10 Most Popular Programming Languages In October 2020: Learn To Code

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In the world of programming, the biggest dilemma for beginners is finding where to learn to code or what are the most popular programming languages in 2020 that one should master for career benefits. At times, professional coders also face a situation where learning a new language seems more fruitful.

Whatever may be the reason, here is a list of the most popular programming languages across the world to know which languages are ruling the charts. This list of top programming languages is based on the data sourced from the TIOBE Programming Community Index — a popular indicator of the popularity of programming languages.

TIOBE calculates the ratings by analyzing data from Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, Baidu, and YouTube. Variables like the number of professional developers worldwide, training courses, and third-party vendors have also factored in this list.

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October 2020 headline: Python Can Soon Beat Java

The TIOBE Programming Community index ranks the most popular languages every month and the result for October 2020 is here. Back in June, we finally got to see a change in the top three popular programming languages where C surpassed Java and claimed the first position, displacing Java to second. And last month, C++ emerged as the fastest-growing programming language on the index.

While Python continues to maintain its third position on TIOBE index, its popularity is increasing rapidly touching an all-time high. Python is now very close to overtaking Java with less than 1.3% gap left. Meanwhile, Java has reached an “all time low” since 2001, falling 4.32% points in comparison to October 2019.

Also Read: Learn To Code For Free With These Best Free Coding Websites

Top 10 Most Popular Programming Languages In 2020

Oct 2020Programming LanguageRatings
1C16.95%
2Java12.56%
3Python11.28%
4C++6.94%
5C#4.16%
6Visual Basic3.97%
7JavaScript2.14%
8PHP2.09%
9R1.99%
10SQL1.57%

After this, I have described the top 10 most popular languages individually so that you can decide which programming language to learn next:

1. The good old C programming language

As one of the oldest and most common programming languages, C still stands as one of the top programming languages, thanks to its portability feature and early adoption by tech giants including Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple. It can work with nearly every system and is highly suitable for operating systems and embedded systems.

Since it has a relatively small runtime, C makes the perfect choice for keeping such systems lean. Highly recommended for beginners, C is essentially the universal language of programming languages and has given birth to spinoffs like C++ and C# which are also quite popular.

Career Opportunity:  Software Developer, Application Developer, Tester

C programming for beginners

2. Java – continues to dominate

Java still continues to top the most popular programming language charts for the past several years. According to TIOBE’s data, Java has secured the first and second positions more than any other language for about a couple of decades.

A large number of renowned companies use Java to develop software and applications so it is one of the best programming languages to learn. And if you happen to know Java, you definitely won’t have to struggle to find a job. The major reasons behind the popularity of Java are its portability, scalability, and a large community of users.

Career Opportunity: Web developer, Application developer, EJB programmer, Software Developer, Tester, etc.

Learn Java from Scratch

3. Python – on the rise

The last 15 years have seen steady growth in the popularity of Python. This year too, Python has seen a significant rise in the index and deemed as one of the most popular programming languages. It has been able to secure a spot in the top 5 of the TIOBE index for the past couple of years.

As the major language behind some of the most promising technologies, today such as AI, machine learning, Big Data, and robotics, Python has amassed a huge fanbase in recent years. You will be surprised by learning how easy it is to learn Python and this is the reason why many seasoned developers opt Python as their second or third language.

Career Opportunity: Software Engineer, Software Developer,  Web Developer, Quality Assurance Engineer, Data Science

Python 3 Bootcamp

4. C++ continues to dominate

This object-oriented programming language was developed in the 1980s and is still found in numerous systems from desktop web apps to server infrastructure. C++ still remains in demand owing to its flexibility, performance, and multiple contexts where you can use it.

A career in C++ would usually involve the development of desktop applications which are focused on performance-intensive tasks. Mastery of C++ can give a deeper understanding of how programming languages and help in acquiring low-level memory manipulation skills.

Career Opportunity: Operating Systems and Compilers, Database engines, Gaming industry, Financial platforms,

Embedded systems

C++ for absolute beginners

5. C# – Game developers’ favorite

C# is a modern object-oriented programming language that was developed by Microsoft to rival Java, which was heavily used by business software developers at that time. It was designed for developing apps on the Microsoft platform and needs the .NET framework on Windows to work.

