Top 10 Programming Languages to Study in 2020
Top 10 Programming Languages to Study in 2020

Programming Languages You Can Learn From Home [Top 10]

There are many reasons to study programming languages. But if you’re beginner, it might seem difficult to choose what with what programming language to learn firstly. As some technologies are suited for beginning developers, while others are geared more toward advanced programmers.

Some languages are specifically for web applications, while the other languages developers use for mobile applications, game development, distributed systems, or something else entirely.

To better answer that, let’s take a look at some of the ones that should help you both now and in the future. You should think about which are the best programming languages for jobs if you want to make the development of your career.

You might want to look at the ideal programming languages for machine learning, for instance, if you feel like that is your area of interest. It would be helpful to look at this Stack Overflow survey, which will help you to understand what kind of programmer you are.

You can also take some time to consider what would be the top 10 programming languages to learn.

#10. C/C++

C/C++ is among the most popular programming languages for cross-platform development. Many low-level structures, such as operating systems, file systems, etc. are written with it. If you desire to be a system-level programmer, C/C++ is the language for you. If you’re looking at how to study programming languages, you’ll see that certain functionalities always work well. Many of them are present in C/C++.

C/C++ is generally thought of as easy to learn. Many programmer job listings either require it or state that the employer would prefer that you know it.

C/C++ Pros

  • Faster program execution than many languages
  • Forms the basis for understanding more complex languages
  • Great for multi-device, multi-platform app development
  • Highly portable
  • Procedure-oriented language with blocks and function modules. These make testing, debugging, and maintaining programs easier
  • Efficient and easier to understand the language
  • Supports exception handling and function overloading
  • Provides STL, or a Standard Template Library. This is a pool of ready-to-use libraries for various algorithms, data structures, and arithmetic operations

C/C++ Cons

  • Difficult use of pointers that takes a lot of memory
  • Security issue
  • Lack of garbage collector

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 3 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Moderate! 3.5 out of 5.

#9. Go

When you’re looking at which computer language to learn first, you should at least consider Go. It is also known as Golang, created by Google and is increasingly gaining popularity these days under TIOBE index:

go language stats

Go provides excellent support for multithreading. Because of this, many companies use it that rely heavily on distributed systems. Go is widely used by Silicon Valley startups. Of all of the software development languages to know, Go might be the one that’s regarded as the most glamorous right now.

In the job market, Indeed has ranked Go as the 10th among programming languages to learn for software development. If you know it, it’s highly likely that you can command a higher salary. It’s in the middle of the pack as related to how easy it is to learn.

Go Pros

  • It is more secure, as it is a statically-typed language
  • Cleaner syntax makes it easier to learn
  • It comes with a comprehensive standard library offering a range of inbuilt functions
  • It’s ideal for building SPAs (single-page applications)
  • Smart documentation
  • Compiled to machine code, so it is very rapid
  • Has language-level support for Concurrency
  • Has embedded Garbage Collector

Go Cons:

  • No Generics
  • Poor library support, for example, it has no GUI library support
  • Still a young language
  • Lack of a virtual machine

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 3 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Moderate! 2.5 out of 5.

#8. R

Of the programming languages to learn right now, R might be growing in popularity more rapidly than any other. It is commonly used for machine learning and data analysis. It provides an excellent framework and built-in libraries to develop machine learning algorithms. It’s also used for general statistical computing and graphics. Many enterprises have adopted it.

R is easier to learn than some languages and harder than others. It would help you in the job market to know it, but it should not be considered a necessity.

R Pros

  • Ability to run seamlessly on different operating systems
  • A highly active community for support
  • It’s open-source and free, so you can tweak it if you feel that’s necessary
  • Comprehensive statistical analysis language
  • Extremely extensible
  • Powerful package ecosystem

R Cons

  • Poor memory management that can take up all the available space
  • The slow speed of running R-written program because of R spread across different packages
  • Poor Security of R-based programs

Difficulty level: Moderate to learn. 2 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Huge! 4 out of 5

#7. Swift

Of the excellent languages to learn to program, Swift is probably the one with the most specific purpose. This is a programming language that is used to develop iOS applications. iOS-based devices, like the iPad or iPhone, are popular all over the world.

