New programming languages are popping up every now and then, and virtually every industry needs programmers these days. Before, programming was a rare skill that only a few possessed. However, that’s not the case anymore. With the increasing demand for programmers, there has been a meteoric rise in the number of people willing to learn new programming languages.

Programming languages trends show stiff competition, and if you want to stand out, you might need to learn more than just one language. These languages aren’t one-dimensional and are targeted toward different skill levels and requirements. If you’re thinking of entering this most sought-after domain, you need to have in-depth knowledge about the various types of languages, their advantages, disadvantages, and programming language trends.

Programming language experts are in high demand in virtually every industry

Programming language experts are in high demand in virtually every industry

We’ve done the hard part for you. Through researching, personal usage, consulting with top programmers, and studying programming languages trends, we’re happy to present our comprehensive guide on the top 20 programming languages that’ll rule in 2022.

What Are The Top Programming Languages To Learn In 2022?

The pandemic ushered in a world where the internet became the primary business scene, and most companies went online. This brought in an insatiable need for programmers and coders. People, interested in pursuing a career in this field had to deal with a new problem — which programming language to learn? However, there is no straight answer to this question.

The year 2022 is on track to witness an even higher demand for developers, and this necessitates promising programmers to choose the right language.

Depending on your career goals, you must focus on the following:

  • Systems Programming — Rust and Go
  • Developing Desktop Applications — Python, Go, and Scala
  • Mobile Development — JavaScript, Objective C, Java, Kotlin, and Swift
  • Back-End Web Development — Ruby, Go, Python, Scala, TypeScript, and JavaScript
  • Front-End Development — Typescript, Elm, and JavaScript

The same can be applied to companies and businesses. Companies always stay up to date with the latest programming languages trends. For instance, when they’re looking for a mobile app programmer, Swift developers are in higher demand than those well-versed in Objective C.

As a general rule of thumb, several basic languages can fulfill business requirements. When deciding which language to learn, you can also consider programming trends. According to a report published by Statista in 2021, JavaScript, Python, TypeScript, and Java are among the top most popular programming languages. Moreover, Go, Kotlin, Scala, Swift, Ruby, C#, R, PHP, Rust, C++, Elm, Julia, Elixir, Crystal, Groovy, and Clojure show increasing levels of popularity and adoption.

No programming language fits all requirements and ultimately, it comes down to the needs of the tasks or which field you want to foray into.

JavaScript

Industry programming language trends and statistics solidify Javascript’s popularity. Again, according to Statista, Javascript was the most used programming language worldwide in 2021. Originally created for developing web applications, JavaScript is currently widely used for creating non-web browser applications and server-side rendered websites. It’s a dynamic and multi-paradigm language that supports declarative, imperative, and object-oriented styles.

The most used programming languages

The most used programming languages

From startups to conglomerates like eBay, Facebook, Uber, and Microsoft, Javascript is used by countless companies and industries. This programming language is so widespread that virtually everything online uses JavaScript in one shape or the other. In fact, over 98% of websites, including Halo Lab, use JavaScript as a client-side programming language. The simplicity, speed, rich interfaces, versatility, and popularity make it the first choice for most developers.

Pros

  • Wide popularity and acceptance
  • Reduces demand on the server
  • Works well with various programming languages

Cons

  • Lacks static typing (however, this can be solved with TypeScript)
  • Different browsers may interpret it differently

TypeScript

TypeScript is one of the most sought-after languages for designing interactive front-end applications. This language is most suited for intermediate to advanced programmers, and you need a basic understanding of JavaScript as well. TypeScript is used to create projects based on JavaScript with typing in both server-side and client-side development. It also supports JavaScript libraries.

TypeScript inherits some of the major benefits of JavaScript but brings along additional advantages stemming from static typing and other TS-specific concepts.

One of the major advantages of TypeScript is its optional static typing — types can be added to properties, functions, variables, etc. This benefits the compiler, and if there are any potential code errors, they’ll be shown even before the app runs. TypeScript inherits some of the major benefits of JavaScript but brings along additional advantages stemming from static typing and other TS-specific concepts. This makes TypeScript the go-to programming language for large-scale projects.

