The popularity of different programming languages changes every year. New technologies are replacing some older languages, while some older ones are gaining more attention and adoption. Therefore, if you ask an IT specialist which programming language will be the same in demand in 5 years, you won’t get a definite answer. But what we can do is follow the current trends and determine the main directions for the coming year. IdeaSoft specialists studied the IT market to compile a list of the most in-demand programming languages for 2021.
Table of contents
- Most popular programming languages of 2020
- Python in 2021
- Java in 2021
- C in 2021
- C# in 2021
- PHP in 2021
- R in 2021
- Swift in 2021
- Go in 2021
- Ruby in 2021
Most popular programming languages of 2020
We can assume that the more often a programming language is mentioned, the more in-demand it is. The popular world rankings TIOBE and PYPL are based on this statement. TIOBE measures the number of searches related to programming languages on popular portals such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu. PYPL measures how many times language tutorials are searched on Google, using Google Trends. Usually, the results of the ratings have slight differences due to the different ways in which the ratings are constructed.
According to TIOBE, in November 2020, the highest position in the ranking of programming languages was held by C with a rating of 16.21%. It was followed by Phyton with the highest mentions growth, + 2.27%. And Java ranks third. It’s very interesting that since the creation of the TIOBE index almost 20 years ago, Java and C have always been in the top 2 positions for more. In 2020, unexpectedly for many, Python replaced Java and took second place. The creators of the rating suggested that the popularity of Python grew because of the rapid development of fields such as data mining, artificial intelligence, and numerical computing. However, Python returned to third place in December.
We decided to add to our list of the 10 most in-demand programming languages in 2021 those languages that entered the top 20 of both ratings. So let's start looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular programming languages for 2021.
Python in 2021
It's safe to say that Python will be one of the strongest players on the market in 2021. Both world rankings of programming languages place Python in the top two. This programming language first appeared back in 1991 and is gaining popularity year after year thanks to its open community. Python syntax is quite simple, so a developer takes fewer steps when developing a software product. Software development companies prefer Python because of its versatile features such as flexibility, object-orientation, cross-platform, and less code.
Python has a ton of frameworks and libraries that simplify the process of coding and reduce development time, and its excellent data processing performance makes it the #1 programming language for creating AI/ML-based solutions. Well-known platforms such as YouTube, Google Search, Facebook, and Instagram are built with Python.
|+ Easy to learn and use|
+ Productive language
+ Rich libraries
+ Easily integrates with other programming languages including Java, C, and C ++
|- Low speed|
- Memory consumption
- Weak in mobile computing
- Limitations with database access
Java in 2021
Java is the most widespread programming language, which has confidently taken first positions in the ratings for many years. Due to its platform independence and high adaptability, this programming language is used in both desktop and mobile development. Even though Google announced in 2019 that Kotlin is now the language of choice for Android app developers, Java is still widely used for mobile app development. Also, Java supports billions of electronic devices in real-time, and according to Oracle, there are over 3 billion applications, websites, and devices that run Java.
According to Statista, the number of Java developers worldwide will reach 28.7 million in 2024. Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, Netflix, eBay are all built with this programming language.
+ Platform independent
+ Provides memory allocation
+ High-quality code compilation
+ Allows distributed computing
|- Low speed|
- Memory consumption
- Verbose and сomplex code
- Far from a native look and feel on the desktop
C in 2021
C is one of the oldest programming languages. Even more, languages such as C++, C#, Java, and Objective-C were based on the C syntax. But even with a huge number of younger analogs, C is still widely used today, since it’s a low-level programming language that supports direct control of the hardware. The C language is used for programming microcontrollers and developing embedded software. Also, programs written in C are easily portable to another language with few modifications.
According to TIOBE, at the end of 2020, C became the #1 programming language, supplanting Java. This growth in popularity is associated with the fact that C is a cross-platform language that is used in embedded devices and software for medical devices, which is very important in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
|+ Portable language|
+ Many built-in functions for developers
+ Allows system programming
+ Efficient and powerful
+ High speed of compilation
|- No run-time type checking|
- Lack of exception handling
- Low level of abstraction
- Doesn't have the concept of constructor or destructor
|+ Works instantly in a web browser|
+ No compilation requirements
+ Multipurpose language
+ High speed and productivity
+ Easy to learn and use
|- No ability to read and download files|
- No early detection of errors
- No remote access support
- Low security
C# in 2021
C# is a fast, secure, and full of rich libraries programming language developed by Microsoft as the main language for working with the .Net Framework. C# is used for a wide range of tasks from developing server apps to mobile games. Also, since C# is a multi-platform language, it’s used for machine learning. With Xamarin, you can also build programs and apps in C# for operating systems such as iOS, Android, macOS, and Linux. Developers prefer this programming language because it simplifies the development process minimizing time and resources.
