There are six programming languages that are far above all the rest and i have the data to back it up. i went through every programming language on five different dimensions. These dimensions are:
Then I gave every language a score and ranked them relative to each other. from my ranking you'll then be able to know where to focus your attention.
But first let me tell you how i created this score. By the way my name is Aaron Jack and i have one mission - to get you a job as a remote software developer.
For the number of jobs, I went to indeed.com which is one of the most popular job boards on the Internet. Then I searched for a language space developer which gives us an idea of how many jobs overall. There are for a given language, of course, this isn't going to be perfect and there are other job boards out there but it gives us some idea of how many jobs are out there.
To get an idea of demand for freelance developers i did a similar thing where i went to UpWork. And then i searched for language space developer and this will give us a number of freelance jobs we can compare in relative terms. And then i searched for language space developer and this will give us a number of freelance jobs we can compare in relative terms.
For a number of resources, I went to a programmer's best friend - Stack Overflow, and search for the tag of a given language. The answer count gives us an idea of how many different situations are covered. Let's say you're googling to do a specific thing in that language how likely is it that that question is going to be answered?
For the popularity score i looked at the Stack Overflow developer survey for the past three years. This includes a ton of questions but I focused on just one. What languages do you use at work? We get a percentage from this. That is the percent of people who said yes i use this language in a given year and we have this for three years which creates sort of a trend line which we can use to predict the usefulness of a language in 2021 and beyond.
C++ is a low-level programming language with memory management. C++ is a super set of C so it's like a C with more features and it's also the best performing or fastest programming language. This means it's written for software where every millisecond counts.
Most browsers like chrome are programmed in C++
It's used for high-frequency stock training and other low-level embedded systems where hardware is a constraint overall. C++ had the second-lowest jobs on indeed.com 10 000 jobs.
And the lowest freelance jobs and Upwork just 54 freelance jobs.
But these numbers aren't terrible keep in mind this is the top six of all programming languages out there it also had the lowest answer count at 706 000 Stack Overflow answers and the lowest overall use of the top six at 23.9% for last year.
Looking at all three years use went down slightly in 2019 but has been flat in 2020 so it's pretty much flat.
C# is another C family language with a lot in common. Both C++ and C# are very commonly used with the microsoft.net framework. So it's used a lot in Windows development and enterprise software on top of that.
You can use C# for unity game development and a variety of other different things. C# actually had double the job count of C++ at 20 061 jobs
But around the same a low amount of freelancing jobs - only 68.
In fact, none of the C family languages seem to be not so good for freelance work. C# also has double the Stack Overflow. Answers of C# at 1.4 million and about 10 percent more people use it at work. With that being 31.4% last year the trend line has also been flat to a bit down.
That said so much the Internet is still written in PHP. It's still a great choice so let's look at the numbers. The job count for PHP was actually the lowest of all at 5.2 k.
But don't worry because the freelance count was at 406 which was the second-highest of all which is what bumped it up into fourth place.
There are 1.3 million answers on Stack Overflow around the same as C# though. Slightly fewer people used it at work at 26.2% in 2020.
Now the real concerning part about PHP is it has been dropping each year in the trend line being all the way up at 30.7% back in 2018.
That said PHP is so uncool it's almost become cool again meaning so many people are focusing their attention elsewhere. You could carve yourself out a niche learning PHP in 2021/2022 moving on to number three.
And this might surprise people it's not higher but #3 is Python. A lot of people say python is the best language to learn first. Because it has a pretty straightforward syntax, that's very close to pseudocode. In other words, it hardly even looks like code.
Python is also extremely widely used for scripting data science and Back-end Web development. It's also popular for trendy machine learning and artificial intelligence. The super important part of Python is understanding the library ecosystem because there's a library for almost anything you want to do. And it's part of the reason it's so popular.
Let's look at the data though and see why it's #3. The job count on indeed.com was 25 000 which is the highest we've seen so far but it's still much lower than our TOP 2 programming languages.
The freelance count however is only 225 which is a bit lower than you would probably expect. The Stack Overflow answer count is average at 1.6 million which is good but not the best.
Last year 44% of people use Python at work which is really really high that's almost half of all developers and the best part of all is the trend which has been going up by a crazy 3% per year.
So 2018 was 38.8% up to 41.7% in 2019. And finally 44.1% overall Python is a great choice and chances are you're gonna learn it at some point in your developer career no matter what? So it's not really a waste of time to learn it.
Java likes C# and C++ has strong typing meaning. Every variable needs a type and it’s also compiled so these are kind of two safeguards that prevent you from writing bad Java and also make it great for working on in big teams which is why it's the choice of many large companies. It also has fairly good performance so can be effective in writing large Back-end applications.
Let's look at the numbers and first the job count is the huge shocker because there's actually 34 738 Java developer jobs available.
The freelance count on UpWork is also surprisingly higher than Python but still lower than PHP. Only 406 freelance jobs in Java. In our top spot language, the Stack Overflow answer count or number of resources available is also the second-highest at 1.7 million and the number of people that use it at work is 40.2%.
The main concern about Java is some people do say it's kind of a dying language being slowly phased out and replaced by languages like Go. In 2018 it was 45% of people used.
At 2019- 41% and at 2020 - 40%. We can probably expect that to continue but so many large companies have all their code written in Java and it's going to be that way for a long time so it's still very worth learning.
Before we talk about #1 here are some honorable mentions that didn't make the top six. For one reason or another and these languages are gonna be C, Ruby, Golang, and Rust.
C is still great and rather popular but didn't quite make the top six. That said if you know C++ you kind of already know C. And its use cases so you'd also qualify for those jobs as for Ruby well it's a very low market share these days . And it's falling more and more each year.
Where Golang and Rust are kind of the opposite low market share but they are growing quite fast at around 3% like Python per year. The problem with newer languages like Golang and Rust is there's a relatively low number of learning resources. We can see that in the Stack Overflow answer count and they're also going to have a low number of libraries which trust me as someone who's learned Golang can be a bit cumbersome
But in theory, you could also include all of those into this number if you wanted to the freelance count is the highest and it's not even close at almost 700 jobs on UpWork and again that is just one freelance site.
There you have it the top programming languages for getting a job in 2021 backed up by data that I got today on January 1st, 2021. Remember my mission is to get you a job as a remote software developer. So stick around by hitting the button below if that's your goal.