Top 43 Programming Languages: When and How to Use Them

There are many programming languages to choose from. The TIOBE Index is a list of programming languages, ranked in order of popularity. This article lists (most of) the top 43 languages on that list (a small number of languages that don’t have any jobs listed were excluded.)

List of 43 programming languages

1. Java

Java is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Very high
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: General Use and Specialty
    • Web applications
    • Mobile
    • Embedded systems

Java is the leading general-purpose application development language and framework. It was introduced in 1991 by Sun Microsystems as a high-level, compiled, memory-managed language.

Java’s syntax is similar to C/C++, with curly braces for closures and semicolons to end statements. Automatic memory management is one of the features that made Java so popular, quickly after its initial release. Before Java was introduced, languages that required manual memory management, such as C and C++, were dominant. Manual memory allocation is tedious and error-prone, so Java was hailed as a major step forward for application developers.

The promise of Java, beyond memory management, was its cross-platform capability. This was marketed as “write once, run anywhere.” The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) runs Java bytecode, which is compiled from the Java language. JVMs are available for most major operating systems, including Linux, Mac, and Windows. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but when it does, a program written in Java can run on any platform with a compatible JVM.

Java is used for business, web, and mobile applications. It is the native language for Google’s Android OS. Java also powers millions of set-top boxes and embedded devices. Java development skills are highly sought after.

If you’re considering a job in software development, you should strongly consider learning Java.

2. C

C is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Medium
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use and Specialty
    • Embedded systems
    • Hardware drivers
    • Local Applications

Until Java was introduced, C was the dominant high-level language. It was first introduced in 1972. The first versions of Unix, written in Assembly language, were ported to C. It was then used in the development of other early operating systems, including IBM System/370.

C has a long history of development on older systems with slower processors and little memory. Programs written in C had to be very efficient, so C has a reputation for high performance in cases where speed matters.

C is still very popular due to its use in systems development, including operating systems, embedded devices, and as firmware. The C standard library has been ported to many platforms, so it is viable in many use cases. However, the low-level systems programming it is typically used for is a more specialized skill than general application programming. This explains why the second-most popular language on the TIOBE index has relatively few job postings as compared to other languages in the top 10.

There is likely to be some overlap in the jobs market with C++ (see the C++ listing below.)

3. Python

Python is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Very High
  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use and Specialty
    • Web Applications
    • Artificial Intelligence

Python is a relatively new interpreted programming language, first introduced in 1989. It is an interpreted language that supports automatic memory management and object-oriented programming.

Python is very popular for general-purpose programming, including web applications. It has recently become known for specialty use in artificial intelligence applications.

Python jobs are very plentiful, so it’s easy to find a job using Python.

4. C++

cplus is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: General Use, Specialty
    • Local Applications
    • Web Services
    • Proprietary Services

C++ extends C with object-oriented features. The “double-plus” comes from the increment operator from C. C++ was developed to bring features from older languages to faster, more powerful platforms.

C++ occupies a similar area in the market as C, including systems programming and low-level hardware development. Over the years, the C++ standard libraries and specification have been expanded considerably, leading to criticism that it has become over-complicated and difficult to learn.

5. Visual Basic .NET?

Visual Basic .NET is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • Web Applications
    • Local Applications

Visual Basic.NET (VB.NET) is Microsoft’s implementation of the Visual Basic language that compiles to .NET Intermediate Language. This allows developers to write .NET applications using Visual Basic. Applications written in VB.NET are, more or less, just as capable as any other. However,

VB.NET was never very popular for business applications. Application developers preferred C, C++, and C#. Most applications written in VB.NET tend to be older, and are likely to be considered to be “legacy” applications destined for decommission or redevelopment.

6. C#

C# is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • Web Applications
    • Local Applications
    • Services/Microservices

C# was developed and introduced by Microsoft in 2000, along with the overall .NET Framework. Syntactically, C# is very similar to Java and C/C++. It is a compiled, object-oriented language that compiles to .NET Intermediate Language. Originally, C# was used for Microsoft-focused development of Windows Forms and web development with ASP.NET. The .NET ecosystem has evolved recently with the introduction of the .NET Standard and .NET Core. These new frameworks and standards are cross-platform, running on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

C# is popular for local and web application programming, often (but not necessarily) in systems developed primarily based on Microsoft technology. Microsoft’s Xamarin framework allows developers to write Android and iOS applications in C#. It is suitable for systems programming in some cases, and has libraries available for embedded systems.