It is not considered to be particularly challenging to learn. The job opportunities that you might find with Swift are many. More companies these days see the value of employees who know it.

Swift Pros:

  • A scalable language that  allows developers to add functionality easily
  • Samely as easy to add new features
  • Easy to write readable code
  • The English-like syntax makes it highly readable
  • Interoperable with Objective-C
  • Integrated easily with Server-side Swift with virtually any technology
  • Makes code sharing better and the development process faster when used for both front-end and back-end development

Swift Cons:

  • Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs
  • Bad support for earlier iOS versions
  • Still much smaller developers’ community as the lang is young

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 3 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Good! 3.5 out of 5.

#6. Kotlin

Kotlin popularity is increasing, as this language is one of the best for cross-platform programming languages and overperforms Java in Android development in 2019.  So developers skilled in Kotlin are in demand on the job market.

Kotlin Pros:

  • Object-oriented lang
  • Supports Java frameworks and IDEs like Android Studio and IntelliJ
  • Used or both front-end and back-end programming
  • Secure and flexible
  • Easy to debug

Kotlin Cons:

  • Still requires time to learn even if you know Java
  • Slower compilation speed

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 4 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Good. 3 out of 5.

#5. Java

Another one of the programming languages to learn in 2020 is  Java. It is popular to be used by major companies and has remained so for decades. It’s also commonly used in Android app development instead of Kotlin’s increase.

Java is known to be extremely stable. With that advantage, many large enterprises use it for building enterprise-scale web applications under Snyk data.

April 11, 2019, Brazil. Java logo on your mobile device. Java is a web programming language. It is developed by Oracle Corporation.

Java is considered to be moderately difficult to learn. Much like Python, job opportunities with Java are vast. It could be considered right up there with Python as one of the best-paid programming languages.

Java Pros

  • Features many open-source libraries
  • Has automatic memory allocation and garbage collection
  • Follows the OOP paradigm
  • Utilizes the stack allocation system
  • Features a high degree of platform independence through the JVM feature
  • It’s highly secure, due to the exclusion of explicit pointer. It also features a security manager responsible for defining class access
  • Ideal for distributed computing
  • Offers many APIs for database connection, networking, and XML parsing
  • Supports multithreading

Java Cons

  • No control over garbage collection
  • Poor program performance because of the compilation and abstraction Level of a virtual machine
  • Requires a Java interpreter to run a program

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 4 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Huge! 4.5 out of 5.

#4 C#

C# is an object-oriented programming language. It was developed by Microsoft in 2000. It was supposed to be fast and simple to use which means the code you write o C# should be run much faster than in other languages.

C# executes this by pre-writing all the boiler-plate code for you that speeds up the development process. Another reason for that is that almost every C# IDE comes with a GUI editor built-in. That allows you to easily edit the GUI for your program while coding much less.

C# Pros:

  • Fast and speed development
  • Easy to use

C# Cons:

  • Slow program based on C# loading as C# has to load it’s CLR(Common Language Infrastructure) and the .NET framework every time you run a C# program
  • Need to use Microsoft’s .NET framework. As C# doesn`t allow direct access to the computer’s hardware, you have a lot less flexibility with optimizing your programs for the hardware

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate to learn. 3.5 out of 5.
Job opportunity: 3 out of 5.

#3. JavaScript

Among the most useful programming languages to learn is JavaScript. It’s often used to design interactive front-end applications. Many organizations, particularly startups, are utilizing NodeJS. It lets developers use JavaScript for server-side scripting.

