Programming Trends in 2018: Top-Ranking Languages
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Programming Trends in 2018

In 2018, smart technology is making people smarter. Businesses want to spread the good word about their services. You could be thinking of creating a state-of-the-art website or a mobile app to attract footfalls and set the cash registers ringing. You keep a close watch on what’s trending in the programming world before you decide what’s best for your business. The right programming language is all that stands between you and your dream IT project.

Leading IT experts affirm that accessing the right IT infrastructure and support services makes businesses responsive to rapid changes in technology.

We present takeaways from popular market surveys to rank the 2018 top trending programming languages that will speed up your foray into technology innovation.

Top-Ranking Programming Languages of 2018

1. Python

2. C++

3. C

4. Java

5. C#

6. PHP

7. R

8. JavaScript

9. Go

10. Assembly

The Rationale for Ranking the Top Ten Programming Languages

Tech enthusiasts won’t bat an eyelid when Python forges ahead to secure the top spot as the most in-demand coding language. You’re enchanted by the ease and elegance of its syntax and user-friendliness. Python offers a smooth uncomplicated launch for the beginner pursuing a programming career. Python’s top ranking has a lot to do with it being an embedded language with a strong communication backbone.

Python is closely followed by the fabulous four of the programming world; Java, C++, C, and C#. These languages still enjoy huge popularity simply because most of our developers grew up around them. There’s a huge spectrum of industries built on the secure foundation of these languages. Most of our operating systems are still coded in these languages. Over time, the community of developers has built up these legends by limiting migration to other languages.

PHP is popular as a server-side scripting language. PHP gives solid support to Content Management Systems that are dominating cyberspace – there’s Joomla!, Drupal and Magento, among others. Then there’s WordPress powered by PHP and MySQL that accounts for 30 percent of all websites. But when it comes to rankings, Python steals a march over PHP with simpler coding and improving user-friendly features.

Google’s Go made a quiet entry into the top ten, improving its performance over the previous year. Maybe there’s not much to crow about speed. Go gets the vote purely for its simplicity and robustness. These traits make it a hot favorite of developers immersed in cloud computing. Concurrency capability (running multiple tasks simultaneously) allows Go to rise above the competition, enabling a wide range of uses. Easy deployment made Golang record the fastest growth among programming languages worldwide.

Python’s popularity as a catchment for statistical data analysis, and as a booster of the machine learning revolution has led to R language dipping in the popularity stakes. Python holds a bigger library both for statistics and large data, thereby enhancing flexibility for developers. Nevertheless, R language retains top ranking because it contributes heavily to statistical computing and the graphics widely deployed in different operating systems.

Assembly language, coming in at number 10, makes the grade not because it’s the oldest version of programming. It presents a humanly readable and simpler version of machine language that still appeals to many developers. It works perfectly when direct hardware manipulation is the need of the hour because if its ability to access memory instructions in the CPU. It is also very useful in reviewing and analyzing incorrect Pagefile configurations.

JavaScript comes in at number 8. The lower ranking stays despite JavaScript being one of the most versatile languages, ideally suited to front-end web development. But Javascript’s golden days may be coming to a close as more developers are crossing over to TypeScript and WebAssembly that are more efficient.

Programming Languages That Didn’t Make the List but Deserve a Closer Look

Kotlin language, the 2011 entrant, didn’t make the top ten listing. This happened despite the language being fully supported by Google for its Android development platform. What favors Kotlin is its easy compatibility and interoperability with Java and JVM. That means it becomes the developer’s first choice for coding anything that runs on Java - web servers, mobile devices (Android), and desktop applications. Kotlin popularity continues with developers for testing apps in text-interface operating systems, 2D/3D graphics API, and threaded sockets servers.

Microsoft developed Typescript has also missed the listing. It is a potentially powerful language that will be familiar to users of JavaScript and ECMAScript. Typescript is an improvement on JavaScript, adding a type system which overcomes JavaScript’s weaknesses.

Google developed Dart language is very useful in building web, server, and mobile applications, and is the primary tool powering Google's Flutter, a mobile application compatible with Android and iOS.

Matlab (matrix laboratory) appearing at number 11 is highly popular in the academic and research fraternity. It blends programming with visualization and mathematical computing capabilities. That makes Matlab a great tool for Graphical User Interface building.

Programming Languages That Are Arguably Good, but May Not Rank Higher

Ruby on Rails provides the architectural framework for developers to write code powering many front-end and back-end applications. The problem is its complexity – it’s a bit tough on the learner. There’s a degree of inflexibility about Ruby that sows doubts when compared with high-level top ranking programming languages. That’s one reason that you may find this tool slipping in the rankings.

Swift programming language has an intuitive power and presence that is the hallmark of Apple that created it for its iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems. But this kind of exclusivity makes Swift less appealing for developers. They prefer multi-platform mobile apps such as Iconic and Apache Cordova. This trend may see Swift declining in the near future.

Deciding the Programming Language That Fits Your Needs

Any exercise in ranking programming languages is at best a statement of individual perspective. But what we have analyzed so far represents languages that will have a big role to play in developing cutting-edge computing. Learning a popular programming language or a combination of languages will be well worth the effort.

When you backpack for a longer journey, select the tools that suit your specialized zone of software development.

The possibilities are infinite, and the permutations and combinations may be breathtaking, but we leave you food for coding with the following suggestions:

  • Developing the front-end; the graphical interface that users view: JavaScript
  • Developing the back-end; the server architecture that uses programming language and databases: JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, or Ruby
  • Mobile app development for Google's Android, Apple's iOS, and Microsoft's Windows Phone platforms: Swift, Java, or C#
  • Video Game creation, weaving concept and story writing into the coding and programming: C++, or C#
  • Web-based applications that run on desktops and handheld devices: Java, C++, or Python
  • Systems programming to run the software: C, Rust

What’s amazing about programming is that by knowing one language you lay the foundation for gaining expertise in many more. There’s a degree of overlap that guides you intuitively. If things get rusty, the knowledge acquired on the way motivates you to make the right choice. Being aware of what’s trending in programming is good; deciding which area of expertise suits your pet project is the clincher.

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