C# is easy to learn, there is a lot of documentation for developers on the Internet. Also, Microsoft is actively investing in the development of this programming language to keep it popular in the market. Therefore, in the coming years, C# will continue to improve and will be an important player in the market.
|+ Component-oriented programming language|
+ Supports Microsoft products
+ Supports type safety
+ Simplifies the programming process
+ Provides automatic garbage collection
+ Can work with common codebases
+ Fast compilation
|- Paid licensed version|
- Priority focus on the Windows platform
- Low execution speed
PHP in 2021
According to W3Techs, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites with a well-known server-side programming language. This programming language is used to create dynamic and static websites. PHP is so popular in the world of the web since it’s an open-source that has a large set of built-in tools and additional modules for developing web apps. Plus it automatically supports HTTP Cookies. This programming language is the basis for such giants as Facebook, Wikipedia, Tumblr, Yahoo!, Baidu, Badoo, Mailchimp, Flickr.
PHP is also easy to learn. It provides solutions to a wide range of web tasks. This programming language allows you to create high-quality web apps in a very short time with products that are easy to modify and maintain in the future.
+ Simplifies the web development process
+ Have a vast ecosystem
+ Provides various automation tools for deploying and testing apps
+ Web server support
|- The main focus on the web|
- Security issues
- Bad error management
- Some syntax inconsistencies
R in 2021
R is an open-source language for statistical data processing. This programming language is applied in the fields of data science, statistical computing, and machine learning. R combines well with other programming languages such as C++, Java, SQL. A large number of financial and computing companies use R in their research and development. One of the reasons for its popularity is the free open source packages for statistics, analytics, and charts.
R has become the global standard in statistics, and the world's top universities teach their students this language. Also, the growing interest in machine learning encourages developers to use it. Thus, R is consistently among the top ten ratings of the most popular programming languages.
|+ Open-source and free|
+ Inclusive statistical analysis
+ Wide possibilities of integration with other languages
+ Large selection of free libraries
|- Poor memory management|
- Security issues
- Poor performance
Swift in 2021
Swift remains in the top ten most demanded programming languages, while iOS apps are popular. According to Statista, in 2019, 1.84 million mobile apps were available for download on the App Store. And the number of iOS applications is growing every year. Swift, developed by Apple in 2014, has largely supplanted Objective-C because it’s easier to read and more reliable. This programming language allows you to create rich applications backed by robust and secure code.
|+ Automatic memory management|
+ Open-source and free
+ Good code readability
+ Good scalability
+ It’s fast
|- Slow when interacting with other languages|
- Doesn't support earlier iOS versions
Go in 2021
Golang was created by Google, but it has long gone beyond a single company. Facebook, Intel, BBC, Yahoo, Adobe are already adopting this programming language. Today Go is used to build microservices, web applications, and solving systems programming tasks. Go is a language with simple syntax and detailed technical documentation. It’s most commonly used on Linux and macOS systems, and slightly less commonly on Windows. According to the Go Blog, Go's engagement rate increased to 34% in 2019, with 3 out of 4 respondents preferring the language. Both TIOBE and PYPL ranked Go as the thirteenth most popular programming language.
+ Fast language
+ Simple syntax
+ Large selection of tools
+ Good code readability
|- Lack of flexibility|
- No generics
- Complex dependency management
- Complicated error handling
Ruby in 2021
And the last promising programming language on our list is Ruby. This language is dynamic, which means it speeds up the development process. It’s used to solve a wide range of problems in different fields, but it occupies a special niche in web development thanks to the Ruby on Rails framework. According to Hotframeworks, Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks in the world. Ruby is used by Twitter, Soundcloud, Goodreads, and Kickstarter.
+ Has a large set of developer tools
+ Speeds up the development process
+ Simple syntax
+ Easy maintenance & updates
+ Active community
|- Slow processing|
- Poor Windows support
- High memory consumption
IdeaSoft engineers know well which programming language is better to choose to implement your tech idea and are ready to help you with this. Contact us to start your project.