12 most in-demand programming languages to learn in 2023
For Developers

February 15, 2024

12 most in-demand programming languages to learn in 2023

Over centuries, hundreds of programming languages have been developed to be as adaptable and powerful as possible. A few of these have remained relevant and demonstrate that they were ahead of the curve.

Statista's survey of developers worldwide identified JavaScript, SQL, Python, and Java as the most commonly used languages in 2022, whereas GitHub recognized Python, Java, C++, and Go as the top programming languages.

Additionally, DevJobsScanner, which analyzed over 12 million job requirements, identified that JavaScript/TypeScript, Python, Java, C++, and Ruby are the most in demand. Therefore, these 12 languages are likely to be the ones to learn in 2023.

A diagram of most used programming languages among developers: JS, HTML/CSS, SQL, Python, TypeScript, Java, Bash/Sell, C#, C++, PHP, C
Most used programming languages

12. Swift

Swift is a quick, safe, interactive, and modern programming language developed by Apple. It is a performance-optimized language built from the ground up for creating apps for iOS, watchOS, and macOS. With 57.65 percent of the market share, iOS leads the mobile operating system market in the US. So, it is evident from these numbers that Swift is the language of choice for Apple products.

As a result of its enhanced performance, blazing-fast development, ease of use and maintenance, and dynamic libraries, it is expected to reach the top level of programming languages soon. 

Apart from Apple, companies like Slack, Instagram, Uber, Robin Hood, and some additional financial corporations use Swift. In the United States, Swift developers can earn around $100,000 per year. 

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11. Ruby

Ruby is an interpreted, dynamic, open-source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Ruby has a diverse range of use cases, including data-driven web apps, marketplaces, and desktop apps. It’s also used as the basis for the popular Ruby on Rails web application framework.

Ruby ranked fifth in the list of highest-paying programming languages. But despite high compensation, demand for Ruby is declining. Developers have gradually shifted away from Ruby over the past several years, and it’s not surprising to find its demand fading as well. 

Despite all this, Ruby is still a worthy choice due to its connection with big names such as Twitter, Airbnb, Bloomberg, and Shopify which have built their websites using Ruby at some point. Moreover, as a Ruby developer, you can earn a whopping $160,675 per year in the United States. 

10. Rust

When it was discovered that C++ had a vulnerability in its code, many companies, including Dropbox, Firefox, and Cloudflare, had to find a solution. Rust entered the picture in 2020. 

Firefox developed Rust, a general-purpose multi-paradigm programming language, as an operational alternative to C++. However, Rust has much more to offer than just protecting code and memory. With Rust, there is a focus on speed and security, as "safe code" is encouraged and the compiler is efficient for processing large amounts of data.

Now, Meta, Amazon Microsoft, and many other businesses utilize Rust for various operations. Stack Overflow's 2023 Developer's Survey found that Rust was once again the most beloved programming language amongst developers for the 7th year running, with a staggering 86.1 percent of Rust developers wanting to continue using it.

Even though it may be a bit tougher to grasp than other introductory languages, learning Rust programming could be highly beneficial as its utilization is predicted to increase substantially in the future. A Rust programmer in the United States can gain an annual salary of over $110,000.

A diagram of percentage of developers and programming languages
Most loved programming languages

9. R 

R is an open-source programming language used for statistical computing, graphical programming, and data analysis. Statisticians and data scientists use R for data visualization and statistical analysis in a variety of industries like fintech, retail, government, and healthcare.

It is also widely used among data miners for data analysis. What’s most interesting about it is that growing employer demand for R specialists is misaligned with its falling popularity among software engineers as last year, R dropped to the fifteenth most popular language.

While it ranks low on our list, R ranks fifth in the most in-demand programming languages list due to its advanced features like object-oriented programming, extended libraries for interactive graphics, and cross-platform operation.

The top companies using R are Flipkart, Amazon, Google, and LinkedIn. However, there’s still a huge shortage of tech talent with expertise in R so learning this language can be a smart career choice. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for an R developer in the United States is $123,994 a year.

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8. Go

The Go programming language or GoLang, developed by Google, is a low-level language that's extremely beneficial for software engineers who work with system-level programming. It rivals high-performance languages such as Java and encompasses much of the same functionality of C and C++, but has a much easier syntax to learn and understand.

