Top 7 New Programming Languages to Learn In 2021 [Best List Currently]

We live in a world of technology, now AI, and in the web development sector. We see lots of programs been written every now and then. And now, I want to bring to you the top 7 new programming languages to learn in 2021. Or probably, the top 7 modern programming languages in 2021 to learn.

To be honest, if we think about modern human civilization as a car. Then the software development sector is like the engine of the car. And programming languages are like fuel to the engine.

So, which of the new programming languages will you be learning now?

Introduction to new programming languages

Learning a new programming language is a big investment in time, energy, and brainpower. But learning a new Programming language can improve your Software development skillset. With your programming know-how. Also, it will give you a career boost.

Obviously, you should choose a programming language that gives you a boost in your career. Also, learn a new programming language whose popularity is ascending.

This means that you should learn established and very popular programming languages. Before now, I have listed the Top 10 programming languages in the world here.

I have great respect in popular programming languages. But here, I am going to give you a list of modern or new programming languages that can improve your productivity.

Also, it can promote your career and make you a better developer. I will also cover a variety of areas:

  • Systems programming,
  • Application development,
  • Web development,
  • Scientific computing.

Facts about learning a new programming language

The term “New programming language” is open to debate. But many consider languages like Python, JavaScript as modern or new programming languages.

At the same time, they consider Java as an Old programming language. In reality, all of them appeared around the same time in 1995.

Most of the popular programming languages were developed in the last century, mainly in the 1970s (e.g. C), 1980s (e.g. C++), 1990s (e.g. Java, Python, JavaScript). These languages were not designed to take advantage of modern-day software development ecosystems such as:

  • Multi-Core CPU
  • GPU
  • Fast networking
  • Mobile devices
  • Container
  • Cloud.

The ranking criteria and StackOverflow developer survey

Although, many of them have modified features like concurrency in their language and adapted themselves. But they also offer Backward compatibility and could not throw away the old and obsolete features.

Also read

Python did a Good job (or Bad depending on the context) by making a clear cut between Python 2 and Python 3.

Those languages often offer 10 ways to do the same things and do not care about developer convenience. According to the StackOverflow developer survey, most of the popular old programming languages share top spots in the “most dreaded language” category:

top 7 new programming language
Source: StackOverflow

I would put a clear boundary between the old and new programming languages on June 29, 2007. It was when the first iPhone was released. So after that, the landscape has transformed.

In this list, I will consider post-2007 programming languages. That is, programming languages developed after the year 2007.

Benefits of a modern programming language

Why should I learn a new programming language?

First, new programming languages are developed to take the full advantages of modern computer hardware (Multi-Core CPU, GPU, TPU), mobile devices, large-set of data, fast networking, Container, and Cloud.

Also, all the top 7 new programming languages here offer much higher developer user-friendly as given below:

  • Concise and terse code (less boilerplate coding)
  • Built-in support for concurrency
  • Null pointer safety
  • Type Inference
  • The much simpler feature set
  • Lower cognitive load
  • Blending the best features of all programming paradigms

Secondly, many programming languages on this list are groundbreaking and are bound to change the software industry forever. But now, some of them are already popular programming languages. While others are bound to make the breakthrough.

It is a wise decision to learn those languages at least as a second programming language in your archives.

The top 7 new programming languages in 2021 are:

1. Rust

top 7 new programming language

Wikimedia Commons

The system programming language landscape is dominated by near-Metal languages like C, C++. Although they give the full control over programs and hardware, they lack memory safety.

Even if they support concurrency, it is challenging to write Concurrent programs using C or C++ as there is no Concurrency safety.

The other popular programming languages are interpreted languages like Java, Python, Haskell. They offer safety but need a bulky runtime or Virtual Machine. Largely because of their large runtime. Old languages like Java are not suitable for system programming.

Meanwhile, there were many attempts to combine the power of C and C++ and the safety of Haskell, Java. But it looks like Rust is the first production-grade programming language that did the trick.

Meanwhile, Graydon Hoare first developed Rust as a side project. He was inspired by the research programming language Cyclone.

Rust is open source, and Mozilla is leading the language development along with many other companies and communities. Rust is first released in 2015 and has soon caught the eye of the community.

