Top 10 Programming Languages

This article reviews the most popular programming languages worldwide. The list’s data source is Statista1, and JavaScript leads the game with a more than 60% adoption rate among developers.

This article will obey the following structure:

  • Programming language overview and definition;
  • Variables to analyze when selecting a programming language;
  • Review of the top 10 programming languages.

Every developer utilizes a programming language to envision, create, and deploy applications across different platforms. Some languages are more suitable than others in terms of what tools and functionalities they offer to users.

Leading backend service providers offer support for the most popular web and application development languages on their platforms. But, knowing the capabilities of a language can be quite essential for developers.

Take a look at some of the most widely-used languages given below.

What is a programming language?

According to Wikipedia2, a programming language refers to various instructions, commands, and syntax necessary to develop a software program. Programming are categorized the following way:

High-Level LanguagesLow-Level Languages
The languages used by developers to create code are known as high-level languages.A developer’s code is then compiled to a low-level language’ that the computer hardware can readily identify and process.

High-level programming languages are generally easier to read and analyze, enabling developers to create source code with commonly used symbols and words naturally. Some examples of such terms used in high-level languages include designated words such as ifforwhilestring, or etc. Commonly used operators in these programming languages include symbols such as ==, <, and >. Most developers can understand many widely used high-level languages due to their similarity. 

Low-level languages encompass machine and assembly languages. An assembly language has a list of fundamental instructions and is generally more challenging to read than any high-level language. Assembly code can be translated to machine code with the use of an assembler. Machine code has a binary code set that a CPU can easily decipher. This type of code is not considered human-readable.

How to choose a programming language for a software project? 

The variety of programming languages makes the right selection harder and harder as time goes on. The ideal choice will depend upon project requirements and business needs. So, before choosing a programming language, please consider the following variables to base your decision.

  • Use industry benchmarks and best practices;
  • Consider your team’s knowledge and previous experience;
  • Think long-term;
  • Open-Source vs. Proprietary technologies;
  • Developers’ availability for a specific technology.

Top 10 Programming Languages 

Choosing the right programming language can be instrumental to any mobile application or web development project. Read on to discover the features and benefits of some of the most popular programming languages today.

Programming LanguageSummary
JavascriptJavaScript is a structured interpreted programming language, high-level scripting with weak dynamic typing and multiparadigm.
HTML/CSSHTML and CSS are two of the main technologies for building Web pages. 
SQLSQL stands for Structured Query Language and lets you access and manage databases.
PythonPython is a programming language that lets you work rapidly and integrate systems more productively.
JavaCreated by Sun Microsystems, Java is an object-oriented and cross-platform programming language.
C#Developed by MS, it’s a general purpose programming language.
PHPPHP, aka Hypertext Preprocessor, is an open-source scripting language for web development.
TypeScriptCreated by MS, Typescript is a superset of Javascript.
C++C++ is an open-source object oriented programming language.
GOGo is a statically typed, compiled, and open-source programming language. 

Want to know more? Keep reading.

1. Javascript

JavaScript is a programming language enabling developers to add sophisticated features to websites. All dynamic and timely actions like periodic content updates, 2D or 3D animated graphics, interactive maps, and scrolling media players are made possible through the use of JavaScript. It is one of the three standard web development technologies along with HTML and CSS. 

JavaScript Advantages

Client-side language – A processor is called to action for executing JavaScript code and not a web server. It results in reduced server load and bandwidth saving. 

Easy to learn – JavaScript is relatively easy to learn as its syntax is quite similar to English. The model utilized by this language makes various pre-set functionalities available for different page objects. As a result, developing a script for performing customized actions becomes a lot easier. 

Fast end-user functionality – JavaScript facilitates swift client-side code execution, enabling the instantaneous execution of tasks and displaying results. Pages with JavaScript code perform fast and do not require high memory resources as the processing is done outside the web server and conserves server bandwidth. 

Extended web page functionality – JavaScript is widely regarded as a feature-rich and easy to use language for giving additional functionality to websites. It is a suitable option for incorporating elements such as visuals, interactive features, and time-based data processing features. The language also enables enhancing the functionality of websites through third-party scripts and several additional features.

JavaScript Features

Platform Independent – JavaScript is platform-independent and enables developers to write a single script and use it across different places whenever the need arises. JavaScript applications can be written and run on any platform or browser without any changes to a script. 

Lightweight language – JavaScript is a resource-friendly scripting language as it has been created to perform comprehensive data handling within a browser. This language relies on fewer libraries compared to general-purpose languages. It is a lightweight option suitable for client-side execution of web applications. 

