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The Most In-Demand Programming Languages of 2018 

Posted by: Francesca Greane


Software development is rapidly changing. As platform and business needs evolve, programming languages, frameworks and technologies can emerge, rise to fame, and then fade away as quickly as they started. To keep up with this rapidly changing economy, developers need to constantly be learning new skills.

But, with all of these changes, and with the flux of so many programming languages, it can be hard for developers to know what they should learn to stay relevant and give them the competitive edge. And, as businesses move towards digital transformation and technological innovation, the most in-demand languages are now those that can be utilised to build new softwares and platforms that help drive these transformations forward.

So which languages are most in-demand in 2018? And which will be harnessed to push businesses forward in the digital age?

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most in-demand programming languages of 2018.



Despite actually decreasing in popularity by about 6,000 job postings in 2018 as compared to 2017, the fact that Java is so established as a versatile open-source language makes it a given that it will remain an in-demand skill this year. Having been around for over 20 years, the language is virtually omnipresent and is used by millions of developers and billions of devices worldwide. And, with 500 companies using Java as a server-side language for backend development, and nearly every android app being built on the language, there is no sign of the demand for this skill slowing down.



In contrast to Java, Python actually grew in popularity by about 5,000 job postings over 2017. This is unsurprising considering the fact the general-purpose language is widely used for web development and as a support language for software developers, as well as being used in scientific computing, data mining and machine learning. And with the continued growth and demand for machine learning, as businesses move towards technological innovation and digital transformation, the need for Python will only continue to grow.



Currently used by over 80% of developers, and by 95% of all websites for dynamic log, it shouldn’t be surprising that JavaScript will remain one of the most in-demand programming languages in 2018. And, as with Python, the drive for digital transformation will only see JavaScript continue to rise in popularity. Indeed, with several front-end frameworks for JavaScripts, such as React and Angular JS, having huge future potential as IoT and mobile devices become more popular, it’s unlikely the demand for JavaScript will drop anytime soon.



An extension of the old school “C” programming language, C++ is usually used for system/application software, game development, drivers, client-server applications and embedded firmware. And, despite growing competition from newer, faster, and somewhat easier-to-learn languages, it remains a top software development tool for the operation and maintenance of many legacy systems being used in large enterprises – meaning the demand for it will remain.



An object-oriented programming language from Microsoft, C# aims to make software development quicker and easier than Microsoft’s earlier languages. As a result, like C++, C#is widely used in game development and to power new software. As with JavaScript and the surging demand for machine learning capabilities, C# is firmly in the realm of those languages whose demand is being driven by the push for emerging technologies, and its popularity will only continue to grow as businesses rush to catch up to competitors.



PHP, a scripting language used on the server side, is used by many developers to either add functions that HTML can’t handle or to interact with MySQL databases. With such a common use, it remains firms in demand in 2018.



Whilst Perl 5 and Perl 6 are still popular choices among system and network administrators and serve as a ‘glue language’ to connect different software components, out of all the languages on the list, Perl is consistently the least in demand. Having dropped by about 3,000 job postings from last year, the older language is definitely a core skill to have, but probably won’t be the most eye catching thing on your CV.



Released in 2014, Swift is the programming language for iOS and macOS and is somewhat of an up and comer. Whilst many job postings are asking for ‘iOS’ experience without specifically naming the language required, the language has been growing in popularity since it launched, according to IEEE, Spectrum and Stackify.



Ranked as the ‘least-disliked’ language on a recent Stack Overflow survey, and rising in popularity both internationally and in the US search ranking, R’s growth in 2018 is most likely the result of an increasing number of big data analysis jobs.



Currently a niche and relatively obscure language, Rust is steadily growing in popularity if Google Trends data is anything to go by. This is one to keep an eye on if you like to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new languages.


If you're a developer looking to work with the latest programming languages, get in touch with one of our specialised DevOps consultants to help you source your next job.