Top 10 best cloud programming languages you should learn in 2024

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This guide shows you the best programming language. In our research, we evaluated many options. The results are below. The full list includes the most popular programming languages, their use cases, and how difficult they are to learn. If you want to know which to focus on this year, we’ve got that covered too.

What’s the Best Programming Language to Learn?

Choosing the best programming languages to learn can be tricky. And when you consider that the Stack Overflow developer survey alone lists more than 40 different programming languages, there is a lot to choose from! So if you’ve been asking what are the best programming languages to learn, we’re here to help!

Perhaps you’re curious about data, and you’re thinking about learning Python. Or maybe you’re interested in learning JavaScript for front-end development? Whatever your goals, join us as we deep-dive into the 14 best programming languages to learn in 2023, including pros and cons, use cases, difficulty level, and much more.

And to help you choose the best programming languages to learn in 2023, we’ll start with a recap of programming language types and the most common programming paradigms. Let’s get started!

Low-Level vs High-Level Language

Low-Level Languages

Low-level programming languages allow programmers to work directly with the computer’s hardware, such as memory, CPU, and I/O (input/output) interfaces.

This makes them better suited to creating systems-level programs, like operating systems and device drivers. One trade-off with this type of language is that they tend to offer less abstraction, meaning they can be more challenging.

In general, low-level languages tend to be assembly languages or machine code (binary sequences of 0s and 1s), although it’s not uncommon to see languages like C or C++ referred to as lower-level or mid-level due to their ability to interact with hardware.

High-Level Languages

When you hear programmers talk about programming languages, this is mostly what they’re referring to. These languages tend to have human-friendly syntax, making them easier to read, write, and maintain than low-level languages.

These provide a high level of abstraction and tend to offer less direct hardware control. One upside, however, is that these often include features like automatic memory management, dynamic typing, and type-checking.

High-level programming languages can be used to develop various application types, like web apps, mobile apps, artificial intelligence, desktop applications, and more. Common examples of high-level languages include Python, JavaScript, Java, and Ruby.

The Most Common Programming Paradigms

Programming paradigms are different ways of writing and organizing code. They provide problem-solving guidelines and influence how a programmer thinks about software development. Let’s look at five common programming paradigms.

Imperative Programming

This paradigm involves defining a sequence of instructions that your machine will follow to solve a problem. Overall, this is the most common programming paradigm and is used by languages like C, Java, and Python.

Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

OOP uses classes and objects to solve problems. Classes provide a blueprint to capture the data and behavior of an object. As a result, objects are instances of classes. OOP is ideal for modeling real-world objects and concepts. Java, C++, and Python are some of the most widely-used object-oriented programming languages.

Procedural Programming

This approach breaks problems into smaller, more manageable parts that can be easily understood and modified. Code is often divided into blocks called procedures or subroutines, which are made up of smaller, well-defined tasks. Languages that support the procedural approach include C, Pascal, and FORTRAN.

Functional Programming

This paradigm uses pure functions to build a program, meaning that functions can be passed as arguments, returned as results, or assigned to variables. Common examples of functional languages include Haskell, Lisp, and F#. But this paradigm can also be adopted by languages like Python and JavaScript.

Logic Programming

This paradigm implements logical rules to derive conclusions. This means a program is defined by a set of facts and rules that a machine uses to solve a problem. Some examples of logic programming languages include Prolog and Mercury.

The 14 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2023

We evaluated every popular option and found the best programming language. Our full list includes 14 options. We asked our experts to break them down based on use cases, average income, and the overall difficulty.

1. Python

Python

Python is an open-sourced, general-purpose programming language. When it comes to Python applications, you have a lot of choices, as it’s widely used for web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and more. If you ask someone about the best coding languages to learn in 2023, there’s a good chance they’ll say Python!

It’s popular for its user-friendly syntax and easy-to-learn semantics. And also for the existence of a vast collection of libraries and modules. For many beginners, Python is the best coding language to learn.

There are many large, active, and supportive Python communities online. And it’s easy to find high-quality tutorials or Python courses to help when you get stuck on a Python project.

Learning a language like Python can lead to many career options, like data science, software engineering, and artificial intelligence, just to mention a few. It’s still, by far, the best general-purpose language for every skill level.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Backend development

Machine learning

Automation

Desktop application

Data Science

Scientific computation

Average income $100K+
Popularity #1 on PYPL (July 2023)

#1 on TIOBE (July 2023)

Loved by 65% on Stack Overflow

Pros Easy to learn and use

Versatile

Large, supportive community

Extensive Libraries

Cross-platform compatibility

Cons Slower compared to compiled languages

Dynamic typing can make debugging/maintenance hard

Steep learning curve for some libraries

Limited use in mobile development

2. JavaScript

JavaScript

JavaScript is a dynamically typed and interpreted scripting language widely used for building interactive and dynamic web pages. It’s often used with HTML and CSS to build front-end applications.