Dynamic typing – Support for dynamic typing is offered by JavaScript, facilitating variable type definition depending on a stored value. A variable can be declared without developers having to mention a data type. JavaScript developers can use the let or var keyword before a variable name for declaring the variable.  

OOPS support – JavaScript supports two key OOPS features, inheritance and encapsulation, in the form of object creation patterns and code reuse patterns, respectively.

Functional – JavaScript enables functional use for developers as objects are generated from constructor functions, and every function is representative of a unique object type. JavaScript functions can be utilized as objects and also passed to other functions. 

Prototype-based language – JavaScript is based on prototyping and utilizes prototypes instead of inheritance or classes. Java generally requires developers to create classes and objects for each class. However, JavaScript only requires defining object prototypes to facilitate the creation of more objects. 

2. HTML and CSS

HTML and CSS are two of the most fundamental technologies utilized for creating webpages. While HTML is used to create the structure of a page, CSS is primarily utilized to create the layout of the page across many devices and platforms. HTML and CSS are suitable for scripting and adding graphics and can also be utilized to create web pages and applications.

The CSS language is used for specifying how a particular web page will appear to end-users and deals with aspects such as fonts, layouts, and colors. Using CSS enables developers to adjust the appearance and overall presentation of websites across devices of all screen sizes. CSS does not rely on HTML and can be utilized with other XML-based markup languages. CSS’s independent nature means that it is convenient for actions such as site maintenance, style sheet sharing, and platform-specific page customization.

Advantages of CSS

Highly efficient language – CSS enhances the efficiency of a webmaster when style elements are being applied or modified. CSS lets developers change multiple pages simultaneously and helps designers to achieve higher efficiency. They can easily modify a complete website by writing just a small amount of code. Such changes are also reflected instantly on the devices of users around the world. 

Website speed improves – Having to create less code means that the load times are generally faster with CSS. As a result, a website using CSS is faster than another that does not. Website owners find this to be quite advantageous who can deliver fast and interruption-free experiences to users. 

Maintenance is low – Website maintenance requirements also go down with CSS as developers and designers only have a single page to manage. They can easily implement changes in different places and gain comprehensive control over website management. 

Features

  • A CSS style rule contains a selector component and a detection block component. 
  • The selector component points to an HTML component, which is to be styled by the user. 
  • One or multiple declarations are stored with semicolons in a declaration block. 
  • Each declaration contains a CSS property name, a value, and a semicolon.
  • A CSS declaration finishes with a semicolon, and it’s blocks are enclosed by curly braces. 
  • CSS selectors can be utilized for finding HTML elements based on the element name, attribute, class, id, and other parameters. 
  • The ID of the element selects a unique element. 
  • The # function has to be used with the id attribute by developers who intend to select a specific element having a specific id. 
  • Using the period character with a class name is necessary to select elements present within a class. 
  • The universal selector can match an element name if the user decides not to choose specific type elements. 

3. SQL

SQL or Structured Query Language is a programming language used for establishing database connections. It is considered the standard language for relational database management systems (RDBMS). Programmers rely on SQL for actions such as updating a database or retrieving data from it.

Some of the most widely used RDBMS that rely on SQL are Microsoft SQL Server, Postgres, and MySQL. Most database systems using SQL also possess their own extensions but rely on the language for its commands such as “Select,” Update,” “Delete,” “Insert,” “Drop,” and “Create.” These important functions help users perform most key actions within any database.

Advantages of SQL

Agile query processing ā€“ SQL enables users to retrieve large sections of data at high speeds. The standard operations like insertion, manipulation, and deletion tend to take less time. 

Coding skills not needed – Writing large amounts of code is generally not required to retrieve data. SQL enables using keywords such as SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT, and INTO and has simple syntactic rules. It is generally considered a user-friendly programming language. 

Portable language ā€“ SQL finds use in programs across all devices irrespective of the platform they utilize. SQL code can also be embedded in other applications based on requirements.

Accessible language ā€“ SQL is easy to learn and facilitates instantaneous answering of queries. 

SQL Features

Optimal performance – SQL offers a high level of programming performance in cases where users have to handle large workloads and high usage. Programming with SQL enables users to describe data in a more analytical manner. 

High availability – SQL offers compatibility with leading database providers. These RDBMSs offer support for SQL due to the language being a suitable option for developing application extensions. It also offers various other features and functionalities that make it a popular choice among developers. 

Secure language – SQL provides considerable security to programmers as they can easily assign table permissions, views, and data processes. 