7. PHP

PHP is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • Web Applications

PHP originally stood for “Personal Home Page” as part of its first name, PHP/FI (Forms Interpreter.) The official acronym is now PHP: Hypertext Processor. Its primary role is as a web application server-side scripting system. It was originally developed to extend a CGI program to support HTML forms and database access. The code of a PHP program is mixed in with the HTML, making it similar to Microsoft’s classic (pre-.NET) Active Server Pages. The interpreter reads the HTML and code, and executes the code portions of the page.

PHP is popular because it’s easy to learn. It is also the basis of popular web-based applications such as WordPress and Joomla. However, PHP also has a mixed reputation relating to software quality. Early versions lacked security controls and features that made it difficult to develop highly-secure applications. Recent developments in PHP frameworks and libraries have made improvements in security.

There are plenty of PHP jobs available, for content-focused web applications like WordPress, and proprietary systems developed in PHP.

8. JavaScript

JavaScript is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Very High
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • Local Applications
    • Web Applications

JavaScript is a high-level, dynamically typed, interpreted language. It uses Java-like syntax, hence the name JavaScript. JavaScript was first introduced in the early days of the public Internet, 1995. JavaScript is used to write code that runs in web browsers, on the client side. If you’ve been using the Web long enough to remember the introduction of Google Maps, you witnessed some of the first magic: the “infinite scrolling” in Maps is done using JavaScript.

Since its first introduction, JavaScript support has been added to all major web browsers. JavaScript frameworks including React, Angular, and Vue offer a Model-View-Controller application development paradigm, running entirely in the browser. JavaScript now supports the visual, browser-run elements of most modern web applications, which is why most real user monitoring tools cater for JavaScript.

JavaScript can also be combined with HTML to make cross-platform mobile applications. NodeJS is a web server that runs JavaScript on the server side. NodeJS applications are written entirely in JavaScript.

Given all these use cases and support, JavaScript is both popular and in high demand. It is not very difficult to learn, though there are advanced programming techniques that take time to master. If you are more comfortable with object-oriented languages, consider looking into TypeScript. TypeScript “overlays” object-oriented features and syntax, and transpiles to native JavaScript.

9. SQL

SQL is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Very High
  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Moderate
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Database Queries

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is used to query and modify data in a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS.) Vendor-specific implementations, such as PL/SQL (Oracle) and T-SQL (Microsoft) offer product-specific features.

SQL isn’t a general purpose language that can be used to write applications. However, it is at least a useful, if not required skill of most developers. The term “full-stack developer” refers to a developer with a well-rounded skill set that includes all aspects of an application. This almost always includes accessing and saving data to a database. SQL is not hard to learn initially, though there are advanced use cases in Big Data and data analysis that require significant experience.

SQL is very popular with both developers and Database Administrators, so jobs that require SQL skills are plentiful. However, it is not a complete skill unto itself. SQL experience is a big plus on a resume, but it is rarely the primary skill required for any given job.

10. Objective-C

Objective-C is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Mobile Applications
    • Apple iOS devices: iPhone, iPad

Objective-C is a general purpose, compiled, object-oriented language. Its syntax is derived from Smalltalk. Until 2014, when Apple introduced Swift, it was the primary language used by Apple to develop applications for MacOS and iOS.

Objective-C is still relatively popular, due to the large number of applications available that were written using it. Now that modern MacOS and iOS development is done primarily in Swift, it is likely that its popularity will eventually fall off as the number of supported applications tapers over time. Objective-C is not easy to learn. It uses syntax and language conventions that are not common to other languages, so experience with other languages does not apply well to Objective-C.

If you want to focus on software development for the Apple ecosystem, it’s a good idea to pick up both Objective-C and Swift. This will give you the ability to work on older applications written in Objective-C, and write new applications in Swift. Between the two, jobs are very plentiful.

11. Delphi/Object Pascal

Delphi/Object Pascal is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Ultra-Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General
    • Local Applications

Delphi is a compiler and Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) for the Object Pascal language. Object Pascal is an object-oriented derivative of Pascal, which was developed in the late 1960s.

Delphi/Object Pascal is on this list because there is a lot of software out there written in Object Pascal, with Delphi. As we can see from the number of jobs, Object Pascal is effectively a dead language. If you want to write software as a profession, ignore Delphi and Object Pascal. Their days have passed.

12. Ruby

Ruby is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Moderate
  • Use Cases: General
    • Web Applications
    • Scripting

Ruby is an interpreted, dynamically typed, object-oriented language first introduced in the mid-1990s. It was inspired by several other languages on this list, including Lisp, Perl, and Ada. Ruby is very popular for web application development. The Ruby on Rails framework (now known simply as “Rails”) is a model-view-component server-side framework written in Ruby.

Ruby is fairly easy to learn. Its common use in web applications makes job opportunities easy to find.

