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The Most In-Demand Programming Languages in 2018

by | Feb 21, 2018

The world of software and web development changes rapidly. It seems like every month there’s a new hot language, library, or framework to learn. As a developer, you might find it confusing to decide what to focus on learning next. What new languages do you need? What existing languages are worth going deep on?

To help solve this challenge, we’ll take a look at a few of the world’s most popular programming languages today. There’s a skills gap in all the major languages as demand for developers exceeds supply. That said, you’ll want to make sure you’re learning a stack that has longevity, so you’re not having to learn something new every few years.


Constant Improvement

Of course, with any language there will be changes in approach and new things to learn. It’s not a simple as just picking one of the following languages and then you’re done. You’ll need to commit yourself to constant personal development and independent learning if you want to be a top performer.

All of these languages offer interesting and exciting career paths. They also lend themselves to different applications. For instance, if you’re interested in building enterprise applications, it’s hard to go wrong with Java. On the other hand, if data science seems intriguing to you, Python may be a better choice (although Java is still very useful). Want to focus on web development? You should learn and get good at Javascript if you haven’t already.

Let’s take a look at these top choices to see what the experts have to say.



Java is the among the world’s most popular programming languages for good reason. Java powers many of the technologies we use everyday. It also has an enormous community of developers and most major corporations use it in some way.

In another post, we already looked at the top trends in Java for 2018. In years past, Java seemed to be declining in popularity as new languages competed for adoption. In 2017, however, it appears Java made a significant comeback, and it is still going strong. Anyone serious about a career in software development should at least understand the essentials of Java, since it’s used so frequently and in so many contexts.



Python first appeared in 1991 and it has risen in popularity ever since. It’s known as a clean, developer-friendly language that’s simple to write and understand. The language is also very flexible, lending itself to a myriad of potential applications.

This simplicity and flexibility is driving the demand for Python and Python developers. Companies appreciate Python’s simple, object-oriented structure. Over the past 26 years, Python has also amassed a large community, standard library, and support resources.

Recently, Python has grown in popularity as one of the core languages used in data science and machine learning. Since Python is a high-level, simple language, it makes for fast prototyping and tweaking of machine learning algorithms.



While many developers are drawn to the simplicity of Python, many employers want Javascript skills. Javascript powers much of the functionality and user interfaces you see and use on the internet. It also has powerful frameworks and libraries that, once learned, turn Javascript into a full front-end development solution.

Specifically, employers want developers with experience working with React, Angular, and Node.js, but it is difficult to find developers with experience in these frameworks. If you can learn how to use these frameworks you’ll be in high demand, and it doesn’t seem likely that demand for Javascript will decrease any time soon.


Where You Are Matters

The rankings in this article come from a global developers survey, but they may not be true for your geographic area. For instance, Python is more popular in Seattle while Javascript is more used in New York City. When you’re considering what language to learn next or how best to deepen your knowledge, consider where you’re living and what industries are nearby.

Still, it’s hard to go wrong learning one (or all) of the languages above, since they’re so popular. Whatever you choose, you’re likely to be in good company. You’re also likely to be in high demand as you keep learning new, useful languages.

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Also published on Medium.

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