The Most In-Demand Programming Languages for 2023

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett

December 21, 2022


“Which programming languages should I learn this year?” 

Every year, we receive this question from dozens of aspiring software engineers who wonder where to get started when learning to code. And while we’re happy to provide our expert opinion on the matter, the first answer we give is typically not what people are expecting: 

“Just pick a language and dive in!”


Pick a Programming Language and Dive In 

Here’s a little secret: there is no “best” programming language that you should learn first as a coding newbie. Seriously! So don’t let analysis paralysis about which language is the “right” one sneak into your head and slow you down.


Here’s a little secret: there is no “best” programming language that you should learn first as a coding newbie. Seriously! So don’t let analysis paralysis about which language is the “right” one sneak into your head and slow you down.


Yes, of course, you’ll want to choose from one of the most in-demand programming languages (more on those in the next section) for the simple reason that you’ll be building a set of relevant skills to make yourself easily hireable in today’s job market.

But as for where exactly to begin your journey? That’s up to you. We recommend identifying what you want to get from learning to code. Are you interested in back-end or front-end coding? Do you want to build web platforms, online games, or the next great mobile app? 

Then immerse yourself in the initial educational experience. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the ins and out of one programming language, learning a second, third, and fourth is much easier. 


What Are the Most In-Demand Programming Languages? 

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to leave you hanging. As you decide where to begin your coding journey, here’s a helpful guide to in-demand programming languages to consider learning first—depending on your interests and career aspirations.


1. Web programming languages for beginners

Fancy better web development skills? Here are two programs to choose from: 

  • JavaScript, a program that runs native applications through tools like Electron, is good to learn if you want to build web applications (check out our primer on Javascript for more details)
  • Python, a program that’s newcomer-friendly, capable, and highly functional to boot, is excellent to know if you enjoy data science and number crunching


2. Gaming programming languages for new coders

Do you want to build the next big game? Here are five programming languages we recommend: 


3. Mobile programming languages for junior software developers

Does the idea of writing a mobile app get you excited? Here are three languages to learn: 

  • Swift, an interactive programming language used to build iOS applications for iPads and iPhones, and the official programming language for writing mobile apps on Apple products (MacOS)
  • Kotlin, Android’s official programming language, is used to build Android apps on both Samsung and Google phones
  • Java, which has been on the market for longer than Kotlin and is currently much more diversified in comparison to kotlin


4. Windows programming languages for first-timers

Windows programming languages are admittedly not very in-demand these days. However, if you’d still like to use them, consider starting here: 

  • .NET, a framework specifically used to build out Windows applications
  • JavaScript, which you can run in your browser alongside various tools and frameworks. If you want to write a native-like application in JavaScript, you can use Electron.


Programming Languages that Junior Software Developers Should Consider Skipping

Importantly, whatever programming language you choose to learn should have a buzz around it and an active support community. Learning a popular programming language enables you to find the right resources when you need help. It also ensures your skills are marketable.

Not all programming languages meet these criteria. Here are two types of programming languages to avoid actively pursuing: 


The complex

If a programming language proves too hard for a newcomer to grasp, we recommend skipping it and redirecting your educational efforts. 

For instance, C++ languages are not developer-friendly. If you choose to focus on these languages, you could spend more time struggling than growing your skills.


The obsolete

Pass on functional programming languages, such as Elixir and Prologue, and older languages that aren’t used much anymore, like Fortran and Smalltalk. Focusing on these outdated languages may weaken your competitive edge.


Avoid Analysis Paralysis and Get Started! 

Don’t let analysis paralysis slow down your coding journey before it starts. Now that you have an idea of the most in-demand programming languages across different areas of interest, it’s time to dive in and get going! 

Make your decisions based on which languages will put you on the right path, and avoid getting sucked into cargo-culting (i.e., blindly adopting trends without meaningfully assessing them). 

Interested in learning your first programming language at Launch Academy? Download our syllabus today to find out more about our coding bootcamp.