The Popularity of a Programming Language

What makes a language popular? If only this was a simple question to answer!

Unfortunately, there isn’t always a simple answer. Sometimes, programming languages seem to jump out of nowhere to become adopted by the masses, while others – which may appear amazing at first glance – never gain real traction.

A few of the characteristics that are shared by the most popular programming languages of our time include:


Many of the top programming languages are extremely versatile. They can be used for a wide range of applications, which means that developers who know them are always going to be in demand. Think TypeScript, Java, Go and Python – languages that are not constrained to any one use case.


Sometimes a language is popular for the exact opposite reason – instead of being versatile, it may be in demand because of its unique use cases. For example, Solidity is very popular because of its use in smart contract development, while SQL is essential for anyone who wants to analyze with consumer or sales data. So, top programming languages have their uniqueness.

Ease of use

Some of the most popular programming languages in 2020 are popular because they are both easy to learn and simple to use. For example, the development of Swift by Apple has made iOS programming a whole lot easier. Although it was only released in 2014, Swift has received rapid adoption, replacing Objective-C in iOS development. In the same way, Rust makes systems coding very easy, leading to its meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years. So, as you can see the ease of use plays an important role for top programming languages.

Support from major platforms

A language could be the most versatile and the easiest to use in the world, but if it isn’t adopted and supported by major platforms like iOS, Google, and Android, there will be much less chance of it being successful.

A common theme among the top 10 programming languages outlined below is that many of them are supported by or were developed by one of the major tech companies. For example, Go was developed by Google, Swift was developed by Apple for iOS development, and Rust is a systems coding program that is supported by Mozilla.

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