Most popular programming languages 2019

If you’ve ever been to a country where you don’t understand the majority language, you probably found it hard to get by. Knowing the popular language allows you to survive in a community.

It’s just like high school. Popularity or death.

To survive in software development, you need to invest in the know-how. You need to acknowledge which are the most popular programming languages, which are gaining ground, and which are falling behind.

As soon as a more efficient or in-demand programming language is introduced, another is made obsolete. Just like when Swift basically replaced Objective C in 2014. Luckily, however, there are many similarities between languages that smooth the transition between coding types.

That said, it’s very difficult to accurately understand the fluctuations in the most popular programming languages. Of course, programming languages are at the mercy of the demand in terms of jobs and usage, compatibility with the available technology at the time, and the updates of competing languages.

Over a short period of time, a programming language’s popularity may fluctuate, according to reports such as the Tiobe Programming Community Index. Here, you can see huge changes in popularity between years, specifically with C and Java.

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Let’s look at some popular programming languages in front-end, back-end, and mobile development.

Front-end web development

HTML, CSS, and Javascript are foundational to front-end web development and are therefore essential to full-stack developers. In terms of these three, think less about popularity and more about necessity. There’s not much in front-end development you can do without them.


Hypertext Markup Language is the foundational text for scripting the structure of websites and web applications. It involves the development of content and structure.

HTML is an ideal place to start when learning about software development, and though it’s a “markup language,” it’s still foundational to any web creation.


CSS is the layout and design of the website. It handles the style of content and the presentation of the site itself. It was first proposed in 1994 by Hakon Wium Lie, who thought all this HTML text needed some style.

Once again, not necessarily a “coding language,” CSS is a “style sheet language” that structures coding documents. CSS is helpful in creating online content, as it can determine not only structure, but colors, and even check for spelling and grammar errors.


Javascript was developed in 1995 to handle most of the behaviors and actions of a website. Now over 90% of the websites we use require JS. Many things we rely on in our daily digital lives use it.

JS makes pages interactive, processes data, and is responsible for applications and games.

Most of what you can do through CSS is possible with JS; however, because of its efficiency, you should let CSS do any task it can.

Web development without JS knowledge is virtually impossible. After much development, JS is compatible with major browsers. JS is a client-based script, which means it’s responsive to client adjustments. It is a widely-used, beginner-friendly programming language.

Back-end web development

Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and Yahoo all use C++ and Java in their back-end development, but employers are requiring a different focus when it comes to back-end web development.


An oldie, but a goodie.

Startups and large corporations alike use Python in web development, AI, and machine learning. It’s grown exponentially and is used by Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, Amazon, Facebook, NASA, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Reddit.

Python is human-friendly. It’s great for newbies and seasoned developers. It’s easy to learn and in high demand. Its popularity has developed because of its readability and resemblance to English.

Because of its universality, Python offers developers jobs where other programming languages can’t. Python isn’t restricted to web development, but is also present in system operations, application development, server configuration, program scripting, and more. There are many careers available, and the community of those running Python is growing. So versatile!

Python has been named programming language of the year three times.

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Developers often criticize Python programs for being slower than those of other programming language options. However, end-users tend not to notice. Coding with Python also takes less time to develop because of the shorter lines of code in comparison to others. Developers needing heavy processing power, startups looking to develop applications, and companies using heavy data all use Python.

It’s also known for its many libraries that make machine learning more efficient.

According to WhiteSource, Python has had the least amount of high severity vulnerabilities in the past 5 years, compared to other top programming languages.

Ruby and Python are the most popular programming languages for web apps and software. Both Python and Ruby are easy to read and allow for quick coding.

Ruby & PHP

In terms of security, Ruby and PHP are two programming languages that have a history of many SQL injection vulnerabilities. This means that attackers are able to access and manipulate data in a database. These vulnerabilities are more common and recent with PHP.

Although PHP’s popularity has been steadily declining over recent years, it can be found almost anywhere on the web. Most relevant databases use PHP, meaning the job market, talent pool, and community are pretty vast.


Employers looking for Python engineers will also keep their eyes peeled for SQL knowledge. As one of the first languages made publically available, it’s still in great demand now.

Structured query language (SQL) is popular for organizing and comparing data, which make searching easier and faster. So, SQL is what is known as a “database query language,” used for communicating with data-sets and managing the data found in a database or data stream. That’s what makes SQL databases “relational” databases, compared to NoSQL (or non-relationship databases), which can be structured uniquely.

Mobile development

Mobile apps are taking over in all areas of life. Small and large businesses rely on mobile apps for efficiency and communication.


Java is amongst the most energy efficient programming languages, although not huge for performance-intensive. Its popularity arises from its mobility, scalability, and community of users. It’s free, open-source, and its coding can work across devices.

Java’s slogan upon its initial release, “Write once, run everywhere” (WORA), is more relevant than ever. Now it’s essential to mobile, desktop, and web applications, web and application servers, and database connection. Java is also a popular programming language used in machine learning.

Java is foundational for understanding Android development. But there are several modern competitors for the care of Android development, such as Kotlin and C#, and Swift for iOS.


Kotlin can complete the same functions as Java using more straightforward and slimmer code. This allows engineers to create apps quicker and more efficiently.

Kotlin receives support from Google, and therefore is gaining popularity among Android app developers.

Unlike with many other languages, Kotlin is compatible with its previous versions. However, it is also very young and its versions aren’t as various as others.


C# (C-sharp) is Microsoft’s development and is very similar to Java. Its cross-platform tools help developers create apps for both iOS and Android. However, its place in the Microsoft family tree can imply its use is best suited for Microsoft applications.

C# is popular in game development and cross-platform development because of tools such as Xamarin.


Swift is the programming language used for iOS apps. It is one of the fastest developing, relatively new programming languages, used by huge companies, such as Asana and Lyft.

It was developed to be easy to read and to ensure secure coding. These qualities helped it become the most popular programming language of 2015, and it hasn’t faltered much for mobile applications. Since its introduction, it has surpassed Objective C in popularity.


The most popular programming languages are constantly fluctuating, due to demand, up-and-coming competition, security, and know-how. Although many of these aren’t new to the web developers and software engineers, they are still the most used programming languages of 2019.

Keep in mind, many of these languages, such as Java, Python, C#, Ruby, and Javascript are general-purpose languages. That’s just another reason to get more involved.

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