – the language?
Other considerations are also taken into consideration: how easy is the language to learn, does it work across all platforms, the scope of use, and how well it plays with other languages are all factors for inclusion on our list.
What Programming Languages Should I Learn for 2021
The programming languages listed below can be used for virtually any purpose. Whether you are a web developer, software engineer, mobile app creator, or even video game coder, the versatile coding languages we chose as the best programming languages of 2021 will help you achieve your software development goals – no matter how large or small they might be.
Looking to start a career as a developer? Want to add another skill to your developer toolbox? You can’t get wrong choosing one of these.
Courtesy of the Tiobe Index
Python is a highly versatile programming language that, year after year, battles to be the world’s most widely used developer language. That battle usually occurs between C and Java, with the trio switching places every now and again – depending upon where you get your statistics from. Either way, Python is a language every developer should seriously consider learning. Not only is the language easy to learn and read – it almost reads like English, in fact – but it is also incredibly powerful and flexible.
Benefits of Python
Here are just a few of the many benefits Python offers developers:
- Python is concise and efficient, meaning Python programs require a lot less code than its counterparts to accomplish the same goals. Because of this, you can create software faster – and cheaper – than you can with other languages.
- Python is wildly popular and has a massive community of developers and loads of resources. These resources are helpful to learn the language and offer support. In addition, the Python community is constantly adding new libraries and modules that extend the functionality of your programs and, again, save you time coding common functions and features in your applications.
- Python works on every platform – it is supported on Windows, macOS, Linux, and other operating systems.
- Python is very easy to learn, read, and write.
Uses of Python: Python can be used for virtually every form of software you can think of. You can use Python to create desktop applications, server applications, web apps, mobile apps, embedded programs and IoT software, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications, and even video games.
Average Salary: According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a Python developer is $111,000.
Kotlin is one of the hot new kids on the block, having been launched by JetBrains under the name Project Kotlin in 2011 and officially released in 2016. The easiest way to think about Kotlin is in contrast to Java, which the language was intended to (eventually) replace. While the language has made great strides in the past few years, it is still a work in progress. That being said, the language is a powerhouse and has made a huge impression since hitting the scenes.
Kotlin is a statically typed, general-purpose programming language. It supports both object-oriented principles and functional programming features, making it a truly powerful, feature-rich language. As you can imagine, the language is interoperable with Java and has built-in support for all of Java’s libraries. Its rise in popularity is, in part, due to Google choosing it as the preferred language for mobile app development for Android devices.
Benefits of Kotlin
Here are just a few of the benefits Kotlin offers programmers:
- Kotlin uses a very concise and intuitive syntax. Like Python, this means that you can accomplish more work by writing less code than other languages. In other words, Kotlin makes developers more efficient.
- Kotlin works with Java code. As stated, Kotlin is Java interoperable and uses virtually every Java library, tool, and framework.
- Kotlin is probably the best language currently for writing mobile applications for Android devices.
- Kotlin is less error-prone, thanks to its slim, compact codebase. Bugs in your Kotlin code are detected at compile-time, making it possible to find and fix errors prior to run-time.
- Kotlin is easy to learn, especially if you already know Java. This makes it a great choice for new developers and developers who want to add another language to their skillset.
Uses of Kotlin: Known primarily for its use in creating mobile applications, Kotlin can also be used for web development and desktop software programming.
Average Salary: According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a Kotlin developer is $127,541.
Where Kotlin is beloved in the world of Android mobile development, Swift is the golden child for programmers in the macOS and iOS realm. Introduced by Apple back in 2014, Swift was custom-made for iOS development. It runs on popular devices such as iPhones and iPads and, interestingly, tvOS (Apple TVs) and watchOS (Apple Watch), making it a highly valuable programming language to learn.
Swift is very supportive of the programming language Objective-C, which it was originally developed to replace. It is a general-purpose, block-structured, compiled programming language that incorporates object-oriented, functional, and imperative features. It is largely considered a member of the C family of programming languages, which include C, C++, and C#.
Benefits of Swift
Here are just a few of the benefits to developing with Swift:
- Swift is considered a safe programming language because run-time crashes stop on the line of code where nil optional variables are used. This prevents errors in a developer’s code and allows programmers to fix code issues as they write.
- Swift features support for dynamic libraries.
- Swift runs application logic very quickly, outpacing performance languages like C++ in the speed department. As an example, search algorithms are nearly three times faster in
- Swift than in Objective-C and around eight times as fast as Python.
- Swift is Open Source, with a large community, making it easy to find support and libraries.
- Swift has a “Playground” where you can learn and test code using data visualizations, lowering the learning curve of the language.
Uses of Swift: Swift is known mainly as a mobile development language for iOS, but it can also be used for systems programming and desktop applications as well.
Average Salary: The average salary of a Swift developer is $110,000.
Java is a class-based language which some consider to be object-oriented (though there is much debate about whether this is technically true or not, in part because it contains primitive data types). It is also a general-purpose language created with the concept of WORA (write once, run anywhere), meaning that you don’t need to write a different version of programs depending upon which Operating System the end-user has installed; Java works across all platforms thanks to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Benefits of Java
Here are just a few of the benefits of learning to program in Java:
- Java is much beloved by companies that rely on enterprise applications. Part of this reason is that there are so many Java programmers in the world, so the workforce is easy to pull from. Java is also very powerful with loads of libraries, making it an ideal choice for Enterprise-level development.
- Java, as noted, is platform-independent; it can run on any system, regardless of Operating System (OS) or architecture.
- Java is a distributed language – it has a built-in feature that lets developers share data and programs for easier collaboration, known as Remote Method Invocation (RMI). Other languages rely on external APIs for distribution.
- Java allows programmers to make the most of CPU time to maximize their programs. This is achieved through a process known as multithreading.
- Java has a long history and has been through many iterations, making it one of the most stable and trustworthy languages around. This same storied history means that there are plenty of seasoned developers that know the ins and outs of Java and a boatload of resources and libraries that have stood the test of time.
Uses of Java: Java can be used for desktop applications, web-based applications, gaming, cloud-based applications, IoT software, mobile app development, big data tech, distributed software, and more.
Average Salary: The average salary of a Java developer is $110,000.