13. MATLAB

MATLAB is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Medium
    • 514 Jobs
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Mathematical Research

MATLAB is not a programming language, per se. It is an application that is used to calculate and model complex mathematical computations. It is used primarily in research settings, at universities and labs. MATLAB can handle complex matrix manipulations, and supports extensions to use complex mathematical notation. Functions written in C, C#, and FORTRAN can be called from MATLAB.

The knowledge needed to use MATLAB is more related to the mathematical concepts and skills than knowledge of programming. If you’re already an advanced math student working on a PhD in mathematics, MATLAB is relatively easy to learn.

14. Assembly language

Assembly  is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Systems Programming
    • Hardware / Firmware development

“Assembly language” is a generic term for low-level code that closely represents the native machine instructions for a given microprocessor. Most of the languages on this list are “high-level” languages that are closer, syntactically, to English. High-level language code must be compiled down to an intermediate bytecode, or directly to machine instructions. Assembly code is assembled, (hence the name) not compiled.

The intent of a line of code written in C or Ruby is relatively easy to understand, just by reading it. Assembly, by contrast, is very difficult to understand without a careful reading of the entire program. Each operation, including math operations and moving data in and out of registers, is a complete statement. This means that it takes a lot more assembly code than C code to do the same amount of work.

Assembly code is most useful when performance is the most important goal. It is used for very low-level systems programming, or in some cases may be combined with application code for a performance boost. Jobs that require knowledge of assembly will include systems programming and hardware development.

15. Swift

Swift  is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Medium
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: Apple Mobile and Desktop applications
    • MacBook
    • iPhone
    • iPad

Apple introduced Swift in 2014 as a modern alternative to Objective-C. Its goals were to be easier to debug than Objective-C. Swift syntax is easier to read than Objective-C, and requires less code to do the same amount of work. However, breaking changes introduced with new versions may have stunted its adoption.

There are a fair number of jobs available for Swift, so it is probable that Swift is here to stay. As mentioned in the Objective-C listing, if you want to develop for the Apple ecosystem, hedge your bets and learn both.

17. Go

Go  is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General
    • Web Applications
    • Local Applications

Go (also known as Golang) is a relatively new kid on the block. It was introduced by two Google engineers in 2009. Go syntax borrows heavily from C and Java. The design goals for Go included cross-platform compatibility, simplicity, and support for modern processors.

Go is relatively easy to learn. It has some of the complexities of C/C++ (such as pointers) but its syntax and conventions are simpler. While Go jobs are not plentiful, there is a rapidly growing following in engineering and DevOps circles.

18. Perl

Perl  is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: High
  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Moderate
  • Use Cases: General
    • Local Applications
    • Web Applications

Perl was introduced in 1987 as a utilitarian scripting language, evolving from CGI scripting. Recent releases of Perl are quite different from early releases.

Perl is fairly easy to learn, but it has its detractors. The development of Perl was somewhat haphazard, leading to criticism that it is not well organized. This has left Perl with a reputation for being less than robust.

Quite a lot of software has been written in Perl, and that continues to this day. Perl jobs are not hard to find. Having said that, it would be a stretch to say that Perl is a “modern” language. Perl may be a good language to learn early in a career, as a way to get started, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

19. R

R  is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Statistical Computation and Analysis

The programming language R is primarily used by statisticians and researchers to perform statistical analysis of datasets. Demographers, insurance actuaries, and other jobs focused on statistics use R. As with MATLAB, most of the knowledge needed to work with R relates to statistics. R programmers combine statistics knowledge with the essentials of programming and software development.

R programming jobs are not hard to come by, but the number is not high due to the specialized nature of the work. If you are a data analyst doing statistical work, there’s a good chance you’ve learned R. If that work sounds like something you want to look into, you should strongly consider adding R to your toolbox.

20. PL/SQL

PL/SQL is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low to Medium
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: Database Queries
    • Oracle Databases

PL/SQL is the vendor-specific implementation of the SQL language listed above. The syntax and features of PL/SQL align with features of Oracle databases. All dialects of SQL are moderately difficult to learn. Simple data querying and updating is fairly easy to learn. Joins, aggregation, and advanced concepts such as cursors require more understanding of database theory.

Oracle is a dominant database vendor, so PL/SQL jobs are fairly plentiful. If you are an Oracle Database Administrator, PL/SQL is a must-learn. Full-stack developers that work at the data “layer” should consider learning PL/SQL and other dialects.

