Which Are The 5 Most In-Demand Programming Languages to Learn in 2018?

For it all comes down to: "Which are the fastest-growing programming languages to learn in 2018 in order to become an (even more) in-demand developer?"

And to: "Which of the languages that already wrote history on the web are still highly influential this year?”

“Well... it depends...”

And although this is definitely not the answer you wanted to hear/read, it is true, you know. Identifying the best programming languages for 2018 depends on the answers you'll give to a whole bunch of crucial questions:

  • Are you an entry-level or an experienced web developer?
  • A front-end or a back-end one?
  • What's your goal: what do you plan to achieve by adding new programming languages to your “arsenal”?
  • How much time are you willing to invest in learning them?
  • Are you a freelance developer or a member of an enterprise-sized development team?

And these are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before delving right into the selection that I've prepared for you here below.

What metrics have I used for putting it together? For choosing specifically these 5 programming languages for 2018?

The following:

  • pull requests on Github in 2017
  • Indeed job postings in 2017
  • TIOBE Index for December 2017

That being said, here are the 5 popular & on the rise coding languages that will be powering the technologies of the future.

And which you should consider adding to your skillset:

1. Python

It's definitely one of those all-purpose, already “legendary” programming languages:

  • use it for building scripts and bots
  • use it as a support language if you're a software developer 
  • use it for data mining
  • use it for building entire websites

In short: it's an unexpectedly easy to learn coding language, yet a “powerful beast”.

Add it to your “repertoire” of programming languages this year (or, if you have done it already, enhance your skills as a Python developer).

Especially since it's going to be one of the particularly influential (and on a growing demand) languages this year considering that it's:

widely used for machine learning, data science, and scientific computing

With machine learning developers being the most “wooed“ people in the industry right now, you definitely can't afford to overlook its huge potential for building AI.

Should I also add that Python-based jobs have been some of the best-paid ones in 2017?

2. Java

Java still “runs the show”, despite its age (20 years old) and despite a slightly lower demand of Java developers last year.

Its influence is still too strong and well-rooted for Java to be dethroned any time soon:

  • millions of developers worldwide are coding their “magic” in Java 
  • it currently runs on billions of devices 
  • speaking of which: ALL Android native apps run on Java and this sure says a lot of its nature as a global, well-established language
  • 90% of Fortune 500 companies use it for back-end development (at a server-side)
  • LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, they all use “Java fuel”
  • its versatility is simply... powerful: it runs on any hardware/OS via the Java Virtual Machine

And if these reasons backing its time-defying popularity aren't strong enough for you to add Java to your “must-learn” list, then how about some advantages instead? 

Advantages that make it one of the top programming languages to learn in 2018:

  • you'll get to use it to build server-side apps
  • … software games
  • … Android apps
  • … website content 

3. JavaScript as a Whole

Between React.js and Node.js, which one would you say it's the best language to learn in 2018?

Or maybe you're having a “Node.js vs Ruby on Rails“ dilemma? Or you're toying with the thought of getting a grip of coding in Angular instead?

No matter what JavaScript framework you're planning to add to your “arsenal”, how are you planning to do that BEFORE learning pure JavaScript?

And this is no news: JS will reign supreme in 2018! As it has in 217, too.

Stats only come to confirm the obvious:

  • 95% of all sites on the web, that run at least some sort of dynamic logic, are JavaScript-powered
  • 62.5 % of all developers (shown in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey for 2017) use it
  • multiple JS front-end frameworks present a huge potential for IoT, a reality that instantly turns JavaScript into a future-proofed programming language

4. C

That C won (a long time ago) and kept its well-deserved star on “programming languages' hall of fame”, we all know it.

And it's no “mystery” for anyone why it has been “in the spotlight” since the 70's when it first stepped on the stage of coding languages:

  • it's a portable assembly language, a “universally portable” one (it runs in nearly any system) in fact
  • … and “universally present”, too; found in most of the algorithms written and shared across the web
  • big tech brands have played their part in raising its fame: Apple, Linux, Microsoft, Oracle, all early adopters of C
  • it's perfectly adapted to work with embedded systems

That's it! This every last “reason” behind C's “legendary fame” is also the reason for its recent surge in popularity!

C is THE programming language for embedded systems!

And here I'm thinking iOT, car dashboards, wearables.

Since products get smarter and smarter and we're witnessing an “explosion” of embedded systems, C has all the potential to... ride its new wave of popularity in 2018.

Should I also mention that Spotify, eBay, Dropbox and all the Linux OS are using C programming? No need to, right?

Since I'm pretty sure that all the above-mentioned reasons are already strong enough for you to add C to your top 5 programming languages to learn in 2018.

5. Kotlin, One of the First Programming Languages to Learn in 2018 

A bit confused why I added a newcomer to my list of best programming languages for 2018? A statically-typed language?

Because it has a huge potential to rival the “superstar” coding languages for popularity.

Here's why:

  • it's an official development language for Android (that's right, it's official!)
  • it's perfect for both back-end and front-end development since it compiles down into JavaScript (one single language front-end and back-end coding, can you imagine?)
  • it's 100% interoperable with Java and, moreover, it runs on Java Virtual machine
  • its load of good press is getting heavier and heavier 

In short: you just can't afford to ignore Kotlin this year! Consider adding it to your arsenal of programming languages and future-proof your own “popularity” as a web developer.

End of the list!

I'm well aware that plenty of you won't agree with this selection, that I've left out precisely those languages that you predict to run the show this year. That I've included one/some that shouldn't even be in top 5, in your opinion.

And since I always appreciate a good debate, feel free to drop your suggestions/questions/complaints in the comments below. How does your own top 5 programming languages to learn in 2018 look like?