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14 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2023

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Best Programming Languages to Learn


Choosing the best programming language to learn can be tricky, especially considering how many there are to choose from. The Stack Overflow developer survey alone lists more than 40. That’s a lot of choices! If you’ve been asking the question, what are the best programming languages to learn, we’ve got the answers!

To help you figure out the best language to learn, we’ll kick things off with a recap of programming language types and some common programming paradigms. We’ll then start our deep dive into the 14 best programming languages to learn in 2023, including pros and cons, use cases, difficulty level, and much more.

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. Common examples of languages that support OOP are Java, C++, and Python.

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

1. Python

Python is an open-sourced, general-purpose programming language. 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 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. We also list remote Python jobs on our job board.

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 (March 2023)

#1 on TIOBE (March 2023)

Loved by 67% 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 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. The JavaScript community is also open and friendly toward beginners.

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

$95K+

Popularity

#1 on Stack Overflow developer survey

#3 on PYPL (March 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

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.

Who it’s best for

Beginners

Difficulty

Moderate

Use cases

Database management

Backend development

Data warehousing

Business intelligence tools

Average income

$95K+

Popularity

#3 on Stack Overflow Developer survey

#8 on TIOBE (March 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 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.

Who it’s best for

Beginners

Difficulty

Moderate

Use cases

Enterprise applications

Desktop applications

Mobile development (Android)

Web applications

Big data

Average income

$95K+

Popularity

#2 on PYPL (March 2023)

#4 on TIOBE (March 2023)

#6 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 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.

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

$90K+

Popularity

#6 on PYPL (March 2023)

#10 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# 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.

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 (March 2023)

#5 on TIOBE (March 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++ 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 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

$100K+

Popularity

#5 on PYPL (March 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 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

$65K+

Popularity

#4 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#8 on PYPL (March 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) was developed by Google engineers in 2007 as a compiled language that’s 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

$65K+

Popularity

#8 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#11 on PYPL (March 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 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 seven 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

$100K+

Popularity

#1 Most loved language on Stack Overflow

#12 on PYPL (March 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 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

$95K+

Popularity

#15 on PYPL  (March 2023)

#16 on TIOBE (March 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 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.

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

$90K+

Popularity

#2 on TIOBE (March 2023)

#5 on PYPL (March 2023)

#11 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 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.

Who it’s best for

Beginners

Difficulty

Easy to learn

Use cases

Software development

MacOS and iOS applications

Average income

$95K+

Popularity

#9 on PYPL  (March 2023)

#11 on TIOBE(March 2023)

#12 Most loved language on Stack Overflow 2022

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 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

$80K+

Popularity

#7 on PYPL (March 2023)

#13 on TIOBE (March 2023)

#20 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

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 backend 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 intelligence: Java, 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

Conclusion

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 complete beginners and more experienced programmers. 

If you’re a complete beginner that wants to start learning coding languages, it’s best to start with one language to gain the fundamentals. The coding skills you gain while learning will be transferable when you want to learn another of the top programming languages. 

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Pratik Nichal
Pratik Nichal

What is the highest paying/most in demanding programming languages right now in the market?

Yunusa Tukur Nagande
Yunusa Tukur Nagande

I need to understanding how to understand computer programming language

Bello Makama
Bello Makama

JavaScript are hot in the startup world. Many startups use Django (Python), Flask (Python), and NodeJS (JavaScript) as their backend frameworks. Python and JavaScript are easy-to-learn and therefore considered the best programming languages to learn for beginners. Moreover, both of them also provide a huge market

Rakshith
Rakshith

I know Javascript, If i want to learn backend which one should i choose python? php? Node js, i'm confused, please help me.

Georges
Georges

Every Pros you said for PHP are Cons.
Every Cons you said for PHP are wrong.
What kind of article is this...

Developing websites completely in PHP is faster than any solutions.
It is secure.
It has a simple so good error handling.
Extensions are easily included by default by every providers.

Sam
Sam

What about Solidity?

Ansan
Ansan

Sir, can you suggest a book for learning python(all in one (beginner to professional)).

RANJANI
RANJANI

DOES NOT MEANTIONED SELENIUM ?

Mayur
Mayur

selenium is a a framework..not a programming language.

ranjani
ranjani

hi am ranjani.....i want learn something about best scope computer language for my incresed my career ..so i choosed the selenium . but u say java is an best language ,but selenuym is an more than advatage of java,,and thats have an many scopes in computer language ,then how u do not speak about that,,,,

Sullen
Sullen

Selenium is a framework, not a programming language.

Abhishek Thakur
Abhishek Thakur

Hello respected person I'm new here. I didn't know about computer languages and coding. I want to learn how to code and make very useful applications for android and ios system. please teach me.