20 Top Programming Languages for 2023

20 Top Programming Languages

Updated January 2023

The world is flush with programming languages. Estimates range from a few hundred to several thousand. Of course, many of those languages are little utilized while many other are evolved forms and variations of widely used, historic programming languages.

What’s going on? In the latter instance, languages often evolve to improve features or to fill a particular niche. In these cases, proficient programmers will have an advantage because their language familiarity (and the code’s shared syntax) will enable a quicker onboarding to evolved versions of the same language (and, frankly, in many cases, to entirely new languages thanks to a learner’s mindset).

And while there are also different types of programming languages, there are a handful of core languages with wide use that can help aspiring programmers and established professionals alike know where to start when picking up a new language. Before we get to our list of 20 programming languages for 2023, however, a few more words on coding and how to read our list.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Coding

Programmers, software engineers, web developers, and more depend on coding languages. Coding languages allow these professionals to accurately instruct computers and similar devices in how to perform specific tasks.

By “speaking” to the computer in a language that it can easily understand and follow, coders are able to create programs capable of doing great things, from displaying an image on a screen to landing a probe on another planet.

But just as there are nearly limitless uses for computer code, there are a huge number of programming languages from which to choose. Most aspiring programmers should pick and choose the languages that make sense for their goals, so they can pursue them.

We’re Here to Help

We’re Here to Help

We’ve created a list of twenty programming languages. Now, this isn’t a programming language ranking, as each of these languages brings different advantages to the table. Instead, we’re showing some of what’s out there, so that when you arrive at the ice-cream parlor of coding education, you’ll have a better idea of what’s available, and what might be right for you.

One note before we get started: Make no mistake, HTML and CSS are incredibly important web development languages, but Devmountain’s director of education, Cameron Stuart, doesn’t include in this list because they are Markup languages, not programming languages.

Our List of the Top 20 Programming Languages

  1. Python
  2. JavaScript
  3. Go
  4. Java
  5. Kotlin
  6. C#
  7. PHP
  8. Swift
  9. R
  10. Ruby
  11. C
  12. C++
  13. TypeScript
  14. SQL
  15. Nix
  16. Scala
  17. Shell
  18. Rust
  19. Dart
  20. DM

python programming language

1. Python

What can we say? It’s hard to have a list of top programming languages without Python. Python is often on programming language charts for good reason. That’s because Python is powerful, yet simple to learn. A high-level general programming language, Python is usable across many applications and can be great for beginners and professionals alike.

javascript programming language

2. JavaScript  (React.js and Node.js)

Usable for both back- and front-end programming, JavaScript is also becoming widely used within the Internet of Things. JavaScript is a core technology for powering the World Wide Web. This is because its effective in front- and back-end development, works well with other languages, is extremely versatile, and is updated annually.

And JavaScript is made better by awesome frameworks that aren’t actually programming languages themselves but might as well be, as beefier versions of JavaScript. These frameworks are so powerful when compared to standalone JavaScript that we teach react.js and node.js at Devmountain instead of standalone JavaScript. These frameworks allow our students to program outside the confines of a browser for more modern applications and use-cases.

golang programming language

3. Go

Go (also sometimes called Golang for its former domain name) is an open-source programming language developed at Google. Flexible and capable of displaying large amounts of information effectively, Go scales well to larger systems. But, perhaps one of the coolest things about Go is its concurrency; Go can execute multiple processes at once, setting it apart as one of the most efficient coding languages. 

java programming language

4. Java

Java works exceptionally well in a number of use-cases and has long been the preferred go-to language for coding on Android. Java’s motto: Write once; run anywhere references its cross-platform abilities. This versatility, combined with the range of available extensions, can make Java a powerful addition to the programmer’s toolbox.

kotlin programming language

5. Kotlin

Kotlin is, first and foremost, a programming language used in Android development (where it is officially supported by Google and functions as an alternative to Java). That said, Kotlin’s simplicity, conciseness, and ease of maintenance make it a choice for non-Android tasks, too.

c# programming language

6. C#

Another Java influenced programming language, C# is an accessible, general-purpose language that is as powerful as it is flexible. C# is designed specifically for use with the Windows OS (sorry Mac users) and is part of the .Net framework.