If you can click, drag, or move any element on a webpage, there’s a good chance JavaScript is involved. In fact, JavaScript powers the client side of more than 98% of websites. If you’re interested in web development, JavaScript knowledge is essential.

JavaScript is a very versatile language that’s used for more than front-end apps, with other uses including server-side programming with Node.js, mobile app development, game development, and automating repetitive tasks.

JavaScript is one of the top coding languages, meaning it’s easy to find good resources to learn JavaScript, including JavaScript courses. The JavaScript community is also open and friendly toward beginners. That earns it a rank among the best functional programming languages.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Frontend development

Backend development

Game development

Automating repetitive tasks

Database management

Mobile applications

Average income $85K+
Popularity #1 on Stack Overflow developer survey

#3 on PYPL (July 2023)

Pros Versatile language

Large and active community

Easy to learn

Used in over 98% of websites

Many libraries and packages

Cons Dynamic typing

Lack of standardization

Poor error handling

Cross-browser compatibility issues

3. SQL

SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is the only show in town for managing and manipulating relational databases. Meaning SQL is ideal for creating, retrieving, updating, and deleting (CRUD) data in a database, not to mention managing the structure of the database itself.

SQL is a powerful data management and analysis tool, meaning it’s widely used in many industries. As a result, it’s the de facto standard for database management systems like MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and more.

SQL is declarative, which means you specify what you want to do with data rather than how you want to do it. Whether you’re interested in a career as a database administrator, business analyst, or web developer, there’s a good chance you’ll need to use SQL at some point, so consider looking for one of the best SQL courses to learn this valuable skill.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Moderate
Use cases Database management

Backend development

Data warehousing

Business intelligence tools

Average income $100K+
Popularity #4 on Stack Overflow Developer survey

#8 on TIOBE (July 2023)

Pros Provides advanced data analysis tools

Highly performant for data-intensive applications

SQL professionals are in high demand

Compatible with a variety of platforms

Declarative language making it easy to use

Cons Requires specialized knowledge for optimization

Not open-sourced

4. Java

Java

Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language developed in the 90s by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle). Java is often referred to as a “write once, run anywhere” language, as it can be run on any device with the JavaVirtual Machine (JVM), installed, regardless of the underlying OS.

A key aspect of Java is its object-oriented design, making it convenient for programmers to write modular and reusable code. It’s also highly stable and secure.

Java is a popular choice for building enterprise applications for many large organizations. Colleges also like to use Java to teach computer science, as it provides a great introduction to OOP. If you’re interested in Java development, consider looking for Java tutorials, books, or Java courses.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Moderate
Use cases Enterprise applications

Desktop applications

Mobile development (Android)

Web applications

Big data

Average income $100K+
Popularity #2 on PYPL (July 2023)

#4 on TIOBE (July 2023)

#7 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Cross-platform

Highly versatile

Secure and stable

Suitable for large applications

Cons Relatively complex syntax

Slow execution times

5. PHP

PHP

PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language for web development. PHP is currently used on the server side of more than 75% of websites, with popular content management systems like WordPress being written in PHP.

PHP developers can interact with databases to store and retrieve data, create sessions and cookies to track user interactions, process forms, send emails, and more.

PHP has a large community of open-source enthusiasts who have contributed to the development of the language by building extensions, tools, and frameworks to make PHP even more powerful and easy to use. If you’re new to PHP, one of the best ways to learn is by building PHP projects.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Session and cookie management

E-commerce applications

Desktop applications

Content management systems

Average income $85K+
Popularity #6 on PYPL (July 2023)

#11 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Easy to learn

Large and active community

Great documentation

Highly performant

Cross-platform

Cons Inconsistent syntax

Weak support for OOP

Lacks strict typing

6. C#

C#

C# is a modern, object-oriented coding language developed by Microsoft as part of its .NET framework. It’s a statically-typed language and is mainly used for developing Windows desktop applications, games, and enterprise software.

C# can also be used for web development and server-side applications and is also compatible with Linux. C# is a multi-paradigm language that supports component-oriented, object-oriented, and functional programming paradigms.

Other bonuses include automatic memory management and an extensive standard library. Compared to C and C++, its syntax is much simpler, making it relatively easy to learn if you’re thinking of taking one of the best C# courses.

Who it’s best for Intermediates
Difficulty Moderate
Use cases Desktop apps

Enterprise software

Game development

Cloud-based services

Mobile applications

Average income $130K+
Popularity #4 on PYPL (July 2023)

#5 on TIOBE (July 2023)

#8 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Ideal for building Windows applications

Large and active .NET communities

Extensive libraries and frameworks

Fast compilation and execution times

Cons Heavily dependent on the .NET environment

Steep learning curve

7. C++

C++

C++ is a general-purpose programming language that is statically typed. It was created in the early 1980s as an improved version of the C programming language with OOP support, and it’s still one of the most widely used languages.

