There are 265+ programming languages in the TIOBE index that the customers can choose for implementing their projects. Despite such a variety, the developers generally pick only a dozen of them. So, TIOBE and PYPL indexes investigations reflect such a choice and coding level changes.
We have structured all the research and trends for you and reviewed the most popular programming languages in 2021. The article will also acquaint you with a small programming trends forecast.
Methods of Preparing Programming Languages List
The quantity of references is the main criteria by which PYPL and TIOBE choose languages for their ranking. But there are differences in these two indexes’ methods intended to specify the software language popularity.
TIOBE analyzes the absolute number of 25 search engine hits, such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Bing, Google, Yahoo, Baidu, and Amazon. PYPL shows, with the help of Google Trends, the frequency of the googled language tutorials. Therefore, it is not surprising that PYPL and TIOBE results vary from each other.
We have listed the trendiest software languages from both indexes to give you the most precise picture.
TIOBE Popularity Index
Software language popularity according to TIOBE
As it follows from TIOBE, Java is an undisputed leader of our ranking for this year and the last one, having only a -0.01% difference in rating.
While Java tightly maintains its positions, C is gathering speed with a 2.4% annual increase, as well as C# (+2.07) and Python (+1.41%)
Though, you should find out that the TIOBE index doesn’t define the hottest software language or that one with more code lines written. It is intended for the customers to choose the software language for new solution building and define the value of the skills for the programmers.
The hottest programming languages by PYPL’s version
PYPL’s TOP-10 list for 2021 doesn’t include Visual Basic .Net and SQL, which are in positions far away from the ones mentioned above. Though, PYPL is not entirely objective, working with unprocessed info from Google Trends and using “tutorial” as a Google Trends keyword. It may result in conflicting issues because developers learning a new language often utilize the “tutorial” word.
Top 10 Programming Languages for 2021
It should be noted: we didn’t use such frameworks as Vue or Angular, but only the most popular machine languages for making the TOP-10 list for 2021. The PYPL index was the basis for our research.
Now, it’s time to go directly to our list.
Last year 124.4 million customers in the USA joined the Android platform and Android-based devices as users. It is the reason for Kotlin’s growing popularity: 80% of Android apps are developed on Kotlin, 31% of programmers use it for creating back-end applications, and 30% — for libraries or software development kits (SDK).
Kotlin is also very comfortable because of its consistency with Java. That’s why the programmers can use all the possible Android libraries in Kotlin applications.
Among other Kotlin preferences are the following ones:
- The front-end programmers can handle it, as well as the back-end developers
- It allows using productive incremental compilation
Such well-known apps as Basecamp, Netflix, or Slack are also created on Kotlin.
This machine language is one of the most important for iOS app creation and not for nothing.
To start with, Swift is really “swift.” For example, Apple.com approved that Swift is 2.6x quicker than Objective-C and 8.4x quicker than Python.
The Swift code is also easy to create, read and maintain, because of its simple syntax. Thus, even the programmers that worked with other languages can take advantage of it.
So, Swift is convenient for developers because:
- It’s an open-source software language
- It can be compatible with Objective-C
- It’s a persistent ABI version on Apple platforms
Programmers worldwide use Swift to create the best-selling apps like Khan Academy, LinkedIn, Airbnb, etc.
Objective-C was the only language for developing iOS-based applications from 1984 to 2014 until Swift started substituting it. Nowadays, Objective-C is replaced by its “swift” descendant, and to say more, the modern iOS and macOS programming tutorials are focused on Swift.
But, despite this, Objective-C remains one of the popular programming languages for 2021 also. The reason for such popularity is simple: there are many iOS apps written in this language earlier. So, the programmers have to know how to support it and update, using Objective-C for these needs.
Some necessary features of Objective-C:
- It works with the runtime code compilation
- It is created on the top of C
- Static libraries use
- It has Apple support for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
Such popular music platforms as iTunes and Apple Music are written on Objective-C.
This programming language suits the best for statistics. But, then, it is also the best choice for data science and data analytic operations together with Python. Why so?
Here’s the thing: it facilitates cooperations with statistics-heavy projects diving deeply into datasets for the ad hoc analysis. R is also used to manage codes written with its help and obtain results (in text or visual form) in Mediawiki, which is the software basis for Wikipedia functioning.