4. Python

Python is an object-oriented and interpreted high-level language featuring dynamic semantics. It is a suitable language for fast application development and offers features such as dynamic binding, dynamic typing, and high-level data structures. It also finds use as a scripting language for establishing connections between existing components.

Python offers easy-to-learn syntax that promotes readability and cuts down the expenses of maintaining programs. The language offers support for various packages and modules that encourage code reuse. Python’s interpreter and its large library can be accessed in both binary or spruce across all platforms and distributed with ease. 

Python Advantages

Easy to learn and read – Python is easy to read, and the syntax is quite similar to English. As a result, reading and understanding Python code is easy for users. Due to its ease of use and flexibility, Python is recommended for aspiring developers who are just getting into learning programming. A programmer using Python needs to write lesser code for performing the same actions compared to programming languages such as Java or C. 

Better productivity – Python is a productive programming language due to its simple nature. Developers can lay stress on their core responsibilities with this language. Python enables programmers to get freedom from the usual complexity involved in learning and mastering a language. Writing small amounts of code can accomplish considerable programming results. 

Interpreted Language – Python performs direct, line by line code execution as it is an interpreted language. If an error is encountered while running code, its execution stops, and an error report is generated. Python showcases one error report, even if a program being run has several errors. As a result, language facilitates hassle-free debugging. 

Python Features

Ease of coding – Python is a popular high-level language known for its easy functionality and easy learning curve compared to other leading languages. Coding in this language is easy, and it can be learned in a very short time. Python is quite a friendly language for most developers.

Open source and free language – Python can easily be accessed through the official Python website, and anyone can download it for free. Apart from being free, it is also an open-source language. It means that anyone can access the Python source code, obtain it, and share it with others. 

Object-oriented programming language – Python enables object-oriented programming for developers and also provides support for OOPS concepts such as objects, classes, and encapsulation. 

5. Java

Java is an object-oriented language created to have a small number of dependencies. It supports WORA or write once run anywhere, meaning that developers can run compiled Java code across all platforms without the need for any recompilation. It makes Java a convenient choice for most programmers. Bytecode that runs on the JVM is utilized for the compilation of Java code, and it does not depend on the computer architecture.

The language also has a syntax similar to C and C++ but not as many low-level features as them. Java runtime offers dynamic features such as runtime code modification and reflection, which most compiled languages do not have.

Java Advantages

Simple – Java is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It is also easy to write and easy to debug compared to other languages. It is also known to be a lot less complicated in comparison to C++. The language utilizes garbage collection and memory allocation. 

Object-oriented – Java enables users to create standard programs and create reusable code. 

Platform-independent – Code written in the Java programming language can easily run on any computer without the need of running any additional software. The only requirement to run Java code is the JVM. 

Distributed computing – Java provides distributed computing that enables multiple computers to work together within a network. As a result, applications can be developed on networks offering app and data functionality. 

Java Features

Simple language – Java is considered an easy to learn programming language. Knowing the fundamentals of OOP Java makes the language even easier to work with. 

Security – Java is a secure language with features that enable programmers to create robust and secure applications. It supports public-key encryption-based authentication techniques. 

Architecture-neutral – The compiler creates an architecture-neutral object file format, ensuring that different processors with the Java runtime system are installed on them. 

6. C#

C# is a general-purpose programming language with support for multiple aspects such as strong typing, static typing, class-based, declarative, generic, imperative, functional, and component-based programming approaches. C# was developed by Microsoft in 2000 as a component of the .NET program and was later adopted as a standard globally. 

C# Advantages 

Object-oriented language – C# is fundamentally an object-oriented programming language. As a result, it enables programmers to create modular applications that are easy to maintain and have reusable code. Hence, C# is preferred over C++ languages by many developers. 

Cross-platform development – C# is quite suitable for developing programs across many different platforms. The only requirement for developing C# applications is having the NET framework installed on one’s computer. Please refer to the article Cross-Platform Mobile Frameworks to know more about this subject.

Garbage collection is automatic – C# features a convenient system built into it for automatically collecting and erasing garbage when the need arises. The language is also quite efficient for system management, and it keeps the system clean. It translates to fewer chances of issues happening during program execution. 

C# Features

  • C# code can be written in any code editor.
  • It is an open-source language that can be used on the Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms. 
  • C# is versatile and can be used for creating Android and iOS applications, Windows Store applications, backend frameworks, libraries, and more. 