Its applications extend beyond DevOps, cloud computing, server-side scripting, and pipeline building to also include machine-learning packages. Open source and widely used by developers around the globe, Go provides users with a super fast runtime that makes it an excellent choice for all kinds of projects.

The language has been gaining popularity among developers. According to JetBrains, Go is among the top 10 primary languages of professional developers, with a share of 7%. In 2022 it was the second fastest-growing language, with its popularity increasing at a rate of 190%. And that popularity is translating into hiring demand which grew by 301% last year. Developers looking to acquire a new general-purpose language may be wise to turn towards Go instead of less sought-after alternatives like Ruby.

The Go programming language has been adopted by Google, Uber, Twitch, and Dropbox. Go is the future of programming language so you can surely think about learning this in 2023. Based on experience and seniority level, a Go developer in the US can earn $135,000 annually.

Regions with highest number of Go developers

7. SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a language of unparalleled success; it has become an essential skill for all programmers. Data tables are created using SQL. A significant component of data analytics is the way it stores data, communicates with the database, and manipulates data to obtain the desired outcomes. Demand for SQL in 2022 improved greatly, surpassing C++.

Although it's growing at a faster rate in the market, its popularity ranking decreased and consequently, there is a discrepancy between its demand and popularity rankings. The source of this gap is unknown and may be due, in part, to the rise in interest in alternative non-relational database systems such as NoSQL.

SQL is used by NTT DATA, Microsoft, Accenture, and other companies. Accolades for the language extend beyond its professional benefits. SQL developers in the United States can make $95,177 annually.

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6. Kotlin

Kotlin comes next and, according to many, is the next big thing, surpassing Java. Kotlin is an open-source, statistically-typed, and general-purpose single language designed to simplify Android development compared to Java. Being an indispensable part of Android app development, it’s used by 60% of professional Android developers.

It’s also estimated that 80% of the top 1,000 Android apps used Kotlin code, including over 60 Google apps. Moreover, Kotlin ranks fourth among the fastest-growing programming languages on several renowned indices. Companies like Pinterest, Uber, Trello, and Amazon use Kotlin for app development. Some of the most prominent features of Kotlin are concise code (20% less as compared to Java), 100% interoperability, and structured concurrent programming. 

So if you’re willing to boost your career in Android app development then learning Kotlin in 2023 is an absolute must. You can earn around $140,000 per year in the United States. 

A pie chart representing programming languages of the top Android apps
Programming languages of the top 1,000 Android apps

5. TypeScript

Microsoft released TypeScript in 2012 as a ‘typed’ version of JavaScript. TypeScript describes itself as ‘all of JavaScript, and then a bit more’ and has been gaining popularity for years, ranked 4th in GitHub’s 2022 language rankings. It is yet another robust programming language and like Go, is converting its popularity into hiring demand. At 392%, TypeScript had the highest growth in demand for any programming language.

TypeScript is an open-source, object-oriented language that works as a superset of JavaScript supporting JavaScript libraries. Advanced features in TypeScript include project scalability, code maintainability, type-checks, and quick validation to ensure that the codes typed are free of errors. 

TypeScript is used by Accenture, Microsoft, and other corporations. The annual salary in the United States for prolific TypeScript developers is around $160,000. 

4. JavaScript

Next comes JavaScript, the most adaptable programming language. It has a well-organized codebase that provides enhanced productivity and readability, platform independence, greater control of the browser, and input validation features. 

Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is essential to front-end web development. It can also be used on the server side through Node.js to build scalable network applications compatible with Linux, SunOS, Mac OS X, and Windows. JavaScript allows developers to set up dynamic and interactive content, animated graphics, and complex features on the website.

With an increasing demand for dynamic, single-page web applications, it’s nearly impossible to become a professional software developer without learning JavaScript. According to Stack Overflow's 2022 Developer's Survey, JavaScript is the most popular language among developers for the tenth year in a row.

The vast majority of the web’s most popular sites, from Facebook, Twitter Netflix, and YouTube, use JavaScript to create interactive web pages and dynamically display content, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As a JavaScript developer, you can earn on average $135,000 a year. 