Pros

  • Supports JavaScript libraries
  • Excellent for large-scale or team-based projects
  • One of the fastest-growing communities

Cons

  • It takes more time to learn

Java

Java is a classic programming language, and it has remained a popular choice for many companies to this day, according to programming language trends. For enterprise-scale web-application development, Java remains one of the most sought-after programming languages. Java is extremely stable, and that’s one of its primary selling points. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a software developer, you need to master Java.

Android has the most users across the globe and Java is one of the most popular choices for Android app development. Google even offers a fantastic Android development framework based on Java-Android Studio.

Pros

  • Supports multithreading
  • Vast open-source libraries
  • Possesses the stack allocation system

Cons

  • Memory management is expensive
  • The absence of templates restricts the creation of high-quality data structures

For enterprise-scale web-application development, Java remains one of the most sought-after programming languages.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language and is suited for developing modern multi-platform applications. This programming language was released in 2016 to be better than Java. Despite being released not even a decade earlier, it’s one of the fastest-growing programming languages. It is interoperable with Java and supports functional programming languages in addition to Type Interface and Perl and Linux shell script style string interpolation. Kotlin features extension functions, null-point safety, and infix notation.

Pros

  • Fully compatible with Java
  • Comparatively easy to adopt
  • Less code-heavy than other languages

Cons

  • Kotlin features no static keyword

Go

The Go programming language was developed for web applications and APIs. The simplicity of Go, and its capability to handle networked and multi-core systems, as well as massive codebases, has recently made it one of the fastest-growing programming languages.

Go was targeted toward programmers working on large-scale projects. The modern and simple structure and syntax familiarity have increased its popularity with large IT companies. Numerous multinational companies like Twitch, Uber, and Google use Go. Due to its speed and performance, Go is also gaining traction among Data Scientists.

Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • Smart documentation
  • Statically typed languages are more secure

Cons

  • No GUI library
  • Underprivileged library support

Python

Python is an object-oriented programing language, and due to its simplicity and readability, it’s a popular choice among beginners. Its adaptability also makes it a top choice among data scientists and developers. Python allows you to create web apps, desktop apps with graphical interfaces, network servers, MIL models, and many more. It’s a free, open-source language with robust community development and support modules.

Python is the most wanted language for its fifth-year

Python is the most wanted language for its fifth-year

For programmers, it offers numerous advantages, including GUI-based desktop applications, user-friendly data structures, and seamless integration with web services. Python has been used to create popular video games like Toontown, Vegas Trike, and Civilization IV. Another advantage is that you don’t need to know any other programming language to learn Python.

Pros

  • Ease of learning makes it the top choice for beginners
  • Widely used for creating web applications
  • Open-source nature

Cons

  • Python can have run-time errors
  • Slow execution speed

Scala

Released in 2004, Scala is one of the most promising new programming languages, and it combines object-oriented and functional programming. Just like other programming languages, Scala was designed to serve a specific function. According to its inventor, Martin Odersky, Scala was developed to address the demand of the component software’s need for higher language support.

This programming language is ideally used for eliminating bugs in complex applications. Scala can also be used for virtually any task that normally requires Java. Numerous companies utilize Scala such as New York Times, Twitter, and Netflix.

Props

  • Compatible with Java
  • Excellent for data analytics
  • Functional coding

Cons

  • Longer learning curve
  • Limited developer pool

Swift

Swift is primarily used for creating iOS applications. Although it’s not as popular as Java or TypeScript, Swift was designed with a specific purpose in mind. This programming language contains concise syntax, and one of its biggest selling points is that it is fast and design-friendly, making it well-loved by developers.

Created as a replacement for Objective-C, Swift was released only in 2014, but programming language trends indicate that it’s already one of the fastest-growing languages. Many companies such as Accenture, Bitpanda, Robinhood, Uber, Slack, and others trust Swift for iOS app development.

Props

  • Excellent handling and typing functions allow developers to avoid major errors
  • Expressive and clean syntax
  • Widely used for iOS app development

Cons

  • Limited support for dated iOS versions
  • Limited community support

Ruby

Ruby is one of the most widely used programming languages for developing web applications. Similar to Swift, it was created for a specific purpose, and as such, the number of developers that use it is limited compared to multi-purpose languages like Python. This language is open-source, and its dynamic nature is well-loved by developers.

