What programming language should I learn?

Using the 2020 Stack Overflow survey to help you decide on your next programming language

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

If you are an experienced programmer interested in learning a new language or if you are a beginner deciding what language to learn, this article is for you!

What programming language should I learn?

You’ve probably asked this question before and chances are, you probably experienced choice paralysis to some extent because of the vast amount of programming languages that are out there today. In this article, I will review the “Most Loved” programming languages in the Technology section from the 2020 Stack Overflow survey and hopefully this will help you make your decision. Also, to help you get started, I will also provide some learning resources for each language that’s reviewed.

Most Loved Programming Languages (StackOverflow Survey2020)

Rust

For the last five years, Rust has been voted as the most loved programming language. Developed my Mozilla, Rust is slowly becoming more and more popular. Companies like Coursera, Microsoft, Atlassian and many others (full list) are using it. Majority of software engineers who have tried the language, fell in love with it. If you would like to learn more about Rust, their documentation is fantastic and is probably the best and most reliable resource. Also, if you want to know the reasons for Rusts growing popularity, check out this article. If you are an experienced programmer and haven’t tried Rust, this might be the language you should consider learning next! Although Rust has been voted as the most loved programming language for a long time now, if you are a beginner, it might not be the best language to learn as your first language. Since it is still a new language, there are fewer resources available and a much smaller online community in comparison to languages like Python, JavaScript and Java. However, if the idea of learning Rust as your first language is exciting to you, don’t let me or anyone else discourage you!

Python

Third on the list, Python has been one of the most popular programming languages for some time now. In comparison to languages like C, C++ and Java, Python requires less code because it a is very concise and expressive language. Python is the language of choice for fields like Data Science, ML and AI. Many universities and colleges are now teaching introductory programming courses in Python due to its simple and intuitive syntax. Therefore if you’re beginner, Python is probably one the easiest and most user friendly languages to started with. Although there are many great resources online that you can use to learn Python, I have found that most of them do not do a deep enough dive into the language. My personal favorite is this book. The authors do a fantastic job explaining how every feature of Python works under the hood. (Psst..it is a very expensive book so I would recommend finding a PDF version online, but you didn’t hear this from me).

Kotlin

Kotlin popularity has been growing every year since its creation in 2011. In 2017, after Google announced Kotlin to be the official language of Android, Kotlins popularity skyrocketed. Kotlin compiles to JVM bytecode so it can be used almost anywhere you can use Java. Although Kotlin is primarily used for Android development (about 80%), it can also be used for cross-platform mobile development, transcompiled web development, server side, and data science. Kotlin is also 100% interoperable with Java, so if you have a background in Java and you’re looking for a new language, Kotlin may be the perfect option for you! Kotlin is also a great option for beginners as there are plenty of resources and the language syntax is more user friendly in comparison to other languages. Personally, I will be using the quarantine downtime to learn Kotlin and Android Development so join me and let’s build some apps together!

If you are interested in learning Kotlin, check out these Google supported, free courses:

Thanks for reading!

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