With Index.dev, you can land high-paying, long-term jobs with top US & EU companies, right from the comfort of your home. Register now ->

The top three programming languages you’ve been waiting for are up next.

3. C & C++ 

At number three we have C & C++. C is the ‘mother of all programming languages’ and one of the most widely used operating systems, making significant contributions to new languages, compilers, and databases. It is a general-purpose, compiled language designed to work efficiently on games, graphics, and enterprise applications. 

Known as ‘C with Classes, ’C++, on the other hand, is an extension of C that supports object-oriented programming. It is a general-purpose, compiled, and statistically-typed language used for games, web development, and many other things.

The high performance of C++ has made it the top language for use cases requiring fast rendering, including browsers, banking applications, and motion design software. Demand for C++ is also growing slightly slower relative to the market and C++ skills are vital for maintaining existing applications and infrastructure.

Both C & C++ are used when developing apps where performance is essential, such as client or server software. Plus, they serve as the foundation for understanding more complex programming languages. Companies working on C/C++ are Adobe, Google apps, Microsoft, Apple, and the annual salary in the United States for well-versed C/C++ developers is $132,500.

2. Java

Java comes in a close second among the top programming languages to learn this year. With its high-level, object-oriented nature and wide platform independence, it is an invaluable asset for DevOps, virtual reality, big data, mobile chatbots, and continuous integrations alike.

The language is platform-independent, allowing it to run on any device that supports its environment and find its way into every operating system, mobile application, and software framework. What's more, Java boasts enhanced productivity, performance, and security capabilities - making it a great choice all around.

The top-ranked Java language is preferred by more than 97 percent of enterprises, which is more than any other programming language. In terms of growth relative to the market, top-ranked Java is growing steadily. With this programming language, companies can develop mobile applications for their products and services.

There are amazing growth opportunities, crazy salaries, and global recognition associated with learning Java. In the United States, Java developers earn a median salary of $120,000 annually, while top brands such as Airbnb, Google, Netflix, Flipkart, Instagram, Uber, Amazon, and Spotify use Java in their tech stacks.

A diagram of most demanding programming languges by number of jobs: JS, TypeScript, Java, C#, C/C++, Ruby, Go, SQL, Scala, Kotlin, Dart, Rust
Most demanding programming languages

1. Python

Ta-da, we rank Python at the top of our list. Every month, 52% of applicants on Index.dev are Python developers eager to work on our clients' projects. Also, Python jobs have the highest number of listings on Glassdoor and Indeed.

Python is an appealing choice of programming language for many due to its user-friendliness. It can be used to complete a variety of tasks, ranging from simple scripting to complex web applications and artificial intelligence. Those interested in back-end web development may find the Python-based, open-source Django framework a useful tool; it has many features and is relatively easy to learn.

Popular packages such as NumPy and SciPy, used for scientific computing and mathematics, are also available in Python, as well as libraries like TensorFlow, PyTorch, scikit-learn, and OpenCV that allow for the creation of programs related to data science, machine learning, image processing, and computer vision.

As per the latest statistics, Python is the main coding language used by around 80% of developers. Python is widely regarded as one of the most recent programming languages. Industry giants such as Intel, Pixar, and IBM use Python, while Python developers can earn more than $150,000 annually.

Read more on Index.dev blog: The battle of the giants - Python vs Java for App Development

Our most in-demand programming languages ranking for the year 2023 are now complete. Whether you are an experienced developer or new to software development, learning the most in-demand programming languages will boost your career opportunities.

Key takeaways

  1. Python and Java rank first and second in both employer demand and popularity with developers. The supply and demand for these key languages are aligned.
  2. Java, Python, SQL, C++, and JavaScript have enough volume to stand in a league of their own. 
  3. Go, TypeScript, and R have similar demand levels and are growing the fastest. 
A list of programming languages
Most in demand languages to learn in 2023

Can I work remotely as a developer? Yes, you can! Skilled software developers are in demand today.  With Index.dev, you can land high-paying remote software jobs with top US enterprises with no need for relocation. 

Apply for jobs in Python, Swift, Java, Ruby, R,  Golang, DevOps, AI, Data Engineering, and more.