So, What is the Best Programming Language? How Many Should I Learn?

Updated on March 9, 2022

Every year, Coding Dojo announces the top programming languages based on what employers are looking for from applicants. There are few career paths with so many different options than software development. While working  your way through a degree or coding bootcamp, you have the choice of industry and product you’d like to work on, as well as what programming languages you’d like to learn.

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With so many top programming languages available to learn, what should you choose? Ideally, when looking for a job you’ll have some knowledge of a few of the top programming languages employers are looking for. This blog is a good place to start.

To find the top programming languages of 2022, we looked on Indeed to discover which languages crop up most often in job descriptions and compare it to previous years. To truly understand how we chose the top programming languages of 2022, though, we need to dive in and look at our previous top seven.

The Top Programming Languages of Previous Years Compared to 2022

Top progamming languages year by year

Looking at the chart above, all of the previous top languages grew in demand in 2022 except for PHP and Perl. Neither made the top 10 this year despite being two of the biggest risers in 2021 when most other languages stagnated. In some ways, 2022 was really a back to basics year for the top programming languages.

Every programming language’s demand dropped because of coronavirus

The biggest takeaway from this year’s list is the overall increase in demand for basically every language. The Covid-19 pandemic altered everything we know, including demand for software developers. As the pandemic has evolved, demand for employees across all industries has increased, especially so with coders. 

As you can see in the chart above, demand for every top language dropped significantly from 2020 to 2021. Python was the only popular programming language to only see a small dip falling from around 74,000 jobs to 70,500.

This year, it’s an entirely different story. The top four languages, Python, Java, SQL, and Javascript all have over 50,000 jobs listed, Java in particular saw a big jump, becoming the first programming language with over 80,000 active job listings we’ve found.

This makes plenty of sense considering the U.S. economy alone has seen more jobs created in 2021 than any other year on record. While recovery from the events of March 2020 took some time—and in many respects is still happening—computer programming jobs have come back and then some.

Only three languages really seem affected

What are the top programming languages of 2022?

What programming languages are employers are looking for?

Top programming languages 2022

The top 10 programming languages of 2022 are:

  1. Java
  2. Python
  3. SQL
  4. Javascript
  5. C++
  6. C#
  7. C
  8. Go
  9. Ruby
  10. Assembly

That gives us some relatively big changes compared to last year, considering the rankings had seen many drastic changes recently. This year’s list saw three newcomers (Go, C, and Assembly) while three dropped off the list (R, Visual Basic, and Objective C). 

Why you should learn Go

The most notable rise is Go, although it’s unlikely to surprise many. Having been created relatively recently, 2009, it’s currently being used by some of the most popular and important open source apps and companies of the past few years. That includes Docker, Kubernetes,Cloudflare, Ethereum, Gitlab, Google, Netflix, Twitch, and Uber. 

With so many important and growing companies using the language, you can expect Go to have staying power, especially as generations who grow up on the internet begin to dominate online culture. It’s important to note which companies are using Go. If you’re hoping to work at a large, but growing tech company offering fun or important products, knowledge of Go is great to have.

Python loses it’s top spot

Back in 2018, demand for Python grew quicker than any coding language around. Since then, it’s cooled off just a little bit. Python lost its top spot to Java, 

How does this affect people looking to learn Python or programmers who already did?.Fortunately, not much. For several years now both Java and Python have been the two most popular programming languages, swapping the top spot three times now.

As one of the simplest languages to learn, Python is still a very important language in modern coding and demand for it actually went up this year. That is, Python losing the No. 1 spot is not because it lost popularity, but simply because demand for programmers who know Java increased. 

While Python’s demand remains high, it’s likely more and more aspiring or seasoned programmers will take up the language. At that point, the market may get saturated, but in the meantime it’s important for most developers to learn Python.

Objective C vs. C

One notable change on this year’s list compared to last is the absence of Objective C and a newcomer, C, taking its spot. The two languages share some similarities, but there are a few differences that might explain this change.

The biggest is that Apple used Objective C as its main programming language for macOS and iOS. Objective C’s use outside of the Apple ecosystem was and is much more limited. In 2014, Apple adopted Swift as its standard language. Despite the change, Objective C still has its uses that will create demand, but it makes sense that C, a much broader language that influenced Objective C, has grown more in the last year.

2021’s risers fall quickly

Last year, we saw Visual Basic and R take up higher spots while also increasing demand. That was particularly unique given the effects the pandemic was still having on the job market during the first half of the year. In 2022, though, that wasn’t the case.

Not only did these two fall, they fell drastically. In 2021, both languages had over 50,000 listings at the time of the search compared to 7,000 for R and 4,800 for Visual Basic, respectively. Perhaps the main reason for this steep drop off is that once the jobs of 2021 were filled, demand for both dried up.

While they’re drops were pretty much all languages outside the top four saw listing drop under 50,000, which was eclipsed by six languages in 2021.

Demand for programmers isn’t going anywhere

The drop in demand for programmers caused by the pandemic is now gone. Even then, the drop in demand wasn’t that significant compared to other industries, so it’s no surprise to see things pick up again. More importantly, demand should only increase from here.

The one unique thing to note is the drop in demand amongst the bottom of the list. This year, the true most popular programming languages were the ones with the biggest increases, while most others saw a drop. It’s possible that companies are looking at just the main languages in use. This doesn’t mean coding languages will become homogenized, all it takes is one company or one trend to boost the popularity of a newer language, like it did with Go this year.


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