7. PHP

PHP is a scripting language considered as the ideal option for web development. Initially developed in 1994, it is now offered by The PHP Group. PHP used to stand for Personal Home Page but is now a recursive for the term PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

A web server is utilized for processing PHP code through a PHP interpreter module or a Common Gateway Interface executable. The PHP code is interpreted and executed on a web server, and it creates the entire HTTP response or part of it. 

PHP Advantages

  • PHP is a general-purpose, open-source, and free programming language. 
  • It is easier to learn in comparison with other programming languages such as ASP or JSP. 
  • PHP is supported by a wide range of web hosting servers, and it is thus a more practical and effective programming language choice. 
  • PHP receives regular updates and offers users access to the latest web development technologies. 
  • PHP is a server-side language and only has to be installed on servers, and client machines that seek resources from a server do not require having PHP installed on them. Client machines only require a browser for accessing online resources.

PHP Features

Simple – PHP is an easy to use scripting language and also has quite a small learning curve. It is why developers around the world prefer using this language. 

Interpreted – PHP is an interpreted language and does not require any compilation. 

Faster – PHP is faster compared to other scripting languages such as JSP or ASP. 

Open source – PHP is open-source, free to download, and anyone can start using it instantly. 

8. TypeScript

TypeScript is a programming language developed atop JavaScript, which is one of the most widely used languages in the world today. It augments JavaScript by implementing static definitions. 

Advantages of Typescript

  • TypeScript offers the option of static typing.
  • Its type inference feature facilitates all the benefits of types for users without relying on types. 
  • This language can compile JavaScript versions that run across all browsers. 
  • It is equipped with IntelliSense and offers dependable tooling support.

Type Script Features

Object-Oriented Language: TypeScript is an OOPS language offering support for all object-oriented features. It is suitable for writing both client-side and server-side code. 

Support for JavaScript libraries – TypeScript offers support for JavaScript elements, and developers can use JS code within TypeScript. 

9. C++

C++ is another object-oriented language and widely preferred by developers around the world. It provides support for OOPS concepts such as defined classes and offers the general functionality associated with C languages. 

C++ Advantages

Portable language – C++ is an independent and portable language, enabling users to run identical programs across different interfaces and operating systems. 

Object-oriented functionality – C++ comes with support for OOPS functionality and facilitates code reusability to increase a program’s reliability. 

Multi-Paradigm Language – C++ is known as a multi-paradigm language as it has structure, process, and logic. The paradigms of C++ are object-oriented, imperative, and generic. 

C++ Features

Simple language – C++ is known for its simplicity and offers a structural programming option for developers, along with data types and library functions. 

Portable language – C++ programs can be run across different machines without much modification, which is different from how an assembly language works. 

Structured language – C++ is a programming language that divides programs into segments with functions. As a result, users find it easy to make modifications. 

10. Go

Go is a static, compiled language with a syntax similar to C but having additional features such as garbage collection, memory safety, structural typing, and concurrency.

GO Advantages  

Minimal language – Go is a minimalistic programming language and comes with a very brief specification. Learning, reading, and writing programs with it are quite simple for most programmers. 

Code transparency – Go follows a single standard code format and is designed to facilitate users’ highest level of transparency. It also provides better code clarity. 

GO Features

Binaries – Go creates binaries for apps by utilizing built-in dependencies and removes users’ need to perform runtime installations. Deploying applications become easier for most development tasks with Go. 

Language Design – Go designers made the language easy to understand for programmers by incorporating certain object-oriented principles. It has limited features but is easy to use and quite simple. 

Robust standard library – Go offers a robust standard library, provided in the form of packages. It has all the tools and components needed by developers.

Conclusion

This article reviewed the ten most popular programming languages, according to Statista. JavaScript continues to be the most programming language used worldwide, HTML/CSS comes second, and SQL is ramping up on the third position.

The article provided an overview of each programming language, core benefits, and features. The correct programming language for a software project will not only depend on its popularity. Before deciding on a programing language, please consider variables like the developer’s expertise and availability and long term business goals.

I hope this article helps you to select the ideal programming language for your next software application.

FAQ

What is a programming language?

According to Wikipedia2, a programming language refers to various instructions, commands, and syntax necessary to develop a software program.

How to choose a programming language for a software project?

– Use industry benchmarks and best practices;
– Consider your team’s knowledge and previous experience;
– Think long-term;
– Open-Source vs. Proprietary technologies;
– Developers’ availability for a specific technology.

What are the top 10 programming languages?

– Javascript
– HTML/CSS
– SQL
– Python
– Java
– C#
– PHP
– TypeScript
– C++
– GO


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