Which languages are developers planning to learn next?
Software & Web Development

Which languages are developers planning to learn next?

It’s important to always be learning in order to have a long and fulfilling career. Which means in the fast and ever-changing world of technology it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and continually expand your proficiency with different languages. After all, man cannot survive on C++ alone.

But which languages are developers planning to learn next? Competitive programming platform HackerRank’s 2018 Developer Skills report, based on a survey of 40,000 developers, looked at the top ten languages developers said was next on their list.

The list was a combination of new, technology-backed languages as well as languages designed for scale, simplicity, or data analysis.  Google’s Go, Mozilla’s Rust, Apple’s Swift, Microsoft’s TypeScript sit alongside old favourites such as Python, Ruby, and Scala, plus niche but growing languages such as R and Haskell.



Language programmers want to learn next

Ranking on TIOBE Index
































Why are programmers interested in these languages?

At the top of the list was Google’s Go language. Debuted in 2009, it aims to combine simplicity and readability with efficiency. It's concurrency and networking capabilities make it useful for developing Cloud services.

Python’s popularity should come as little surprise. A quick look on job sites such as Glassdoor show how in-demand Python is with businesses, so it’s not surprising programmers want it on their resume. HackerRank’s own results say only Javascript and Java are languages most in demand by employers.

Scala is powerful and designed to be ‘a better Java’ and is commonly found in Big Data use cases. Its flexibility and interoperability with Java make it appealing.

IDG Connect has covered Kotlin before; a new language recently given official support by Google that has been called ‘the new Java on Android’. It also works with existing Java frameworks and libraries, which makes switching easier.

Ruby is designed to be quick and simple to use, but also flexible. Like Python, it’s a language that’s in demand with employers.

R has long been favoured for its usefulness with statistical analysis, making it useful for Big Data and Machine Learning. The Microsoft-developed TypeScript aims to overcome the scaling shortcomings of JavaScript. Apple’s Swift is quickly becoming the de facto language for Apple-based applications, and IBM has been pushing the language as an option server-side.

Similar to C and C++, the Mozilla-sponsored Rust is designed to run fast, efficient, and memory safe systems. Version 1.0 was only released in 2015, but it has quickly found admirers; StackOverflow has labelled it the ‘most-loved language by developers’ two years running. TypeScript, Swift, and Go were also in the top 5 for 2017’s survey.

Haskell, a purely functional programming language that’s been around for nearly 30 years, is good for data analysis and writing clean code quickly.

How does the appetite to learn compare with actual popularity? According to the January 2018 edition of the TIOBE Index – which tracks the popularity of programming languages - Go has dropped marginally in popularity recently, but still remains in the top 20. Python has been in or around the top five on the index for a number of years; Scala is just outside the top 30; Kotlin scrapes the top 40; and Ruby lies just outside the top 10. R is gaining traction and now lies within the top 10 with Swift just outside it, with both Rust and Haskell rounding out the top 50.


Comment below: What language are you planning to learn next, and why?


Also read:
Can Kotlin really overtake Java as the de facto Android programming language?
Emerging markets need to catch-up on high skill programming
InfoShot: Top 10 programming languages
Africa’s first programming language to teach kids code


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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