21. Visual Basic

visual basic is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Use Cases: General
    • Local Applications

Visual Basic (VB) was introduced by Microsoft as a variant of the BASIC programming language. It is an event-driven language and Integrated Development Environment, primarily used to develop Windows applications. VB was designed to be easy to learn, and to rapidly produce usable software. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is embedded in older versions of Microsoft Office applications, such as Access. VBA was used to provide programmatic manipulation of Office documents. Access databases used VBA to compose mini-applications.

Microsoft deprecated Visual Basic 6.0, the last version of Visual Basic, in 2008. It is no longer supported. Jobs that require Visual Basic are dwindling. It is likely that any such job is focused on maintenance and/or porting to a modern platform.

22. SAS

SAS is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: General
    • Local Applications

SAS originally stood for “Statistical Analysis System.” SAS was first developed in 1966 on mainframe computers. It was used for statistical data analysis.

SAS is not common, though there are still some jobs available. Modern statistical analysis tools have overtaken SAS.

23. Dart

Dart is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General
    • Web Applications
    • Mobile Applications

Dart was introduced in 2011 by engineers at Google. It is a statically-typed, compiled language with a syntax similar to C. Dart transpiles to JavaScript.

Dart never really took off, so it is not popular and jobs are few.

24. F#

F# is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: General and Specialty
    • Web Services
    • Machine learning

F# was introduced by Microsoft as an object-oriented, functional language that compiles to .NET Intermediate Language. As a functional language, F# expresses programs as mathematical functions. Functional languages are different from object-oriented and procedural languages, in that they avoid mutable data and state. Functional programming is quite different from other more popular forms, however, it is well-suited to particular types of applications. Certain computations can be expressed more concisely and elegantly in functional languages, than in their object-oriented counterparts.

F# is a speciality-case language with few jobs available.

25. COBOL

Cobol is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases:
    • Mainframe Application Development

COBOL is a very old language used primarily for mainframe development. It is somewhat difficult to learn, by comparison with more modern languages.

Programmers that have been using COBOL for decades are enjoying high employability, due to the scarcity of COBOL programmers that are working and not retired. This is not a good reason to learn it if you don’t already know it, however. Much better to invest in new skills for a new generation of languages and platforms.

26. Scala

Scala is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Moderate - High
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • Software Frameworks
    • Web Applications

Scala was designed to fill gaps in the Java, language, such as functional programming features. It has gained traction in the development of software libraries and applications.

Scala has been criticized for its high learning curve. Some say that learning new languages is a good thing for software developers, especially those that force developers to think about old problems in new ways. There are plenty of Scala jobs available. It may not make a good starter language, but if you have some experience it’s worth looking into.

27. ABAP

ABAP is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • SAP Enterprise Software

ABAP was designed for use with the SAP enterprise software system to develop reports.

ABAP is a niche language with few jobs available. The syntax is quite different from modern languages. ABAP is probably not a good long-term career focus.

28. Fortran

Fortran is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Mainframe Programming

FORTRAN was developed by IBM for scientific and research-focused programming. It was originally introduced in 1957, so at 61 years old it is one of the oldest languages on this list.

FORTRAN has reached the point COBOL will likely reach in about ten to fifteen years- almost completely obsolete.

29. Lua

Lua is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Use Cases: General Use
    • General Programming

Lua was developed, by necessity, in Brazil, during a time where trade policies made it prohibitively expensive to purchase licensed software from elsewhere in the world. It was designed to be portable and easy to learn for non-technical users. Lua has become popular among novice game developers as a scripting language.

Lua is a niche language with few jobs available. Learning Lua may make you a better, more well-rounded developer, but it isn’t likely to land you a job.

30. Rust

Rust is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty and General Use
    • Application/Software frameworks and components
    • Systems programming

Rust is a relatively new and powerful language that is popular for systems programming. Its design goals include safety, reliability, and speed. These features come at the cost of complexity and a high learning curve.

Rust is not a good first language, and is not a crowd-pleaser. It’s great for a learning challenge, and there are jobs out there that use it, but it’s probably not a good idea to stake a career on it.

31. Lisp

Lisp is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Systems programming

LISP is only one year younger than FORTRAN, making it one of the “great grandaddy” languages of this list. LISP has inspired the design of many younger languages on this list, including JavaScript, Scala, Python, and many others.

LISP isn’t very easy to learn, and has a very verbose syntax (it’s great if you LOVE typing parentheses!) The jobs that list LISP as a requirement favor it less for the language itself, and more for the deep understanding it offers of languages that came after it. LISP knowledge is most useful as a means to make you a more qualified developer in more modern languages.

32. Groovy

Groovy is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: Specialty and General
    • Local Applications
    • Developer Tools

Groovy is closely associated with Java. Its code compiles to Java bytecode, and the syntax is very similar to Java. Groovy adds features not present in Java, such as dynamic typing and operator overloading. Groovy code can also be run uncompiled, making it a scripting platform.

