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Best programming languages to learn in 2020

We often hear that programming is soon likely to become just as important a part of basic literacy as writing, reading, and arithmetic. However, as everybody interested in this topic knows, the reality is a bit more complicated. There is no such thing as one type of programming that one can learn and be satisfied with. That would be like learning a single human language and expecting to be able to communicate with all people irrespective of nationality. Some languages are more widespread, and if you learn English, you will be able to talk to more people than if you learn Tagalog. However, no language answers all communication needs — and the same goes for programming. Even if you only consider widely spread programming languages, there are about a dozen of them, each with its own uses and sphere of application. If you consider a career in this industry or are looking for the best direction in which to develop your skillset, choosing a single language to settle on may be quite tricky. So, which of them are the best to focus on in 2020? Let’s take a look.

Best programming languages

1. Python

According to StackOverflow popularity survey, Python is the only programming language that has been on a steady rise over the last five years: 41.7 percent of professional coders currently use it. What is even more important is that it is a general-purpose language without a single narrowly defined area of use – it is applied everywhere from web applications to artificial intelligence. It means that if you do not have a clear idea where you want to apply your efforts, it may be the right choice.

Python is a relatively simple language to learn — its clean and straightforward syntax makes it easy to read and understand. Even complete beginners are usually able to write simple code without mistakes after just a few lessons. Being an open-source language, it rapidly develops, and you can quickly get access to multiple useful libraries. Although more experienced programmers sometimes scoff at it due to its perceived simplicity, several big tech companies use it as their primary backend language and as a basis for multiplatform solutions. In other words, it is the right choice both for beginners and for those looking to expand their career options.

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is a reasonable choice for those looking to learn web development because it is supported by Mozilla and has several frameworks that specifically simplify web-related code. As it is compatible with several other programming languages, applications written in JS are easy to adapt. It also improves the quality of client-side data validation so that you can make sure your application does not have vulnerabilities.

3. Java

Java is a language that one hardly ever finishes learning. Even if you have been using it for years, you can always find something new to improve your skillset. And there is good reason to do it because numerous large tech companies use it for the development of their applications. One of Java’s most attractive features is that it is very stable, which makes it a top choice for the development of Android apps. These days, many websites simply do not function correctly without Java, and with every passing year, there are more of them, so programmers knowing this language will have their picks of jobs.

4. TypeScript

TypeScript has been developed with an emphasis on security and strictness of its syntax, which makes it a natural choice in the development of large applications that are particularly prone to errors. TypeScript is compiled in a way to minimize the number of errors, which makes debugging faster and easier. It extends the possibilities of JavaScript; in fact, an app written in TS can be compiled into JS.

As it has been one of the top-priority Microsoft’s projects over the last few years, TypeScript regularly receives updates and improvements, which makes it even easier to use and more functional. According to StackOverflow statistics, it has been steadily gaining in popularity and is likely to overtake JavaScript in the next year.

5. HTML 5

Large corporations and high-tech startups are unlikely to use HTML 5 as it is insufficient to create websites that meet modern requirements, but it is still widely used for many humbler purposes like the creation of online stores and news portals. However, the reason to dedicate some time studying it is not its limited usefulness, but its simplicity. Many future professional programmers start their careers with HTML 5 to gain the fundamentals of programming-oriented thinking that comes in handy when studying other, more complicated languages.

6. Kotlin

Kotlin is yet another viable cross-platform choice that may be highly useful in 2020 and beyond. Its noticeable similarities with Java makes it easy for dedicated Android developers to switch between these two frameworks. As Android occupies an ever-growing share of the smartphone market, skilled Kotlin developers will get more and more opportunities to take part in both frontend and backend development. In other words, if you are thinking about seriously dedicating your time and energy to Android development, focus on Kotlin — it is going to be the next big thing in this area for at least a few years.

7. C#


C# is a language often used in GUI development for both PC and Web. Other significant areas of application include .Net Framework and such rapidly growing areas as game development.

8. Go

Currently, Golang is only marginally popular but this programming language is created and supported by Google, which means that it has more than enough backing to make a huge impact in the years to come. Because there aren’t many Go developers out there right now, those who choose to learn it have a chance of acquiring positions that will not be available once it becomes more mainstream.

Best programming languages: Know what you want to use it for

The most important thing when choosing what programming language to study is understanding what you are going to use it for and where you want to take your career. Get it right, and every hour you put into studying will bring amazing results.

Featured image: Pixabay

Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She spends her time writing articles, overviews, and analyses about entrepreneurship, business innovations, and technology. Occasionally, she also conducts workshops and provides consulting services for young, but promising startups.

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Melissa Burns

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