The New year is coming, and we all are excited to know what awaits the tech industry in the nearest future. What technologies will gain momentum? Which of them will become a thing of the past? What will be the best choice for building a web project in 2021?
To answer all these questions, we will provide you with insights into trends in programming languages that you should not ignore in 2021.
8 top programming languages to learn in 2021
Python was created in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum. Earlier, Guido has helped develop a general-purpose programming language ABC. It had some drawbacks, though the functionality was pretty decent. So Guido took the syntax and the best features of ABC and created a new scripting language to fix all those issues.
The growing popularity of Python has become one of the recent trends in programming languages. According to the survey by Stack Overflow, it is the first in the line of the top programming languages developers do not know but want to learn.
So what makes Python so sought-after these days? Basically, simple learning, efficiency, and versatility serve as key factors for its rapid growth. Besides, this top online web programming language is a great option for machine learning, data science, and the Internet of Things that have been gaining momentum recently.
- Simplicity. Python has an easy to read and understand syntax. A flat learning curve makes this programming language a nice choice for beginners.
- A great number of libraries. With extensive Python libraries, developers no longer need to write the code from scratch. All functions required for performing basic tasks are already there.
- Open-source nature. Python is free to use and distribute.
- Slow execution speed. Since Python code is executed line by line, the whole process is rather slow. It means that this programming language will not work for projects where speed is a crucial factor.
- Great memory consumption. The flexibility of the data types makes Python’s memory consumption pretty high.
- Uselessness for mobile development. Python is among the top web languages used mostly for building the server-side of apps. We rarely see it on client-side and mobile apps.
The latest software language trends show that the following domains can benefit from using Python.
Since Python is among the top languages for web development, there are plenty of famous websites built with its help. For example, the tech giant Google considers Python one of their key programming languages alongside Java and C++. Many internal systems and Google App Engines use this programming language.
Another well-known example is Spotify. The server-side of the website contains lots of interdependent services. Up to 80% of them are built with Python.
Finally, Instagram uses Python programming language for their server-side.
JetBrains introduced Kotlin in 2011. Previously, the company used Java to build tools for developers and project managers. However, lots of repetitive work became a real challenge for the JetBrains team, so they started searching for alternative options. For some time, They used Scala, Clojure, and Groovy. However, these programming languages could not satisfy all their requirements. So the JetBrains team decided to create their language with all the features they needed.
Kotlin v 1.0 was officially released in 2016. Latest programming languages trends show it has been the fastest-growing programming language over the recent few years. It is largely due to the fact that Google declared Kotlin the preferred technology for Android developers in 2019.
- Good coordination with Java code. Kotlin is noted for its consistency with Java, its frameworks, and tools. Given that, switching from one programming language (Java) to another (Kotlin) becomes less painful.
- Fewer bugs. The codebase of Kotlin is clear and compact, and it leaves less room for mistakes.
- Easy maintenance. Kotlin is famous for its support for different IDEs, including Android Studio and SDK tools.
- Slow compilation speed. Developers define slow complication speed as a significant disadvantage of Kotlin. However, numerous tests show mixed results. Sometimes, Kotlin outperforms Java in terms of compilation speed. However, in some cases, Java is the winner.
- Restricted resources. Though the number of developers switching to Kotlin is growing steadily, the community is still pretty small. It means that there are few resources for learning this programming language and resolving various queries.
- Kotlin is different from Java. These programming languages have a lot in common, still, they have principal differences. So if you want to switch your Java-based Android app to Kotlin, your team will need additional training.
Kotlin is one of the best new programming languages which is well suited for Android software development. In addition, according to the fresh programming languages trends, it can be used successfully for the following purposes:
- Building IoT applications;
- iOS application development;
- Web development;
- Data analytics;
- Data science;
- Game development.
Martin Odersky started working on Scala in 2001. In one of the interviews, he stated that the idea was to combine functional and object-oriented programming. Similar to other programming languages, Scala was created with a specific purpose in mind. According to Odersky, it was a desire to build more advanced language support for component software.
Increasing demand for Scala developers became one of the hottest programming languages trends. It can be explained by the fact that this programming language, along with Perl, is associated with the highest salary worldwide.
- Compatibility with Java. Coders are free to use JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and keep Java libraries.
- Functional coding. It allows for functional and object-oriented programming. Scala developers can write functional and concise code with its help. In addition, this programming language amplifies software development and testing.
- Scala is among the top web programming languages. Owing to its complex features, Scala offers better coding and provides increased performance.
- Steep learning curve. Some Scala features, such as functional programming and continuations, are less familiar for coders. Learning these approaches takes time. Besides, they say that Scala’s syntax is more complicated if compared to Java.
- Restricted developer pool. The number of coders who know Scala well is limited. Therefore, it can be challenging to find the right specialist for your project.
- It can be abandoned anytime. Since Scala is one of the emerging programming languages, there is a risk that it will not “make it”. However, you should not worry about it since the number of big names switching to Scala grows steadily.
Scala programming language can be used for different purposes. It works well for different types of custom business software development projects. They include big data and distributed applications. When it comes to well-known websites built with Scala, we should mention LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
- There is no static typing. This drawback serves as a reason why it can be difficult to build large applications. Though TypeScript overlay can be used to make things better.
- Mobile app development;
- Web games;
- The front-end of web applications;
- The back-end of web apps;
- Desktop applications.
Chris Lattner started working on Swift together with other Apple developers in 2010. The basic idea of a new programming language was taken from multiple technologies. They include Objective-C, Ruby, Python, Rust, and C#.