Groovy has developed a niche following among developers, and is used in some popular tools such as Jenkins. If you already know Java, or a language like it, Groovy should be fairly easy to learn. It’s listed as a plus on many job listings, but it’s not likely to be a core requirement of any given job.

33. LabVIEW

LabVIEW is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate to Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Industrial Automation

LabVIEW is an IDE and compiler that uses a graphical language to design programs. It is used primarily to control machines for industrial automation scenarios.

LabVIEW is to mechanical engineering and automation as MATLAB is to mathematical research. If you’re an engineer building automated systems, using LabVIEW is likely to be part of your job. Otherwise, LabVIEW is not likely to be useful beyond academic pursuits.

34. Prolog

Prolog is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Artificial Intelligence

Prolog is a declarative language based on fairly advanced mathematical and logical theories. It is used for complex systems.

Prolog’s syntax is difficult to learn and read. Unless you happen to be in a field that uses Prolog, it’s probably safe to skip it.

35. Ada

Ada is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: General Use

Ada is one of the older languages on this list. It was first introduced in 1980. Ada is most closely related to Pascal. Ada has many typical high-level language features, including static typing and object-orientation.

Ada is a niche language with a few jobs available. Most of that work is likely to be maintenance and porting to newer platforms.

36. Julia

Julia is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Very Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Data Science

Julia is a relatively new language, introduced in 2012. Its syntax is a descendant of C. Julia was designed for data science and analytic applications.

Julia is another language on this list that is tightly associated with the work it is designed to support. If you are already in a data analytics job, there’s a good chance you have learned Julia.

37. Haskell

Haskell is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: General/Specialty

Haskell is one of the older purely functional, high-level languages. Functional languages focus on expressing intent through mathematical statements, rather than imperative subroutines that “act” on data. Many other functional languages derive from Haskell.

Haskell is rather difficult to learn, however, it is a good opportunity to learn functional programming. If you learn Haskell, you’ll learn this method of writing software. You’ll also be valuable to a niche market of jobs that need this specialized method of software development.

38. Apex

Apex is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: Specialty
    • Salesforce.com Development

Apex is a language similar to C# and Java. It was developed by Salesforce.com as a proprietary language used to develop on the Salesforce platform.

Apex is about as hard to learn as C# and Java. If you want to develop using Salesforce, learn Apex.

39. Kotlin

Kotlin is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low
  • Ease of Learning: Moderate
  • Use Cases: Mobile Development
    • Android Applications

Kotlin runs on the Java VM and compiles to JavaScript. Its syntax is very similar to Java. Google supports Kotlin for Android OS development.

Kotlin has risen in popularity over time, but it remains a niche language overall.

40. Bash

Bash is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Low (see details)
  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Moderate
  • Use Cases:
    • Linux scripting and automation

Bash scripts are used to automate tasks on Unix and Linux platforms. The syntax is fairly simple and easy to pick up.

Bash skills are required primarily for Unix/Linux administration, and in roles that need to write scripts for those platforms. Developers can use Bash to help automate software delivery pipelines. Bash is an important skill to develop for those use cases and others, however, it is not a full programming language unto itself.

41. Ladder Logic

Ladder Logic is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases:
    • Industrial Automation

Ladder Logic isn’t so much a programming language, as it is a notation for the design of circuits. It is used primarily for the design of industrial electronics.

42. Clojure

Clojure is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: General

Clojure is related to LISP, and uses a similar syntax. Clojure runs on the Java VM. It is used in a variety of applications and systems. Clojure jobs aren’t plentiful but they are out there.

43. Scheme

Scheme is a popular programming language

  • Popularity: Niche
  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Use Cases: Specialty

Scheme is another LISP-related functional language. It is used in a few various applications such as OS and game development.

How to choose a programming language

Programming languages are tools that express intent in a structured way. Software developers choose a language the way a construction worker selects a tool; by picking the best tool for the job.

The languages on this list all have one or more of a variety of attributes:

  • Procedural
  • Object-Oriented
  • Imperative
  • Declarative
  • Functional

… and many more

These attributes, combined with the requirements of a development task, make some languages better than others for the task at hand. Understanding the differences between these attributes, combined with experience, helps developers choose the right tool for the job they’re doing.

Choosing the right language combines concerns about the knowledge and experience of a development team, the maturity of the language and its supporting libraries, and more.

So, which programming language should you choose to learn?

Now we’ve shown you some of the most popular programming languages, it’s time to choose which is the best for your project.