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7 Most Popular Programming Languages for 2022

  • Sep 26, 2021
  • 10 Minutes Read
7 Most Popular Programming Languages for 2022

 

Computers might just be one of the best inventions of the 21st century. These wondrous machines could perform a wide range of mathematical operations with accuracy. Ever since then research has gone into improving the bridge of communication between the human operating the computer and the computer itself. A programming language defines the terms and symbols that one uses while communicating with computers. Over the years, languages have evolved to be more sophisticated and closer to the user than ever before. With 2022 fast approaching, it is definitely worth the time to pick up a programming language and properly learn it.

Initially, the only code that a computer understood was machine language code - a stream of 0's and 1's. It was very tedious to work with a language like this since almost every instruction has to be broken down into bits and then fed to the computer - which took a long time to do. With the advent of technology, assemblers were created which allowed code to be slightly more modular than before. These assemblers are the predecessors of modern-day compilers and interpreters. The language fed to the assembler was called assembly language code. Assembly language programs used alphanumerical data for processing. Fast forward to the present, and we have compilers and interpreters doing the hard work for us. High-level programming languages have almost completely replaced assembly language in every field of work. They are now closer to human beings than ever before.

Modern-day programming languages use alphanumeric data which very closely resemble the languages spoken by us in our everyday lives. More research is being put into making computers understand our natural languages (like English), which will allow computers to understand human languages in their entirety in the future.

There are a large number of programming languages to choose from - each with its own distinct set of features. With the passing of time, languages have evolved to include more features that make them easier to understand and work with. Considering the vast number of languages in today's world, choosing a language to learn is very difficult. This article will include some nitty-gritty details on 7 of the most in-demand programming languages in 2022, as well as the career prospects offered by them. 

But before that, why should you get into technology? 

Software engineers earn a substantial amount, perhaps much more than equivalent jobs in the industry. The average salary offered to a software engineer as indicated by Indeed's stats is $101,227 - with a cash bonus of $4000 every year (in the United States). This also includes additional benefits like stock options, commuter assistance as well as visa sponsorship. Despite salaries being slashed during the pandemic, software engineers managed to translate to remote work culture and continue work as usual.
Average salaries have risen despite the pandemic being hard on people in general as indicated by the State of Software Engineers by Hired. Despite these being facts, technology continues to be one of the most difficult career choices to take up willingly. One of the main things that drive an individual's employability is the choice of programming language that one decides to master as part of their curriculum. 

There are various sub choices that one can take up while pursuing software development as a career. There's web development, which revolves around building websites and web apps. Mobile app development is another field that involves building mobile apps. Backend development revolves around building the functionality that powers the main product, while frontend development is mostly involved with the design and development of the customer-facing components of the product.

If you are not exhausted yet and want to build something that concerns the developers working on the product, there's DevOps for you. You're pretty much spoiled for choice when it comes to computer engineering (or computer science) - even though most jobs generally need a college degree before they even look at your resume. 

That's the fine part - this is just the icing on the cake.

In the modern world, proficiency in a particular coding language determines the money one can make. Some languages, in general, have lost their appeal over the years because newer languages offer something which suits modern applications more. Of course, it's way better to learn a language that is more in-demand than others that are non-existent in the tech industry. This brings us to our list of the top 7 programming languages that one can learn to keep a solid foothold in the industry.

7 Most Popular Programming Languages 

Every year, StackOverflow conducts a survey to check on the status of the developer community. This survey does indicate the current progress of development, and it does serve as an indication of the current popularity of a programming language. For the record, Google Trends is also another useful tool that reveals the popularity of a programming language. Github conducts its own survey to measure the pulse of the contributors on the platform. While this survey mostly includes open source projects as its target category, it's wise to remember that the greater the open-source projects built in a language - the more respect it commands from the people using it.

The TIOBE index also shows data about the popularity of a language derived from the number of search engine hits for that language. For data about research projects, the IEEE Spectrum rankings provide a pretty good insight into which language is popular among scholars and researchers. There will be some degree of difference between researchers and developers because their use cases are very dissimilar. An overall combination of all these results should provide information about which programming language is better to learn in 2022 (according to your needs, anyways).

Based on these reports, it is possible to come up with a list of the most in-demand languages for the coming year. This list is in no way binding, and you should feel free to explore and find a comfort zone (even more so if you're graduating with a computer science degree!). 

1) Python

Python was built by Guido van Rossum in the late 1980s in the Netherlands. Initially built as a competitor for Java in the industry, Python slowly shot forward in popularity. Currently, Python has built huge popularity among both the researcher as well as the developer community. Python sits at the top of the language ranking for the IEEE Spectrum, having a score of a perfect 100.
Moreover, Python also commands respect and has a support percentage of 44.1%

Python is suitable for pretty much anything. You have Django and Flask which can be utilized for web development, while scientific tools like Jupyter and Spyder are used for analysis and research purposes. If you're into automation, Selenium is out there to help you! The flexibility of the language allows Python to be used pretty much anywhere. These, by far, are the more popular products of Python. Python's huge support base (second only to that of JavaScript) produces tons of packages, frameworks, and even full-fledged open-source software using the language. 

