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Programming Language Demand: These Are the Most In-Demand Programming Languages You Should Learn in 2024 Based on Developer Hiring Trends
With hundreds of programming languages to choose from, which are most worth learning and focusing your career on in 2024?
By evaluating job postings data, tech company technology stacks, developer surveys, popular open source projects, and growth of related frameworks and tools, we can get a data-driven sense of where the programming job market is headed.
Let’s dig in and analyze the 10 programming languages and tech stacks with the brightest outlook for 2024 and beyond that every developer should strongly consider learning and pursuing.
- The rise of front end frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue
Python has exploded in popularity in recent years. Here are drivers that will propel continued surging demand for Python developers:
- Soaring use of Python for data science, machine learning and AI applications
- Wide adoption for backend web development through Django and Flask
- Extensive usage across scientific and numeric computing
- Emergence of Python for ETL, infrastructure automation, and DevOps
- Python’s popularity for general application scripting and prototyping
Python’s versatility across domains will keep it a top choice for years to come.
As one of the most established and widely used programming languages, Java remains a mainstay of strong demand especially for:
- Most large enterprise applications
- High scale web backend development
- The huge ecosystem of Java legacy systems
- Android mobile development
- Complex distributed systems
Don’t expect Java to disappear from employer wish lists anytime soon given its dominant enterprise foothold.
These stalwart languages underlie major operating systems, games, databases and performance-critical applications. Demand remains steady driven by domains like:
- Operating system and embedded systems development
- High frequency trading systems
- 3D simulations and modeling
- AAA video game engines
- VR/AR platforms
For the foreseeable future, C/C++ will continue fueling innovation in foundational computing.
For developing on Microsoft platforms, C# skills remain highly sought after:
- Building Windows desktop and UWP apps
- Backend web development with ASP.NET Core
- Cross platform mobile development with Xamarin
- Developing for Microsoft cloud platforms like Azure
- Gaming with Unity
C# will retain solid job prospects given Microsoft’s enduring tech ecosystem dominance.
The newer systems programming language Go has rapidly gained adoption:
- Go’s performance and scalability in large distributed systems
- High usage of Go at tech giants like Uber, Twitch, and Dropbox
- Go’s suitability for containerization, DevOps, and cloud infrastructure
- Simpler concurrency model compared to older languages
- Go has become backend language of choice for many smaller startups
Demand for Go developers will likely continue rising exponentially.
The PHP scripting language dominates backend web development in many organizations and applications:
- PHP powers popular CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento
- High usage for custom web applications and Laravel web backends
- Massive legacy codebase – over 70% of websites use PHP
- New PHP 8 release with JIT compilation and typing
- Higher performance benchmarks than languages like Node.js and Python
Despite competition from newer languages, PHP remains deeply entrenched in web development – especially among digital agencies, SMBs, media, and ecommerce sites.
With WordPress alone powering over 40% of all websites, PHP skills will continue enjoying healthy demand.
Learning PHP allows you to tap into job opportunities developing the enormous legacy PHP and WordPress codebase powering a large swath of the web.
Given PHP’s gradual language improvements and integral role in web infrastructure, it should not be overlooked when evaluating in-demand programming languages to learn.
Apple’s modern successor to Objective-C is the favored language for iOS and cross-platform Apple development:
- All new iOS apps built with Swift
- SwiftUI provides a modern declarative UI framework
- Multiplatform support for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS
- Wide adoption by Apple developers
- Swifts focus on safety and performance
Swift will dominate Apple’s ecosystems for the foreseeable future.
The newer Android development language Kotlin has seen massive adoption:
- Kotlin as Android’s preferred language since 2017
- Interoperability with Java
- Kotlin/Native brings the language beyond mobile
- Large ecosystem of Kotlin libraries and tools
- Kotlin’s more concise syntax over Java
Kotlin will continue its rise in usage for Android and backend development.
The relatively newer systems programming language Rust has grown rapidly due to features like:
- Incredible performance comparable to C/C++
- Memory-safety without garbage collection
- Zero-cost abstractions and generics
- Rich type system and ownership model
- Growing support from companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon
Rust’s momentum and unique capabilities suggest great potential.
Key Takeaways for Choosing Languages
For more mature languages like Java, C#, and C/C++, look for specialized domains like enterprise, gaming, or IoT where they remain dominant.
Swift, Kotlin, and Rust are emerging winners in Apple, Android, and systems programming respectively.
Beyond syntax, evaluate the vibrancy of a language’s community, availability of learning materials, and job openings.
Aim to become at least bilingual – proficient in both a backend and frontend language.
Finally, don’t forget core computer science fundamentals, which outlast any single language.
Learning languages with surging demand and tailwinds gives you the greatest leverage as a developer long-term. Hope these data-driven insights help you choose wisely!
The programming language landscape will continue evolving rapidly. But developers who build expertise in these in-demand languages recommended here will thrive. Master them to secure your future!