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Grant Watson
Grant Watson

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Programming Languages That Will Dominate

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Forecasting the world’s most popular programming languages over the next few years is a difficult task. Oftentimes, bold predictions about a language’s dominance won’t pan out; then you have the languages that seem to come out of nowhere to seize a significant niche (often with a bit of a boost from a major tech company).

Every so often, though, a language’s spike in popularity makes it easier to predict its rosy future. It’s all about the long term—and you should structure your learning (and mastery) appropriately. “I’d recommend deciding what’s important and building your working culture around it rather than worrying about whether you’re missing out by not using a new language,” he adds. “If you’re an individual engineer and want to know how you can help yourself, double down on the fundamentals of how the languages you currently work in interact with the underlying operating system or runtime. A little focus on the fundamentals goes a long way here, and the fundamentals will still be the same in 2030.”

So which programming languages will continue to dominate in 2021?

Python

Artur Yolchan, Senior Software Engineer and owner of the website Coding Skills, says: “Python will probably be the most favorite programming language for developers in 2021.”

The increased use of Python in a specialized context has a lot to do with that, suggests Alex Yelenevych, CMO of CodeGym: “In the development of artificial intelligence systems, Python has proven itself. In addition, many modern and safe sites are written in Python, and it is also very often learned in schools. The language is pleasant and quite simple for beginners, so its popularity will only grow.”

It takes a lot to erode the usage of older, more generalist programming languages, even when newer languages begin to attract a lot of buzz, adds Matt Pillar, VP of Engineering at OneSignal: “Python is an old favorite, and it’s not going away anytime soon. While incumbents like Rust and TypeScript are occupying more and more mindshare, taking some attention away from Python, Python continues to be one of the most loved and most utilized programming languages. With its strong connection to data science toolkits, Python is being taught at an increasing number of programming bootcamps and is well poised to be a favorite first language for developers in the years to come.”

If you’re totally new to Python, start your learning journey by heading over to Python.org, which offers a handy beginner’s guide. Microsoft has a video series, “Python for Beginners,” with dozens of short, Python-related lessons. There’s also a variety of Python tutorials and books (some of which will cost a monthly fee) that will teach you the nuances of the programming language (and don’t forget your IDEs).

JavaScript

Michael O’Connell, Chief Analytics Officer at TIBCO Software, doesn’t think the ultra-popular JavaScript is going anywhere, especially when it comes to dominating developers’ mindshare in 2021:

The maturation of JavaScript as a design and development environment has been phenomenal and will accelerate in 2021. Whether you are working on the front-end with JavaScript, apps and frameworks with React, Angular and vue.js, desktop apps with Electron.js, or backend with Node.js, JavaScript is the ticket! You can even develop machine learning with Tensorflow.js.

I see the worlds of self-service BI and visual analytics becoming ever more mashed up in 2021 with (a) BI and analytics vendors providing seamless experiences for extending their graphics palettes as simple-to-modify native capabilities and deployment; and (b) marketplaces for sharing extensions across broad communities of practice. The maturation of Vega (from the d3 pioneers) as a visualization grammar and platform will help standardize and enforce best practices across these communities.

Yelenevych agrees, citing JavaScript’s frameworks as a key component to its success. “JavaScript—you can find this language in use on almost every website. I think React, already the most popular JS frontend library, will continue to gain popularity. In general, developers love to create applications in React.”

Indeed, it seems virtually certain that JavaScript will continue to serve as the engine that powers the web well beyond 2021, especially as new generations of students utilize it for websites’ scripted behavior. Millions of websites will still rely on third-party JavaScript libraries and frameworks.

Blazor

With the popularity of C#, I believe deeply that Blazor will become extremely popular this year. Typically speaking, programmers love working in one language, especially if that particular language is used for web development. In previous years, for any form of web development, a developer needed at least 2 different languages, a backend API as well as JavaScript/TypeScript. With Blazor now, you can potentially dismantle all use of JS for the use of C# from the backend to the frontend. They utilized the Razor language and WebAssembly, as well as a server side rendering. To read more, see a few of my previous articles listed below:

Data Injection

Data Binding

Routing

Blazor Components

Blazor Server

Blazor Wasm

What is Blazor

Top comments (3)

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darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

Does it really matter what programming language are "the most popular"? Or should we instead focus on which tools best fit for each job we're trying to accomplish?

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grantwatsondev profile image
Grant Watson Author

As it should. From what I have seen, these programming languages are the best fit for quite a few business requirements

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