Python probably has the largest support for data science and machine learning in general. While there are other languages like R and MATLAB which do offer competition, Python's the strict ruler of the data science space. A majority of the frameworks and libraries used in machine learning are made in Python only, making it probably the best language to pick up if one wants to learn about machine learning (or data science in general).

Python also has one of the easiest learning curves of all languages, since it has a lot of packages to support everyday operations. You want to sort an array - there's a package for that. You want to take data from JSON arrays and export them to strings - that can be done too. Convert from one file type to another? Bingo! There's a running joke in the StackOverflow community that if you can come up with a new package for Python - you are pretty much 'reinventing the wheel' (that is, redoing what someone else has already done).
If you are struggling with Python assignment then you can take 1:1 python help from expert tutors.

2) JavaScript

JavaScript is pretty much the industry leader at this point. Built originally as a scripting language for Netscape Navigator (one of the best browsers back in the day) in 1994, JavaScript's ascent to greatness has been swift. It wasn't until 2008 that modern-day JavaScript was devised by Google when they built the V8 engine for Google Chrome. Originally built as a competitor to Java by Netscape, JavaScript now commands a space of its own in the development sphere. JavaScript is widely favored as the "language of the Internet" because of its popularity. JavaScript enjoys the highest support amongst developer communities - as high as 67.7%. In general, JavaScript is suitable for any kind of development activities like mobile app development, web development, desktop app development, and so on.

JavaScript has a wide variety of libraries and frameworks which can be utilized during development. There's Angular, Vue, and React for frontend development, while Node.js is a very flexible language for working on the backend. Jest and Mocha are two flexible tools that help set up unit tests to check if the functionality is working as intended or not. Of course, if you're not very comfortable with either of these, you can just go for vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the frontend - it's that simple! Because of the enormous support from developers around the world, JavaScript has the largest number of support packages that any language can boast about. Despite that, people continue to build more and more packages to add to the ease of using the language. 

Despite being the king of the hill in the developer community, the scientific community does not exactly look very favorably upon JavaScript. It ranks behind Java and C++ in the IEEE Spectrum, having a low score of 88.4%. Despite that, it still ranks above MATLAB and R - languages which were built to be for the scientific community from the get-go. 

The only problem with JavaScript is that it has a high skill ceiling. Despite having an easy learning curve, it takes some time (and quite some guidance) to have some degree of mastery over the language. You're definitely going to knock your head into a brick wall when you see that your JavaScript code is not working as intended. But the real satisfaction comes when you successfully debug your code, fully understand what's going wrong, and take some lessons to prevent similar issues in future coding assignments.

3) Java 

Built in 1991 by James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton as the language 'Oak', Java was the first language to have a big global impact. While the new programming language used the same format as C/C++, it incorporated certain new ideas to make it more appealing to more people. Java runs on the principle of "Write Once, Run Anywhere" - implying that systems with varying hardware and OS configurations can run Java programs with ease.

If you've ever used StackOverflow to find the solution to your problems (and there are very few who haven't), you might have come across a running joke that "Java is dead". Ask any friend working at a company on consumer side products about this joke, and they will be glad to prove you wrong (because it probably won't be the first time they debunked this misconception!). Java still continues to be the coding language of choice for the development of software that people use in their day-to-day lives. While people may have reservations about learning Java over more popular languages like JavaScript and Python, the industrial demand for the language says otherwise.

Java also has a wide variety of libraries and frameworks which utilize Java under the hood. Java is used for app development through Spring and Hibernate. JUnit helps us set up unit tests for our Java projects. Most importantly, Java is being used in the development of native Android applications (the Android SDK is itself powered by the Java Development Kit or the JDK). Java is probably the language that most people were introduced to as part of an introductory computer programming course in college or in school. Java is the language used for teaching object-oriented programming to the masses.

Java is also highly respected in the field of analytics and research. The only problem with Java is that there are very few support packages and projects for the language at present. There's very little community involvement - something that most mainstream languages have. Despite that, Java is a language that is very easy to pick up and learn - partly explaining the appeal for the language. However, it does take some time for one to attain some form of mastery over the language.

4) C++

Perhaps one of the most shocking answers that one can expect in this article is C++. Despite being the language that most people use to learn the concepts of data structures and algorithms, the language itself finds little usage in the practical world. First created by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension of the C programming language in 1982, C++ went on to make a name for itself in the years to come.

C++ finds use in analytics, research as well as in-game development. The popular game development engine - the Unreal Engine - uses C++ as the scripting language for all of the functionality one can define while building a game. C++ also finds extensive use in software development. Being mid-way between the object-oriented approach and the method-oriented approach allows C++ to be flexible in the nature of software that can be produced using it. Being located 4th in the TIOBE index signifies that C++ continues to have an appeal to this day. C++ is also extensively used in system software development, being easier to understand than other languages. The main reason for using C++ in a sensitive area like the OS is that C++ programs have a very low compilation time.