It is often used for developing major software applications, operating systems, and device drivers. It’s also popular for scientific computing, financial applications, game development, and creating web browsers. With such a rich history, it’s easy to find C++ courses and other resources to learn.

With cross-platform compatibility, C++ can be used on various OS, including macOS, Windows, and Linux. C++ also offers software developers low-level control over systems resources making it more powerful and versatile. One downside, however, is that C++ is more difficult to learn because of its more complex syntax.

Who it’s best for Advanced programmers
Difficulty Hard
Use cases Operating systems

Game development

Device drivers

Embedded systems

Web browsers

Computer graphics

Average income $130K+
Popularity #5 on PYPL (July 2023)

#9 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Versatile language

Cross-platform compatibility

Fast and powerful

Hardware access & control

OOP support

Cons Hard to learn

No garbage collection

8. TypeScript

TypeScript

TypeScript was created by Microsoft to add static typing to JavaScript. If you are familiar with JavaScript, picking up TypeScript is easy as it shares the same base syntax as JavaScript.

Unlike JavaScript, TypeScript requires the declaration of types, making it more robust and less prone to errors. This also means it’s more suitable for building complex and large-scale applications.

Who it’s best for Intermediates
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Client side development

Server side development

Mobile app development

Game development

Average income $85K+
Popularity #5 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#8 on PYPL (July 2023)

Pros Early bug detection

Improved code readability

Frameworks/Libraries support

Ability to use modern JS features

Advantage for job candidates

Cons Takes longer to write code

Can give a false sense of security

9. Golang (or Go)

Golang (or Go)

Golang (or Go) was developed by Google engineers in 2007 as a compiled language that’s a fast and efficient language for large-scale applications. It also includes static typing and has a simple and easy-to-learn syntax. This makes it ideal for beginners and advanced programmers.

Go is often used for developing backend systems, network programming, and software development tools. Although a relatively young language, it is fast becoming popular among developers.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Web applications

Systems programming

Big data

Cloud computing

Machine Learning

Average income $100K+
Popularity #13 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#12 on PYPL (July 2023)

Pros Simple syntax

Cross-platform

Fast execution (compiled vs. interpreted)

Garbage collection

Supported by Google

Concurrency

Cons Relatively new, so limited in libraries

Steep learning curve for some concepts

No inheritance

10. Rust

Rust

Rust was developed by Mozilla for systems programming. Often compared with C and C++, Rust offers low-level control with an emphasis on memory and thread safety. It’s become very popular very quickly, with developers voting it the most loved language for eight years in a row.

Rust is commonly used for systems software, like operating systems, device drivers, and network protocols, not to mention web apps and command-line tools. Overall, Rust is a powerful and modern programming language quickly gaining a strong reputation.

Who it’s best for Intermediates
Difficulty Moderate
Use cases Operating systems

Game engines

Web browsers

Embedded systems

Average income $130K+
Popularity #1 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#10 on PYPL (July 2023)

Pros Cross-platform support

Fast and highly performant

Large and active online community

Interoperability with C and C++

Cons Compilation can be slow for large projects

Steep learning curve

Limited libraries and tools

11. Ruby

Ruby

Ruby was designed to be an expressive and concise OOP language that’s primarily meant to boost developer productivity and code readability. And with dynamic typing and simple syntax, it’s an excellent language for beginners.

Commonly, Ruby is used for scripting, automation, and building command-line tools and utilities. Regarding web development, Ruby users can use the Ruby on Rails framework. This provides a convention-over-configuration approach to web development, making it quick to build and deploy complex applications.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Web development

Data Science

Automation

Command-line tools

Average income $85K+
Popularity #15 on PYPL  (July 2023)

#16 on TIOBE (July 2023)

Pros Clear and readable syntax

Designed for productivity in mind

Supports metaprogramming

Active online community

Cons Lack of static typing

Prioritizes developer productivity over performance

Version compatibility issues

12. C

C

C is a programming language that’s been around since the early 1970s. Its popularity nowadays stems from its low-level control over computer hardware, making it ideal for embedded systems. It’s also loved for its speed and ability to handle complex tasks.

Widely adopted as the standard programming language, C forms the basis of many modern languages, including C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, and PHP. Unlike these modern languages, C has a more challenging syntax, meaning it’s less suitable for complete beginners to coding. That said, taking one of the best C courses can help you overcome this learning curve.