R is widely utilized by healthcare data analysts and banking ones for clustering, forecast, and scoring. It is applied in government and consulting areas as well because of such essential characteristics:
- Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X consistency
- Leaving the vast room for machine learning algorithms, statistical deduction, and data analysis
- Presenting an online statistical environment
That is why it is also among the popular programming languages for 2021.
The PYPL index doesn’t contain these languages because of their equal popularity in Google Trends. But they are also used in similar domains and have some similar features.
Before discussing their similarities, let’s look at each of them separately.
Even though the C programming language was created in the early days of 1973, it is one of the most well-known languages in 2021 as well. It is the list of the platforms and databases coded in this language:
- Android and iOS
- Windows Phone core
- PostgreSQL, etc.
С++ is quite similar to the C language. That is why such databases as MS SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL are created in C and C++. It is possible thanks to the following features of both languages:
- The similar basic syntax
- The equal mechanism for design export, but the separate compilation
- Basic memory template, which is quite close to the hardware
- The powerful combination of the C syntax and object-orientated coding concept of C++
Among the examples of C++ software are the following: Microsoft solutions, Mozilla browser, and Adobe software products.
PHP is a server-side scripting language helpful for web developers. It assists them in running the different web apps and websites. The dynamic web pages are also built on PHP. All that is possible due to:
- PHP cross-platform abilities
- Its open-source features
- On-board for cooperation with MySQL
- Short learning curve
C# can be characterized as a cross-functional software language whose implementation area is quite wide — from server applications to influential mobile games.
As another version of C languages with some Java characteristics, C# and Microsoft .NET framework are often deployed to create desktop Windows applications.
Some necessary C# features:
- It supports fundamental resource-management idioms,
- It is deeply structured with Windows,
- It uses dynamic variables and has enumeration maintenance.
This machine language has been very trendy for several years. That is why it’s also included in our TOP-10 list of programming languages for 2021.
JS usually serves as the front-end development basis. That’s why it is excellent to animate web pages or add effects, small games, and pop-ups to web applications. But, the programmers started to use it for server-side development and client-side one after the release of ECMAScript 6 and such frameworks as React, Angular, Node, and Express.
- Opportunity to work with several software languages,
- Compatibility with several frameworks,
- Data inspection feature.
Such apps as Amazon, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and eBay were also created with the help of JS.
Java has also been amazingly popular for many years among developers. The famous worldwide companies like Amazon, Twitter, eBay, and LinkedIn use this programming language to develop server-side web systems and web apps. So, it’s quite easy to find programmers for Java projects.
The devs also use Java for Android app development. Moreover, many applications on the Google Play marketplace are created with Java, so Google supports it very much.
Java essential features are the following:
- Permanent stability,
- Top-class code compilation,
- Transferability across different platforms
Another proof of Java’s popularity is the following: GitHub’s available databases contain 94,183 questions about this machine language, and 1,625,874 Java discussion topics are published on StackOverflow.
One standard library, coherent syntax, facilitated frameworks like Django, and the best documentation — all this is about Python. Number one in PYPL’s ranking has grown from a language for writing automation scripts to a high-class server-side language.
It offers such essential features for mobile and web development as:
- Asynchronous programming interface,
- Ability to build web and desktop applications using ML and AI technologies,
- Access to several program units,
- Object orientation,
- Possibility to make cross-platform solutions.
Programming Trends Prediction
After observation of the TOP-10 programming languages for 2021, how can we use this knowledge, and what should we be watchful of?
The 5 programming trends as to the Github’s report “The State of the Octoverse”
Looking through it, you can find out that statistically typed languages concentrated on interoperability and type safety are trendy today. So, Kotlin can prove this statement.
Dart obtains many participants along with Flutter, which is in GitHub’s popular databases (17,192 commits). And the number of HCL (human-readable software languages used for DevOps) increases as well.
There are too many current programming trends and future ones that people can get lost in. So, how to choose a programming language appropriate for your project?
A well-skilled business analysis team will help you deal with this matter.
Firstly, the specialists will choose (or help you choose) the appropriate tech stack suitable for the scalability and the maintainability of the upcoming product.
Then, they will study the future project’s complexity and dive deeply into its requirements. All these steps together will be helpful for you to choose the appropriate tools and build the software best-fitting for your business.