One of the biggest selling points of Ruby is its elegant syntax. Ruby on Rails, a web application framework used in Ruby, is touted by developers for being easy to learn and having a shorter learning time.

Props

  • Simple and easy to read
  • Object-oriented programming language
  • Enforces good programming style

Cons

  • Not widely used
  • Poor debugging
The plethora of programming languages makes it difficult to decide which ones to learn

The plethora of programming languages makes it difficult to decide which ones to learn

C#

Microsoft developed C# as a general-purpose language, and during the 2000s, it rose to popularity due to its support of object-oriented programming concepts. It’s one of the most widely used languages for the NET. framework. C# uses Microsoft’s C++, which makes it suitable for developing iOS, Android, and Windows applications. Several popular websites like MarketWatch, Dell, and Bing use C# on their back-end.

Props

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Object-oriented programming language
  • Open-source with an extensive library

Cons

  • Less flexible as it depends on the .NET framework

R

For machine learning and data analysis, the R programming language remains one of the most widely used. The built-in libraries and excellent framework make it ideal for developing powerful machine learning algorithms, and it’s also useful for general statistical computing. R isn’t as easy to learn as some of the other languages mentioned in this article, but if you’re interested in pursuing a career in analytics, learning this language can be a huge plus to your resume. Programming languages trends indicate growing support for R.

Props

  • Open-source programming language
  • Excellent graphical capabilities
  • Great for complex statistical calculations

Cons

  • Limited security features
  • Slower than other languages like Python

R isn’t as easy to learn as some of the other languages mentioned in this article, but if you’re interested in pursuing a career in analytics, learning this language can be a huge plus to your resume.

PHP

PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages. It’s very easy and quick to embed PHP into HTML, and it’s one of the most used programming languages for web development. Similar to other languages mentioned in this guide, PHP is also open source. It’s a straightforward language to learn and this makes it perfect for beginners to master before they transition to more sophisticated web-based languages.

Props

  • Very easy to learn
  • Open-source programming language
  • Great community support

Cons

  • Poor error handling
  • Not very secure

Rust

In 2010, Graydon Hoare created Rust as an alternative to C++. Rust is syntactically similar to C++ but offers safer memory management and better performance. It’s a safe, practical language that supports functional and imperative procedural methods.

Rust is the most loved language

Rust is the most loved language

Rust offers an easy-to-learn syntax and includes a borrow checker that eliminates bugs when the code is being written, eliminating the need for garbage collection. A long list of corporations such as Telenor Digital, Dropbox, Wire, and Clever Cloud make use of Rust.

Props

  • Faster than other languages like C++
  • A multi-purpose programming language
  • Excellent community support

Cons

  • Slower to develop codes compared to other languages like Ruby
  • Slow compiler

C++

In the world of programming, C and C++ are well-known. C++ is an improved version of C, and it is used to write most low-level systems, including operating and file systems. If you’re considering entering the IT sector, it may be necessary to learn C++.

Competitive programmers also use C++ due to its speed and stability. This language includes STL, a standard template library that provides ready-to-use libraries for various arithmetic operations, algorithms, and data structures. C++ is a popular language choice among high-frequency traders due to the support of libraries and the speed of the language.

Props

  • A wide array of libraries and compilers to work with
  • Rich function library
  • Programs are easy to understand

Cons

  • Complex syntax
  • No dynamic memory allocation

Elm

Elm is a functional programming language and is aimed toward front-end development. It enhances JavaScript maintainability and has a similar syntax to Haskell. Elm is one of the best alternatives to JavaScript but doesn’t produce runtime exceptions like the latter. During compilation, Elm utilizes type inference to identify errors and offer user-friendly hints.

Performance, robustness, and usability are the three factors that define the Elm programming language. It features an extensive variety of language constructs, including anonymous functions, case expressions, let-expression, if expressions, and list interpolation. Even though it’s not widely used, it’s one of the fastest-growing programming languages.