php programming language

7. PHP

The code behind Facebook, Yahoo, and Wikipedia, PHP has long held an important place in the coding world. PHP is simple-to-use, integrates easily with other languages, and is supported by all major operating systems. PHP is also uniquely designed to operate effectively with databases.

swift programming language

8. Swift

Swift is fast, safe, and backed by one of the biggest players in the tech world, but it’s probably not going to be your first choice when it comes to general programming and development. That’s because Swift was designed specifically by Apple for use with macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and iOS (sorry PC users). The good news is that Apple is dedicated to supporting Swift and provides access to a huge library of Swift coding resources.

r programming language

9. R Programming Language

Speaking of data and databases, R Programming Language was designed to help with statistical analysis and relies on a vast catalog of statistical and graphical methods. And while R Programming Language is most often used in academic projects, it has also found a place with larger companies as well (including Uber and Google).

ruby programming language

10. Ruby

If you’re a coding beginner looking for something simple, yet effective, consider the object-oriented programming language Ruby. Ruby (and by extension, the cross-platform web application framework Ruby on Rails) functions well with both front- and back-end development and is used by new startups as well as established brands.

11. C

C goes back a ways. We’re talking early 1970s in the renowned Bell Labs to improve the highly flexible and adaptable multi-user UNIX operating system that had originally launched in 1969. So it’s seen a few things. Despite its age and clear importance to established systems, C remains a powerful force today. Its speed and versatility contribute to Windows, Linux, Mac, and mobile applications of all kinds. 

c++ programming language

12. C++

A star among application, game, and animation-software programmers, C++ offers the speed and portability needed to be used across devices and platforms, and it allows programmers the ability to reuse code, for easier program maintenance.

typescript programming language

13. TypeScript

Backed by Microsoft’s significant resources, TypeScript is essentially JavaScript, but less confusing. It improves upon JavaScript in a number of ways, such as by allowing programmers to add static types (for easier error identification). TypeScript adds improved functionality to JavaScript, without reducing its effectiveness, making it a great choice for new programmers.

sql programming language

14. SQL

Programming languages are generally used to tell computer systems what to do, but there are exceptions. SQL is a query-based language that is mostly focused on retrieving data from databases. This makes it effective when used to generate reports and sift through massive amounts of digital information. It’s just not as effective for all-purpose coding. Utilizing a proper database performance monitoring tool is also important to determine problems in real-time and to prevent potential issues in your database.

15. Nix

If you have familiarity with the Unix-like operating systems and are familiar with functional programming, you may settle rather quickly into Nix tutorials. Nix is the underlying language for Nixpkgs (called “the largest, most up-to-date software distribution in the world”) and the Linux-aligned Nix Operating System. In turn, the NixOS website touts its many strengths: it’s language agnostic, portable, enables experimentation, is community oriented thanks to GitHub-based collaboration, and offers a consistent dev environment with complete dependencies—and it can also be used all along the pathway from build to deployment. 

scala programming language

16. Scala

Scala combines functional programming with object-oriented programming, offering code complexity alongside concise notation for better coding and increased performance. Scala is also accessible and can be fun to learn.

17. Shell

Shell scripting languages show up in a variety of operating system environments, including Unix, Linux and Ubuntu. Shell typically exists as an interface between human inputs and the computer programs running the OS.


rust programming language

18. Rust

Rust offers speed and security, without sacrificing performance. Rust has valuable built-in documentation and features helpful error messages (so you can more easily find problems when something goes wrong). That said, for beginners, Rust may be more difficult than some of the other languages on this list.

scheme programming language

19. Dart

Another open-source GPL developed by Google, Dart specifically targets app development and smart objects in a language with syntax resembling C. It is also said to inherit properties from JavaScript and Java, among other languages, and has been growing in popularity since it’s 2.0 release in 2018.  

20. DM

One last programming language we’re including in our list of top languages for 2023 is also evolved from C: DM, and its IDE companion Dream Maker (all folded up into a product community called BYOND). Like other languages in this category, learners will discover it’s not necessarily an analysis of power or popularity when choosing new languages to learn, but about understanding the niche the language was created to fill. In this case, DM evolved for the creation of multi-user worlds—”worlds,” in DM’s vernacular, meaning “programs” that can be accessed over a network by multiple individuals, as in a forum or discussion board and multi-player games.

So, Now What?

Now that you know some of what’s out there, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the world of coding. Devmountain offers accelerated, immersive coding courses.

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