StackOverflow listed the most commonly used programming languages

If you're a software developer, you probably feel overwhelmed by how fast the industry is evolving. And that's fine really. We all feel that way sometimes. And in this mayhem of fast-evolving industry, it's hard to know which are the most commonly used programming languages.

Of course, there are a lot of programming languages. And sure new ones are always being created every week. And that's all beyond the JavaScript frameworks which are growing faster than mushrooms on a hill.

But, do you need to learn all of them? Of course not!

You have to start by learning the most commonly used programming languages and then narrow it down to what fits you best. You can choose that by what makes the most sense to you, the knowledge level required, the employment status and such criteria.

Below you can find how StackOverflow listed the most commonly used programming languages based on pure data:

  1. JavaScript
  3. SQL
  4. Python
  5. JAVA
  6. Shell
  7. C#
  8. PHP
  9. C++
  10. TypeScript
  11. C
  12. Ruby
  13. Go
  14. etc.


Most commonly used Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages
Most commonly used Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages

For the seventh year in a row, JavaScript remains the most commonly used programming language. But, Python has risen in the ranks yet again. Last year, Python just edged JavaScript in the overall ranking. It also surpassed C# and PHP as well. This being said, Python is the fastest-growing major programming language today!


In essence, JavaScript is an Object Oriented Programming language that is primarily used to create web-based interfaces.

Too technical? Let’s simplify it with some examples:

  • When you hover over a button and the style of the button changes
  • While hovering a Facebook friend’s profile, the profile pops up on a small window
  • Searching for something and getting instant results

In all of these examples, you do an action (hover, click, type) and you get something in return. The interactivity is what makes JavaScript so famous.

Job postings increase for JavaScript
Job postings increase for JavaScript

While HTML and CSS provide the content and the feel of the content, JavaScript provides the interactivity over it.

JavaScript has become more and more popular among the developer community. A lot of small and large companies use JavaScript as their main language for both backend and frontend.

There has been a tremendous increase in the number of job postings in JavaScript. And this might be a good reason why you should start learning JavaScript.

You might also like: How To Learn JavaScript Quickly – a Beginners Guide


SQL (an acronym of Structured Query Language) is a special-purpose programming language that’s used to interact with complex databases. Its main duty is to analyze and understand databases consisting of fields and data within them.

SQL has been around since the release back in the 1970s during which IBM engineers Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce created the initial version to manipulate and regain data stored in the company’s database system. The two pioneers of SQL called their new language SEQUEL, although they were later forced to change it due to brand issues. SQL has since become an official standard for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The reason why SQL is the first most in-demand programming skills is that with it you can learn about Data Mining, Data manipulation, Combine data from multiple sources, manage large pools of data and servers with databases. 

Not to forget to mention that SQL programmers have always been high on demand, and they’re still relevant in 2020.


Python is one of the most prepared languages in schools and colleges across the world. In the USA, Python has succeeded Java from many educational courses as a preferred language to start with. What will you gain by mastering Python? A lot.

Python is one of that language which can be used as a scripting language as well as a customary object-oriented language for a large project.

You might also like: What makes Python such a powerful language?

Several popular websites, including Reddit, are built upon Python frameworks like Django. In recent times, many large companies are switching to the Python-based framework as well.

I personally use Python for creating scripts though, and it is very helpful for doing something quickly, e.g. you can write a UDP message listener in 5 minutes in Python as battled to 20 minutes in Java, forget about compiling, packaging and then using. Just produce python scripts for ad-hoc tasks. If you are interested in learning Python, then The Complete Python BootCamp is a nice place to start with.


Java is one of the most famous languages of the last two decades and commands the world of server-side application development. It also holds a sizable market share in mobile games and application development using Android and enterprise web development world.

You might also like: Everything you need to know about the Java 13

Java was commenced with a simple thought of WORA, “write once run anywhere,” but over the period, Java actually ran everywhere.

You should learn Java to create a strong, scalable server-side application. You can create projects of any complexity in Java, as it has tools, technology, and community to help with.

Top industry verticals where Java is used
Top industry verticals where Java is used


C# was developed by a group of Microsoft engineers in order to develop apps on the .NET platform. Are you looking to get experienced in the field of creating native apps under Microsoft? Then C# is the ideal language for you.
In essence, C# is a simple, modern and general-purpose object-oriented programming language.

A great advantage of C# is its comparative simplicity and the ability to focus on the algorithm more rather than the implementation details.


  • C# uses an almost similar syntax which follows by C so it easy to understand for those who know C language
  • Easy Integration with Windows
  • Fully integrated with the .NET library which provides access to a repository of functionality and support.
  • Safer than its namesakes (C/++) as pointer types are not permitted


  • It allows pointers in ‘unsafe’ blocks

Usage applications: Widely used in Enterprise Cross-Applications Development, Web Applications

Salary: The average salary for “C# developer” ranges from $66,493 per year to $101,775 per year

Learning Difficulty: Hard

C# vs JAVA in the US searches the last 5 years
C# vs JAVA in the US searches the last 5 years


PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor and it’s also a general-purpose, high-level, server-side scripting language created mostly for web development. It features a lot of built-in capabilities for web services, and the flawless embedding of server-side code into HTML. 

PHP has been mocked for a couple of things over the years, including the diversity in code quality between PHP and its security. The bright side, however, is that PHP developers offer countless frameworks that help the new users handle very complex issues that would otherwise have a hard time facing.

Three PHP frameworks to keep an eye on in 2020
Three PHP frameworks to keep an eye on in 2020


The C++ programming language builds off of C and goes back as far as 1979 when it comes to it being created. Bjarne Stroustrup created it while working on his Ph.D. thesis, and treated it as an additional feature of C. To this day, it’s still being widely used, considering that it’s the core of many operating systems, browser and games.

C++ is known to be a very dominant language. C++ allows you to have a lot of authority as to how you use computer resources, so in the right hands, its speed and ability to economically use resources should be able to surpass other languages. Thanks to C++’s performance, it is often used to develop game engines, games, and desktop apps. Many AAA title video games are built with C++.

And with that being said, C++ deserves its place in the most in-demand programming skills.

Separate data, collected by Yell Business, recently showed the difference between salaries around the world.

Developers in China are currently the biggest winners, cashing in from an adjusted salary of somewhere between $50,000-$55,000. Of course, the unadjusted salary is lower (~$34,000) than any other country but so is the living in China.

In the UK, however, developers receive an average of ~$33,000 annually. This ranks the UK in 15th place in Yell’s list of 25 countries.


The very first stable version of Ruby was released 23 years go, way back in 1996. This makes Ruby a pretty mature programming language, and it still remains one of the most popular and used languages in the world.

The reason for that is very simple: Ruby satisfies the needs of people, not machines. 

In a study that HackerRank did in 2018, almost 40,000 developers were asked for their preferred programming language they use, or plan to use. According to this study, Ruby ranked the 5th among the most popular languages.

Ruby is the eighth most popular programming language in RedMonk
Ruby is the eighth most popular programming language in RedMonk

To display the relevance of Ruby, there are other studies that confirm it:

  • Ruby is on the top 15 most popular languages according to RedMonk rating and TIOBE index.
  • Ruby is listed 13th on the Stack Overflow developer community.
  • Github states that Ruby was one of the top five languages according to the number of pull requests in the last year.