Who it’s best for Intermediate and Advanced programmers
Difficulty Hard
Use cases Embedded systems

System programming

Scientific computing

Developing libraries and tools for other languages

Average income $130K+
Popularity #2 on TIOBE (July 2023)

#5 on PYPL (July 2023)

#10 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Fast and efficient

Cross-platform compatibility

Low-level hardware access

Large community

Popular and easy-to-find resources

Cons Limited abstraction

No built-in error handling

13. Swift

Swift

Swift was created by Apple and first released in 2014. As a powerful and intuitive language with a simple and easy-to-learn syntax, it has become the go-to for building MacOS, iOS, and any Apple apps. It also includes playgrounds,which are ideal for trying out new ideas in real-time.

Learning Swift is non-negotiable if you’re interested in becoming an iOS developer, and it’s also reportedly 2.6 times faster than Objective C, which previously held the title of the main language for iOS apps.

In fact, Apple has launched the Develop in Swift program as a free coding curriculum to prepare learners for a career in app development, which is ideal when combined with one of the best iOS development courses.

Who it’s best for Beginners
Difficulty Easy to learn
Use cases Software development

MacOS and iOS applications

Average income $100K+
Popularity #9 on PYPL  (July 2023)

#18 on TIOBE(July 2023)

Pros Supported by Apple

Fast and efficient

Large and active community

Concise and readable syntax

Strong type inference

Cons Limited platform compatibility (minimal Android or Windows support)

Lack of libraries

14. R

R Language

R is an open-source programming language that’s immensely popular for statistical computing, data analysis, data science, and visualizations. It also boasts an extensive library of packages.

R remains a strong rival for Python, which is also very popular for the same use cases. And while the R syntax may be more difficult for beginners, R benefits from a large and active community renowned for providing support and regular updates for various libraries.

Who it’s best for Intermediates
Difficulty Hard
Use cases Machine learning

Data science

Statistical analysis

Average income $110K+
Popularity #7 on PYPL (July 2023)

#21 on Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Pros Cross-Platform compatibility

Extensive range of libraries

Powerful graphics

Large & helpful community

Cons Steep learning curve

Bespoke data structures

Memory management with large data sets

Honorable Mentions

Our team evaluated many more popular programming languages, and not all of them could top the list. So what else is worth consideration? Here are a few more of the most popular options:

Kotlin

If you’re looking to work with Android, you should check out Kotlin. It’s a cross-platform high-level programming language, and it interoperates with Java, but it’s also a go-to choice for App development on Android devices.

We chose to include Java over Kotlin in our list above, but there are many arguments for choosing Kotlin. Check out the Kotlin docs to get started.

HTML

The hypertext markup language remains an absolute fundamental for anything related to websites. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with HTML projects even if you don’t plan to make it your primary focus. While we didn’t include this in our list of the best programming languages, it ranks as an honorable mention for its widespread usage. Note that this is also one of those languages that works really well with ChatGPT and Google Bard.

Those looking to land a job with basic skills may want to brush up on our interview questions for HTML.

What Is The Best Language to Learn in 2023?

If you’re still unsure of the most useful programming languages for you, it might help to consider the best language for different use cases. This is really important if you’re looking to start your programming career and you need to know which language is best to land a specific job.

So what do you say? Shall we break it down into categories?

  • Best languages for beginners: Python, JavaScript, Ruby
  • Best languages for frontend development: JavaScript, TypeScript
  • Best languages for back-end development: Python, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Go
  • Best language for database management: SQL
  • Best language for iOS development: Swift
  • Best language for Android development: Java
  • Best languages for game development: C++, C#
  • Best languages for artificial intelligenceJava, Python, R
  • Best languages for systems programming: C, C++, Rust
  • Best languages for data science: Python, R, SQL
  • Best languages for OOP: Java, C++, Python

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from new programmers and those looking to learn a new skill this year.

What programming language should I learn?

Your choice of programming language depends on what you want to do. If your top focus is earning money, try Python. It’s one of the most versitile programming languages, and it’s commonly used by data scientists. If you want to build mobile apps, you’ll want to check out Swift or Java.

Which programming language is best for getting a job?

There are two considerations when considering which language is best for landing a job. Commonly-used programming languages like Java can make it easier to find an open position, but the competitive landscape looks better for those with rare skills. In that case, you may want to specialize in Rust. It’s the #21 most popular programming language, and there are fewer programmers with the skills to use it.

What’s the best programming language for the future?

Those who want to future-proof their skillsets should look into Python or Java. Both languages play well with other languages, and you’ll be able to use the same coding skills as you further develop as a programmer.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, the 14 best programming languages you need to learn in 2023. We hope this article helps you answer the question, which programming language should I learn first?

No matter your career goals or areas of interest, our list of the best coding languages fits nearly every niche you can think of in modern programming. What’s more, there’s a range of options for all skill levels.

If you’re new to coding and you want to learn a programming language, it’s best to start with just one programming language to gain the fundamentals. The skills you gain will then be transferable when you want to learn another programming language.

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