The language that humans use to communicate with computers is known as a programming language. Did you know that the first programming language was developed between 1943 and 1945, but then was put to use only in 1998?

This programming language was called Plankalkül and was developed by Konrad Zuse. In 1949, John Mauchly laid the foundation for a high-level programming language with his computing language called Short Code.

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This language consisted of a series of mathematical expressions and could be read by humans. However, as it had to be translated to machine language, running of the codes took time.

FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) was the first commercially developed programming language that was launched in the year 1954.

From the early 1940s till now, computing languages have undergone drastic developments. They are both machine readable and human readable and are used to execute complex applications.

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The tremendous growth in programming languages has spurred the development of digitization, automation, and robotics. These computer codes are the foundation of millions of applications and products.

Over the decades, many programming languages became large scale and many disappeared into obscurity. This blog post will walk you through the most popular programming languages in 2020.

Most Popular Programming Languages

  1. 1. Python
  2. 2. JavaScript
  3. 3. TypeScript
  4. 4. Ruby
  5. 5. C#
  6. 6. Java
  7. 7. PHP
  8. 8. Swift
  9. 9. Kotlin
  10. 10. Go
  11. 11. Rust

1. Python


With the world going gaga over data science and machine learning, Python is sure to be one of the most popular computing languages of 2020. According to a recent survey conducted by StackOverflow, Python is the most wanted programming language.

This computer language was first launched in 1991. Its popularity percentage was 23.8% in 2015 and 41.7% in 2019. It is expected that the popularity ratings will increase in 2020. According to the Popularity of Programming Language (PYPL) Index, the popularity of Python has increased by 5.2%.

This general purpose language is commonly used to write plug-ins and scripts, especially in video games. The popularity of Python is because of its numerous benefits such as:

  • Open source and free
  • Object oriented
  • Possibility of asynchronous coding
  • Supports most libraries
  • Syntax features make it easy for programmers to create plug-ins
  • Easy to learn
  • It is both human and machine readable
  • It allows for parallel programming
  • Can be used to create cross-platform solutions

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the popular front-end computing languages used in client and server side programming. It finds application in web development and the creation of dynamic content.

This computing language is also used to create animations, design buttons, manage animations and do other front-end design and development. Based on trend analytics by Stackoverflow, JavaScript had a popularity percentage of 54.4% in 2015, which rose to 54.4% in 2019.

With the increasing application of this programming language, the demand and popularity of JavaScript is sure to rise by 2020.

The benefits of this computing language include:

  • Functional frameworks for efficient performance
  • Delivers high speed performance as it can run on the client side browser
  • Compatible with other programming languages
  • Able to create a crowded interface
  • Updated every year
  • Easy to learn

3. TypeScript


This Microsoft-developed programming language extends the capabilities of JavaScript and also makes coding easy. TypeScript was developed to improve the attributes and performance of computing languages. It can be used in applications with high syntax and higher levels of security.

The benefits of TypeScript that make it a popular computing language are:

  • Features extended toolbox to create components
  • Object-oriented language
  • Can be used in the development of Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Fewer errors created
  • Easy language for beginners to learn
  • TypeScript codes can be compiled into JavaScript applications
  • Special architecture reduces the need for multiple tests
  • Complete description of code components reduces chances of one element being violated when another is altered

4. Ruby


This web development language was developed in 1994. Though its popularity percentage has not greatly increased over the last five years, it has been consistent at an average of around 8 to 10%. This back-end programming language is facing stiff competition from Python ad JavaScript.

This general purpose scripting language is used in the development of standard libraries, web application, system utilities and servers. The benefits of this programming language are:

  • Dynamic typing that allows for changes on the go without affecting the overall result
  • Duck typing that focuses on operations rather than class objects
  • Intuitive code quality
  • Easy to maintain
  • Smooth performance

5. C#


Released in 2001, C# is one of the core programming languages that has been used in numerous applications and products. Its popularity percentage was 34.1% in 2017 and is almost at the same level at 31% in 2019.

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This .NET framework language developed by Microsoft is vendor specific. So, developers looking to build products for the Microsoft environment choose this programming language.

The top advantages of this computing language are:

  • Cross platform functionality
  • Easy to develop
  • Automatic garbage collection
  • Strong memory backup
  • Backward compatibility

6. Java

One of the top reasons for the popularity of Java programming language is its high level of stability. It is used in building mobile applications. Java was very popular when it was first released.

It had a popularity percentage of nearly 10.5% in 2015, but it has now reduced to around 8.3%. The decline in the popularity index can be contributed to the fact that Kotlin is increasingly being used for Android app development.

However, according to the TIOBE index, which is determined based on search engine results; Java is the first ranked programming language of 2019. The same trend can be expected to continue in 2020.

The top benefits of this computing language are:

  • Easy to read and manage
  • Automatic memory management
  • Object-oriented language
  • Stable language
  • Doesn’t need any specific hardware to run

7. PHP


Though PHP is facing a tough battle with JavaScript and Python, it has a strong following, which makes it to the list of popular languages in 2020. In WordPress sites, nearly 90% of the code is written in PHP.

Meanwhile in other websites, almost 70% of the code is written in this computing language. This programming language is used to build dynamic and interactive sites. The features of this website that make it popular are:

  • Large ecosystem
  • Huge community
  • High-quality debugging
  • Easy to get started

8. Swift


This programming language was released in 2014 and has been gradually replacing Objective C, especially in building Apple products. However, it is a vendor-specific language and is only used for Apple products. So, though this programming language is popular, its scope is limited.

9. Kotlin


Released in 2011, this Google support language is being used as an alternative to Java for android application development. It had a popularity percentage of around 4.7% in 2018, which rose to 6.4% in 2019.

Extrapolating this trend, we can assume an increase in the popularity ratings in 2020. Moreover, as this language is being promoted by Google, we can expect a surge in the popularity index in the years to come. The benefits of this computing language are:

  • Can be used for both front end and back end development
  • Secure
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Compatible with Java frameworks
  • Supported by Android Studio, IntelliJ and other IDEs
  • Easy to debug

10. Go


Golang or Go is another computing language that is being promoted by Google. Its popularity index has been steadily increasing from 2017, as Google is using it as a primary language in its products.

Go has a syntax that is similar to the C language. It has other components such as structural typing, CSP-style concurrency, garbage collection, memory safety and such. It finds application in the development of static and dynamic websites, micro services, asynchronous APIs and functions.

11. Rust


First released in 2010, Rust is one of the popular languages of 2020. This multi paradigm programming language has a syntax similar to C++.  It is used in embedded software, distributed services, web and command line.

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As this programming language has a low overhead, it is the best fit for microcontrollers and other products that run on constricted resources. Plus, it is compatible with WebAssembly. This computing language has a minimal footprint, making it the best choice to build online distributed systems.

The other popular programming languages to watch out for in 2020 are:

  • C++
  • WebAssembly
  • SQL
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • C
  • R
  • Ruby
  • Scala
  • Dart

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