You can use C# to develop almost anything but it’s particularly strong in case of Windows desktop applications and games development. After seeing a constant decline in its popularity in the past two years, C# finally seems to gain traction as it has shifted one position upwards this year, pushing away Visual Basic .NET

Career opportunity: Game Developer, Application Engineer

The Complete C# Foundation

6. Visual Basic .NET

Even though Visual Basic .NET continues to hold the sixth position as last year in the most popular programming languages list for 2020, there is an overall decline in the ratings of the language. It is one of Microsoft’s OOP languages that combines the power of .NET Framework-based classes and run-time environment.

Derived from VB6, it is well known for the development of GUI applications making tasks easier for programmers and improving productivity. For coders, VB .NET offers a fast and easy way to create desktop applications for the Windows platform as well as web-services and web development.

Career Opportunity: Senior Engineer, Software Developer, DevOps Engineer, QA Automation Engineer

Guide to VB.NET

7. JavaScript is an essential

JavaScript has not only managed to secure the seventh position consistently among the top programming languages, but there is a slight decline in its overall ratings. All software developers these days use JavaScript in some way or the other. Used along with HTML and CSS, it is essential for front-end web development that creates interactive web pages and displays content dynamically to users.

Over 90% of the websites use this language and it is one of the friendliest programming languages for learners, to begin with. So, there will be no shortage of opportunities if you master JavaScript. However, you will need to learn other supporting languages and frameworks to pursue a career as a front-end developer for desktop, mobile app, or game development.

Career Opportunity: Web Developer, Software Developer, App Developer, UI/UX Engineer

JavaScript: Complete Guide

8. PHP for Web Development

According to TIOBE, after getting displaced by JavaScript and shifting down to number eight in on the most popular programming languages index in 2020 — PHP has stabilized. PHP is mostly used on the server-side for web development accounting for about 80% percent of websites on the internet. Facebook began its journey with PHP and its role in the WordPress content management system makes it quite popular.

PHP offers several frameworks like Laravel and Drupal to help developers build applications faster with more scalability and robustness. Hence, if you are looking for a career in web development, PHP is not a bad choice, to begin with.

Career Opportunity: Web Developer, App Developer

Advanced PHP programming

9. Programmers R loving it

The demand for R programming language and the number of people using it is increasing rapidly in recent years. For the past several months, it had struggled to find a place in the top 10. But it is evident from its TIOBE ranking that R has significantly improved by 13 places moving up from 22 to 9 in the last one year. For data scientists, R stands as the number one choice for statistics, graphic representation, and data visualization analysis. It has turned into a Big Data tool and finds its uses in machine learning, and some areas of scientific computing too. The scope and future of R programming look quite promising, and it is definitely a stable and profitable career choice for people interested in data science.

Career Opportunity: Data Scientist, Business Analyst, Big Data Engineer

Complete Introduction to R

10. SQL to manage database

The popular query language was rapidly progressing in number in the top 20 programming languages of the TIOBE index for quite some time. However, the ratings for SQL show a slump this month. It is worth noting that despite the presence of other database technology, this standard query language for managing databases has been reigning for the past four decades.

The reason being its simplicity, reliability, ubiquity, and an active community that does a lot to keep this open-source language around. SQL is typically easier for beginners to learn compared to other languages and as far as a career path is concerned, several well-paying jobs like Data Analyst require SQL as a must.

Career Opportunity: Database Administrator, Database Developer, Database Tester, Data Scientist, App Developer, Web Developer

Fundamental SQL Programming

Also Read: Best Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages To Learn 

Choose The Most Popular Programming Languages

This concludes the list of the most popular programming languages you should learn in 2020. I hope this programming language rating in this article helps you choose the right language career path based on your interests and the type of software development you would like to indulge in. Each language has its pros and cons, so take your time in weighing each option and choose accordingly. More importantly, make sure you hold a good command over the language you choose for programming. Until then, enjoy coding!

Manisha Priyadarshini

Manisha Priyadarshini

An Editor and a Tech Journalist with a software development background. I am a big fan of technology and memes. At Fossbytes, I cover all aspects of tech but my specific area of interest is Programming and Development.

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