This involves running scripts server-side to produce dynamic web page content before such pages are sent to the user’s web browser. With JS, you can use one programming language for both server-side and client-side scripts, such as Angular, React, and Vue.js.

Much like with the previous programming languages that we mentioned, it’s going to be helpful if you can say you know JavaScript when you’re job hunting.

JavaScript Pros

  • It offers event-driven programming, which is suitable for I/O heavy tasks
  • It’s highly versatile
  • Regular updates come out for it via the ECMA specification
  • Several add-ons are available, such as Grease Monkey, which extends the functionality
  • Simplistic implementation
  • Plenty of resources and lots of community support
  • Used for building a wide range of applications
  • Works well with other programming languages

JavaScript Cons

  • Client-side security
  • Not-stable browser interpretation
  • Inefficient debugging
  • Rendering stop because of any error

Difficulty level: Easy to learn. 4 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Huge! 5 out of 5.

#2 PHP

PHP is still considered one of the most popular and commonly used computer languages for back-end development. It’s not surprising, as there are around 455M of WordPress website on the web running on the PHP lang.

PHP is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It offers a fast development process, effective debugging features, and a powerful toolkit.

PHP Pros:

  • Easy to learn with a collection of educational materials
  • The community of developers where you get the answer on any question
  • Offer faster loading of websites
  • Flexible for database connectivity
  • A wide collection of open-source add-ons
  • Efficient compatibility with HTML

PHP Cons:

  • popularity decrease
  • lack of specialized libraries
  • security problems.

Difficulty level: Easy to learn. 4.5 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Huge! 4.5 out of 5.

#1. Python

If you look at the best programming languages to learn in 2020, you must first consider Python. It’s widely thought of as one of the better programming languages to learn first. It’s fast, and easy to deploy. If you’re developing a scalable web application, this is the way to go.

Indeed states that Python is the most sought-after programming language in the US job market. Jobs that require it often command a salary of $74K or above, as of January 2020. Some jobs where Python is a requirement offer salaries as high as $120K per year. Python is probably one of the best paying programming languages.

With the ease with which Python is learned and the job opportunities that it creates, it’s hard not to recommend it first among programming languages.

Python Pros

  • Simple, elegant, and powerful
  • Can be integrated with C/C++ and can offload the CPU-heavy tasks to C/C++
  • Comes with a powerful toolset for stats, math, and computational science. You get various libraries as well, like Pandas, NumPy, SciPy, and SciKit-Learn
  • With OOP characteristics, creating and using classes and objects is easy
  • A focus on code readability
  • Open-source, with ever-growing community support
  • Provides support for many platforms and systems
  • Very easy to use and learn

Python Cons

  • Slower speed as because of it’s interpreted language
  • Problems with threading that results in slower applications
  • Not adaptive to mobile
  • Design limitations

Difficulty level: Easy to learn. Best language for beginners. 5 out of 5.
Job opportunity: Huge! 5 out of 5.


The more you come to understand what kind of programmer you want to be, the better you’ll be able to choose between the best new programming languages.

  • Python and JavaScript are hot in the startup world and are easy-to-learn and therefore considered the best programming languages to learn for beginners. Moreover, both of them also provide a huge market opportunity. Therefore, those who are looking for a job change may also consider learning them.
  • Java and PHP are hot in the corporate world. Many organizations use Spring (Java) and Laravel (PHP) as their web backend framework.
  • R and MATLAB are hot in the Data Analytics world. If you wish to develop a career in Data Analytics or Data Science, these are the languages to learn.
  • C/C++ and Golang are the top choices in building low-latency and scalable systems.

Remember, the programming languages to learn for the future are the ones that are most popular and seem to have the biggest upside.

About Slava Vaniukov

Slava Vaniukov, Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii, has over 9-years of experience in the web and mobile development industry as a Software Architect. After getting extensive experience as a Senior Tech Lead, Slava joined forces with like-minded professionals to start his own company. Besides that, he is one of the authors for the Softermii blog.

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