Props

  • Code stays clean
  • Excellent type system
  • No runtime exceptions

Cons

  • Lack of community support
  • Some CSS and JavaScript are still needed

Julia

For computational science and numerical analysis, Julia is a top-notch programming language. It offers numerical accuracy, a sophisticated compiler, distributed parallel execution program, and an impressive mathematical functional library.

The user isn’t forced to employ a particular parallelism style by Julia. It provides various essential building blocks for distributed computation, making Julia versatile and flexible enough to support a diverse range of parallelism styles. It’s very easy to make web applications with this programming language, and it is used by a long list of companies, including Forio, IBM, Capital One, Disney, and McAfee.

Props

  • Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler
  • Multiple dispatch
  • Dynamic typing

Cons

  • Errors only appear at runtime
  • Julia is not for general purposes and serves scientific niches primarily

For computational science and numerical analysis, Julia is a top-notch programming language.

Clojure

Clojure is a general-purpose functional programming language based on Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This programming language is based on the Lisp functional programming, allows concurrency, and works on Java. The name is a play on the “closure” programming concept, and the letter C stands for C#, L for Lisp, and J for Java, denoting the language’s design philosophy.

Closure developers usually receive a high salary, and since it’s rarely used, there is little competition. As a part of the Lisp family, Clojure is characterized by simple syntax. Numerous companies, including Weebly, Groupon, and Soundcloud, use Clojure.

Clojure developers have the highest median salary

Clojure developers have the highest median salary

Props

  • Simple syntax
  • Large ecosystem of top-quality Clojure libraries
  • Great support for parallel and concurrent programming

Cons

  • Lengthy JVM startup time
  • Explicit and static typing are not supported

Elixir

Elixir was geared towards real-time distributed applications development. It’s a functional and dynamic language that makes use of Erlang VM, and its goal is to enhance the performance of Rails application operation across various CPUs. If you’re working on banking software, network apps, or data processing, you should consider Elixir.

Elixir focuses on high-order functions and features lightweight concurrency and pattern matching. Many companies, including Pinterest and Moz, have successfully adopted Elixir, and it’s one of the fastest-growing programming languages.

Props

  • Ease of use
  • Fault tolerance
  • Strong developer community

Cons

  • Erlang knowledge required
  • More expensive

Crystal

Crystal is a popular object-oriented programming language that aims to offer web developers C-like performance. It takes a lot of inspiration from Ruby, so if you’re already familiar with the latter programming language, Crystal becomes easier to master. For emitting native code, Crystal depends on LLVM. As a result, it makes use of all the optimizations embedded into the toolchain.

Additionally, Crystal is statically typed so errors will be detected prior to run time. With this programming language, you don’t need to reimplement low-level tasks as it features a dedicated syntax to conveniently call native libraries.

Props

  • Faster than Ruby
  • Strong typing
  • Simple syntax

Cons

  • No multithreading
  • Still in development mode

Groovy

First released in 2003, Groovy is an object-oriented programming language. It integrates effortlessly with any Java library as it’s dynamically compiled to Java bytecode. If you already have experience with Java, it’ll be easy to learn Groovy.

Groovy has access to the Grails framework and comes packed with tons of features such as pluggability, powerful view technology, and NoSQL support, among others. Another advantage is that this programming language supports both static and dynamic typing. A long list of corporations, including Netflix, Airbus, and Mastercard, make use of Groovy.

Props

  • Java platform
  • Concise and readable
  • Dynamic language

Cons

  • Not many advantages over Java
  • Lack of community support
Task requirements are a huge determinant when deciding which language to learn

Task requirements are a huge determinant when deciding which language to learn

Summary

No programming language fits all requirements, and ultimately, it comes down to the needs of the tasks or which field you want to foray into. Rust and Go are excellent for systems programming, while Python, Go, and Scala — for developing desktop applications. For mobile development, JavaScript, Objective C, Java, and Swift are the top options. If you want to learn to program for back-end web development, you can go for Ruby, Go, Python, Scala, and JavaScript. For front-end development, Typescript, Elm, and JavaScript make excellent choices.

However, if we had to narrow it down, we would highly recommend mastering TypeScript and JavaScript first. They serve multiple purposes, are well established, offer excellent community support, and are widely used across various industries.