The Top 15 programming languages

In software development, choosing the right language is so important. But before knowing which language to choose for building your application, there are a few questions to be considered as well. Here are some of them:

  • What kind of an application is that?
  • What is the scalability 
  • The complexity level of the application 
  • The resources at your disposal and so on

Every technology manager in the IT corporate sector struggles with knowing which language to choose and it is often quite a struggle. A lot of developers choose programming languages that are trendy and popular, but not really suitable for the project. The language should be based on your business needs, not because it’s been hyped up. 

Easy to write excellent software, and even easier to write bad ones

You can write excellent software using languages like Java, C++, Python, PHP and the like, but you can also write bad software using these languages, not because the language is bad, but because the language choice was faulty. So when you have a number of language options in hand, here are the questions you must consider:

What is the ecosystem support of the language?

Will it work for the long haul?

Does the language have proper vendor support?

How will the application be deployed, are there any new hardwares to be considered as infrastructure?

Do you need to hire more developers, or will the old team do?

What are the specific requirement of libraries, features and tools used for the programming language?

Examine the limitations and constraints attached to the project?

Level of security needed for the project, and would they be affected if using third-party tools

What should be the performance level of the language?

Keeping these in mind, let’s look at the different programming languages:


JavaScript has been the final choice for developers and has been used for developing thousands of projects ever since it was first released in 1995. The language is suitable for web development, backend development, serverless computing, mobile development and game development. It is a highly flexible language, very fast on the client side, has excellent community support, is easy on the servers and integrates well with other programming languages. 


Python is more suitable for building business apps, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science, Numeric and scientific Operations, 2D and 3D Animation packages, scientific and computational applications. It is also possible to build websites like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Quora using Python. The free and open source programming language is easy for beginners as it has extensive modules, has easy integration with web services and user-friendly data structures. The syntax is clear, intuitive and almost English-like. Thus, Python is a popular choice for beginners. 


Scala is considered to be the distant cousin of Java, or rather the most modern cousin. It contains the best features of Java, for example, the Object Oriented Structure and the highly fast JVM  runtime environment. Scala is a functional programming language, making it possible for engineers to elevate the quality of their code. It is a strongly typed language, allows for concurrent programming and makes it possible for complex procedures to run parallel with one another. 


Swift is obviously the first choice for Apple developers, and it is a relatively new language too (built in 2014). It’s been built to match the requirements of the users requiring modern iOS in their devices. Swift is perfect for building mobile apps, IoT, Deep Learning and Web Assembly-enabled client-side development. The main feature of Swift is its robust Automatic Memory Management and memory leak safeguards. 


C++ originated from C, another famous programming language, is a great choice for developing software, embedded systems, IoT and real time systems, game development, graphic compilers and devices with AI and machine learning. It’s quick and stable, with fast program execution capabilities. The language has an impressive  STL collection of libraries. 


Created by Robert Griesemer, Ken Thompson and Rob Pike in 2009, Go has excellent backing by Google and has around 2009 repositories. It helps in creating applications with blazing fast runtime, and thus perfect for building web servers, data pipelines, business apps, server less computing, single page applications, IoT and machine learning packages. 


PHP is an old open-source programming language that most developers still religiously use. Many world famous websites were developed by PHP, and is a fairly easy language to learn. PHP is just perfect for CMS system development, server-side web development, standalone web development and eCommerce apps. The language has a huge community of able developers, making it easy for newcomers to master the language. There are a number of frameworks that expand PHP’s functionality. The automatic testing and deployment system in PHP is also very impressive. 


Elm is a domain specific programming language that’s purely functional, compiles to Javascript and helps developers create usable, performance oriented and robust apps. It is a fairly young language developed by a Harvard student. Elm does have its cons, but it is a good choice for front end developers too. 


Javascript, created by Brandan Eich in 1995, evolved to be a high-level programming language. It was hugely popular among developers, but was limited to just front-end development, with HTML and CSS. The limitation with Javascript was overcome with Node.js and this allows developers to build scalable applications. It is one of the friendliest programming languages around, thanks to its forgivable and flexible syntax. Hence, even though JS was primarily a front end language, it can also be used on the server side through Node.js.


Kotlin is a general purpose language, developed by JetBrains in 2011, with an official release in 2016. A main advantage of the language is that it is interoperable with Java; many Google applications are built with Kotlin. Kotlin is good for building Android applications. 


Matlab is a proprietary programming language that was released in the mid 1980s. It is used by developers for developing great applications for scientists and engineers. Matlab can also be used as a programming and numeric computing platform for analysing data, developing algorithms and creating models. The language has a Live Editor for creating scripts that combine code, output, and formatted text in an executable notebook. 


Ruby is a scripting language used mainly for web development. It was the basis for Ruby on Rails web application framework. Beginner developers gravitate towards Ruby because it is a friendly language with an excellent and active user community. Twitter, Bloomberg, Airbnb, Shopify and other beginner companies have successfully used Ruby on Rails. 


C deserves special mention in this list because it is a veteran programming language and the originating point for C++ and C#. The language is still popularly used among developers and perfect for building embedded systems, IoT and real time systems, machine learning applications, AI devices and game development. It’s easy testing and bugging process makes the language still popular and one among the best. 


R, a different variation of the S language is an open source language. Developers can write the same code for R and S without modifications. It is a tough language for beginners, has a moderate learning curve and have a very active online community of developers. It is cross-functional with Linux, Windows and Mac OS. 


Developed by Microsoft in 2012, Typescript, an open source language is a superset of Javascript. The language is perfect for web development, game development, mobile applications, backend development and serverless computing. It works seamlessly well with Javascript. 


These are the main programming languages developers use, and choosing the right one makes a lot of difference, because that helps in the performance of your application, its robustness and scalability. 

Interesting Links: 

The Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2021

The Top Computer Languages

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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