C++ probably has the largest learning community among all of the languages. Most students would start their algorithms courses building trees, linked lists, stacks, queues, and numerous other data structures in C++. Naturally, it is quite easy to pick up and learn as well as easy to master if one pays attention to details. 

5) TypeScript 

One would be very mistaken if they think that JavaScript will still be the ruler of the tech world after a decade of its dominance. The language was made internally at Microsoft and released in 2012. Ever since then, the language has taken the world by storm. People on Github, StackOverflow, and other online forums have even dubbed TypeScript as the David to the Goliath that is JavaScript. Despite being strictly a superset of JavaScript, there are many new things about the language that makes learning it worthwhile. The main feature is that TypeScript is strongly typed by nature, making the code (and its output) easier to understand. 

TypeScript is the superset of JavaScript and has almost the same applications as JavaScript. TypeScript can be used in web development, mobile app development, desktop app development, and so on. TypeScript is the second most popular language as mentioned by StackOverflow's list of most loved languages, being loved by 67.1% of developers (being second only to Rust). 

TypeScript is mainly a language meant for development, so it does not have much appeal to the scientific community. However, because of the new features of TypeScript, one can expect that it might inspire a slightly greater degree of interest for research. The language has a much lower skill ceiling than JavaScript - and many "difficult-to-understand" behaviors of JavaScript have been simplified in TypeScript. In other words, you have a slightly less chance of knocking your head into a wall. 

6) Golang 

New languages are sharply rising on the horizon, with new contenders coming up to challenge the throne owned by JavaScript and Python. Being made by Google (both have "Go" in their names!) mainly to advance the cause of functional programming, Golang has built up a mass following within a short time. Golang has already made it the fifth-best language to learn by StackOverflow, being adored by 62.3% of developers.

Golang is used in multiple areas, both for developing robust software as well as the backends used for web and mobile applications. Currently, Golang even supports some rudimentary amount of web development. While it's still not in a phase to replace JavaScript as the language of the web, it is fast becoming a language that supports the next phase of the web. 

Golang is slightly more difficult to learn than the other languages on this list. Moreover, Golang is an open-source language that frequently changes with every major update, so staying updated is a necessity. 

7) Dart

One of the fastest-growing languages in the industrial sphere. Google's contribution in the sphere of languages has significantly increased to compete with the increase in popularity of Microsoft's TypeScript. Dart has been highly adored by programmers around the world for its simplicity. 

Dart is used in multiplatform application development. Like JavaScript, Dart is used for building software that can be run by anyone and everyone with an electronic device. The most famous use of Dart currently is in the framework of Flutter, a language used for mobile app development. Recent Google trends have shown that Flutter, despite being a newer framework, is more popular than React Native, a mobile app development framework already established in the industry. 

Dart is simpler to learn than JavaScript and manages to simplify even difficult-to-understand cases really well. With TypeScript and Dart both in the market, programmers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a language they really want to pick up. 

Which Programming Language Should I Learn?

What you should learn largely depends on what career you want to pursue in the future. For web development, JavaScript with HTML and CSS is largely the best. If you want to go into research, Python and Java are largely the best way to go. For mobile app development, the options available are quite vast - JavaScript, Java, Kotlin, and Dart. For a more native app, Java and Kotlin are the way to go. Dart and JavaScript are the best languages for getting into hybrid app development. For desktop apps, Java, JavaScript, and C# are the best options to go with. There's no specific language that suits a purpose - the main idea is to explore as much as possible and then choose the best option available. Of course, the applications pretty much limit what one can choose to go with. For example, it is not possible to use languages like C++ or Kotlin for web development - the language does not have the support required for web development work.

Which programming language you should learn

Another thing to be noted is that language has a learning curve and needs some time investment before one can properly start working on it. While JavaScript and Python themselves get a lot of things done, they are languages that take some time to master. Also, with more new languages being actively worked on than ever before, there can be a dilemma as to which language to learn properly. This list should shed some light on the same and help you with your choices - should you require more help, FavTutor's talented tutors are always online and ready to help you

Programming language Uses
JavaScript Web Development, App Development, Automation, Testing, Software Development, Game Development,
Python Web Development, Automation, Testing, Software Development, Data Science, Analytics
Java Software Development, App Development, Testing
C++ Software Development, Game Development
TypeScript Web Development, App Development, Automation, Testing, Software Development, Game Development,
Golang Web Development, Software Development
Dart Web Development, App Development, Software Development

Conclusion

While there's no single language that can suit one's purpose - there are certainly a number of good options available for people who are starting out in tech. While this list is certainly not exhaustive by nature - the languages listed here should serve as a reference for most beginners who want to get the most value out of the language they wish to learn. That is until they realize only data structures and algorithms are asked in interviews for tech roles - and the software development engineer (SDE) dream is still a far cry indeed. (Not so much, if you take the coding help from our talented tutors at FavTutor). 

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About The Author
Arkadyuti Bandyopadhyay
Hi, I am Arkadyuti, a developer and open source enthusiast with quite some experience in content writing. I wish to make the switch to a full-stack developer one day.