Top 5 Programming Languages Web Developers Need to Know in 2023

Updated January 2023

As a web developer wanting to stay relevant in the ever-evolving industry, you may be asking yourself, “what programming languages are essential for web developers this year?” And if you’re not asking yourself this and it’s been a while since you’ve updated your resume, read on.

It’s important to stay on top of which web developer languages you need to know currently. It’s one way to stay relevant in your current work or help you make a transition in your career if you’re seeking to take another step.

Cameron Stuart is the director of education for SEI Bootcamps (Devmountain and Hackbright Academy) and, after reviewing our previous list of the top programming languages for web developers, shared his picks for the top five programming languages to know this year. 

1. JavaScript

JavaScript started out as something of a novelty—a web programming (or scripting) language that allowed developers to incorporate improved interactivity within webpages. And while its function remains essentially the same, the increased focus on site usability has helped turn JavaScript into one of the most universally used front-end coding languages. Most sites use JavaScript to some degree, and it is supported plug-in free on all modern browsers. Developers use JavaScript to automate tasks within web pages, add animations, and include interactive features that allow for dynamic, reciprocal sites that can change and adapt to user input, without having to reload from the server.

In addition to being vital to front-end development, it is also so widely used in professional back-end web development that programmers who are trained in JavaScript may have an edge. With the help of Node.JS, JavaScript can be used for back-end development.

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2. Python

While many web development languages have a devoted developer community, the Python community is one of its most attractive features. The support offered by this community makes it an easily accessible option for new programmers, and its popularity is on the rise.

Python simplifies the coding process, offering intuitive solutions that really make it stand out from some of the more complex web languages. Other advantages of Python include its versatility and the fact that it’s an extremely effective teaching tool for beginner developers. Curious to read more? Check out, Why are companies coding in Python?

3. 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. Compared to other languages, you may have heard that Java is hard to learn. Let’s talk about that.

4. 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.

5. Go (Golang)

Go (also sometimes called Golang for its former domain name), was created by lead developers at Google in 2007. It has since become a more dominating web language, and one that programmers should be learning if they haven’t already. More and more companies are starting to use, or migrate, to Go.

Go, being the more specialized language that it is, is more difficult to learn, but once you know it you may be able to expand your opportunities. The creators of Golang created this language loosely basing it on the syntax of the C programming language, eliminating the “extraneous garbage” of languages such as C++.

Other Web Development Languages 

Not included on this list? HTML and CSS, the foundational markup language and style sheet building blocks of the web. While they give the web structure and style, programming languages provide the computer with instructions necessary to perform tasks. For readers just starting out their coding journey, they can be an ideal place to start learning

There are a lot of languages you can learn as a web developer, but in order to stay relevant and in high demand, it’s important to stay on top of which languages the industry is shifting to. For more reading on programming languages beyond the web development realm, read our 20 Top Programming Languages post. Also see our Beginner’s Guide to web development [PDF download].

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