Swift, one of the emerging programming languages, was designed to replace Objective-C. The latter programming language has not seen any significant changes since the 1980s. Consequently, it lacked modern functionality.
Recent programming languages trends define Objective-C as one of the most dreaded languages at Stack Overflow.
- Scalability. Swift projects are noted for their scalability. You can easily extend the existing functionality by adding new features when needed.
- Rapid development. Swift is among the top online web programming languages with a clean and expressive syntax. As a result, developers should write less code to perform regular tasks compared to Objective-C.
- Enhanced performance. Owing to great typing and error handling functions, developers can avoid major code crashes and errors. Besides, if there is a mistake in a code snippet, programmers notice and fix it immediately.
- Insufficient support for older iOS versions. You can only use Swift to build mobile applications aimed at iOS 7 or later.
- Limited talent pool. Since Swift is one of the upcoming programming languages, it has a very limited community. It is growing steadily, but it is still small if we compare it to other languages. According to Stack Overflow, only 6.1% of professional developers use this technology.
- Instability. Developers noticed that Swift lacks backward compatibility with the release of each new version. Sometimes they have to rewrite their projects to stay relevant.
Swift is used for building macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS products.
Go, which is a procedural programming language, appeared in 2007. Its creators are Google developers Robe Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer. Go was designed to make the software development process in Google more productive and scalable.
In 2009, developers resealed Go as an open-source project.
HackerRank has released the Developer Skill Report covering the most significant programming languages trends. According to their findings, Go is the top programming language developers want to learn.
Mic Wlodkowski working as a Senior Front-End Developer at ContextFlow gives his reasons for the increasing popularity of this programming language. He states that Go is capable of multithreading and concurrency. These concepts allow developers to create fast apps with simple code.
- Easy to learn. Go ranks among top programming languages with a clean and easy-to-read syntax. Besides, it does not have many complex functions to learn. That is why this programming language is a good option for newbies.
- Great standard library. Go comes with a decent standard library, which makes the use of third-party libraries for such things as string manipulation, testing, and HTTP servers less required.
- Robust static analysis tools. Take gofmt as an example. This instrument formats the written code in complying with the style suggested by Go. It means that your team gets more time to concentrate on the purpose of the code.
- Limited packaging. Go offers a smaller number of packages compared to other ecosystems such as Ruby or Node.js. The thing is that its standard library has all the important characteristics. Therefore, assistance from third parties is not required.
- Poor error handling. Developers need to use a repair error function if they expect any errors in their code. Also, they have to write many blocks to verify this mistake. As a result, developers get less clean code.
- Lack of frameworks. There is no major Go framework that developers can use. In this regard, it falls behind other top languages for web development such as Python, PHP, or Ruby that are famous for their great frameworks.
The latest trends in programming languages suppose using Go for the following products:
- Cloud services;
- Media platforms;
- Google products;
- On-demand services.
Java was developed by James Gosling in 1995. Initially, it was aimed at interactive television. However, the technology proved to be too advanced at that time, so it was used for Internet programming instead.
The key characteristics of Java as one of the top programming languages are as follows:
- Platform-independence. Developers can run Java code on any computer supporting Java Virtual Machine.
- Multithreading. The term thread is used for defining the smallest unit of a process. Consequently, multithreading means that several threads can run simultaneously. Multiple threads running independently of each other can increase an app’s performance and efficiency.
- It is good for distributed computing. This notion means that there are a few computers on a network working together. It enables developers to build apps on the network that contribute to data and apps’ functionality.
- Slower performance. If we compare Java to other top programming languages such as C++ or C, we will notice that its performance is much slower.
- There is no backup facility. Since Java operates mainly on storage, it is not concentrated on the back up of the data. This is a significant drawback. It makes coders switch from Java to other technologies. This transfer became one of the most noticeable trends of modern programming languages.
- Code complexity. Code written in Java can be too verbose. It has a lot of long and complex sentences that can be challenging to read and understand.
Java is considered one of the top programming languages for web. Other common uses of this technology include:
- Mobile applications;
- Big Data technologies;
- Software tools;
- Trading applications.
Last but not least, we want to discuss the Ruby programming language. Being a software development company specializing in Ruby and Ruby on Rails, we could not ignore this technology.
Yukihiro Matsumoto invented Ruby in the mid-1990s. He came up with the idea of building a programming language that could increase developers’ productivity.
- The great number of gems. Ruby gems are ready solutions that can extend the existing functionality. That means that coders do not have to write code from scratch. In this regard, gems speed up web product development significantly.
- Ruby is an object-oriented programming language. It means that developers can build, debug, reuse, and maintain software products easily.
- Elegant syntax. Ruby is noted for its simplicity and readability. Developers can read and understand code written in this programming language effortlessly.
- Poor debugging. Ruby code can be difficult to debug. The main reason is that it generates bugs at runtime.
- Slow speed. Slow speed has been defined as the main drawback of the programming language Ruby. However, version 3.0 that will be released by Christmas 2020 will have significant improvements in his regard. It has been said that owing to Ruby performance optimization, this version will be three times faster than the previous one.
- The decrease in popularity. The latest trends in programming languages show that Ruby is less popular than other top programming languages.
Besides, Ruby is a perfect option for the following types of web projects:
- SaaS custom software;
- Custom Database Solutions;
- Content Management solutions.
As you can see, the future of the software development industry looks very promising. Current trends in programming languages show that there is a wide selection of top programming languages for any software development project.
Your ultimate choice depends on the type of application you are going to build and specific business requirements.