So choosing Rust in the list of top 7 new programming languages now, is not a wrong decision. Most importantly, let’s look at the 3 main key features or attributes of Rust programming language.

3 Key Features of Rust programming language

  • Offers Memory Safety and Concurrency safety with the concept of Ownership and Borrowing.
  • Compile-time guarantee of memory safety and concurrency safety i.e. if a program code compiles, then it is both memory safe and data-race free. This is the most appealing feature of Rust.
  • It also offers the expressiveness of ML, Haskell. With Immutable Data Structures and functional programming features, Rust offers functional Concurrency and Data Concurrency.

Popularity of Rust programming language

Since its debut in 2015, Rust is well accepted by the Developers and voted as the Most beloved language for four consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) in StackOverflow developers survey:

top 7 new programming language
Source: Stackoverflow

According to GitHub Octoverse, Rust is the second-fastest-growing language just behind Dart:

Source: GitHub Octoverse

Also, programming Language Popularity Website, PYPL has ranked Rust in 18th position with an upward trend:

Source: PYPL

Comparing the feature-set it offers, it is no wonder that giant Tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google finally announced their investment on Rust as a long term System programming language.

In the last 5 years, Rust has been getting increasing traction every year, as shown by Google trends:

Source: Google trends

Main use cases of Rust Programming

  • System Programming
  • Serverless Computing
  • Business Applications

2. Go

top 7 new programming language

On the second list of the top 7 new programming languages is GO programming language developed by Google.

Google is one of the biggest Web Scale companies. At the beginning of this century, Google has faced two scaling problems: 

Development scaling means that they could not add more features by throwing more developers. Application scaling means that they could not easily develop an application that can scale to the “Google” scale machine cluster.

Go programming language developers

Around 2007, Google started to create a new “pragmatic” programming language that can solve these two scaling problems. In Rob Pike (UTF-8) and Ken Thompson (UNIX OS), they had two most talented Software Engineer in the world to create a new language.

However, in 2012, Google had released the first official version of the Go programming language. Go is a system programming language but different from Rust.

It also has a Runtime and Garbage collector (a few Megabytes). But unlike Java or Python, this runtime is packed with the generated code.

In the end, Go generates a single native binary code that can run in a machine without additional dependency or Runtime. However, let’s take a look at the 3 main features of Google’s Go programming language.

3 key features of Go programming language

  • Go has first-class support of Concurrency. It does not offer the ‘Shared Memory’ concurrency via Thread and Lock as it is much more difficult to program. Instead, it offers a CSP based message-passing concurrency (based on Tony Hoare paper). Go uses “Goroutine” (lightweight Green thread) and “Channel” for message passing.
  • The most killer feature of Go is its simplicity. It is the most simple system programming language. A new Software Developer can write productive code in a matter of days like Python. Some of the biggest Cloud Native projects (Kubernetes, Docker) is written in Go.
  • Go also has embedded Garbage Collector which means developers do not need to worry about Memory management like C/C++.

Popularity of Go programming language

Since Go first appears, the Software Development community has accepted it with both arms. For instance, in 2009 (right after its debut) and 2018, Go has entered the Programming Language Hall of Fame list by the TIOBE index.

It is no wonder that the success of Go has paved the way for a new generation of programming languages like Rust.

Go is already a mainstream programming language. Recently, the Go team has announced the work on “Go 2” to only make the language more solid and better.

In almost all popular programming languages comparing/ranking websites, Go ranks high and has surpassed many existing languages. Here is the TIOBE index rating from December 2019 where Go ranks 15th.

Source: TIOBE index.

According to the Stackoverflow survey, Go is one of the top 10 most loved programming languages:

top 7 new programming language

Go is also one of the top 10 fastest growing languages according to GitHub Octoverse:

Google trends also show increasing traction for Go over the last five years:

Main use cases of Go programming language

  • System Programming
  • Serverless Computing
  • Business Applications
  • Cloud-Native Development

3. Kotlin

top 7 new programming language

Kotlin finds its way on no. 3 of the top 7 new programming languages.

Java is the undisputed king of Enterprise Software Development for a long period of time now. In recent times, Java has become the target of much criticism such as;

  • It is verbose
  • Needs lots of boilerplate coding
  • Prone to accidental complexity

However, there is little argument about the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JVM is a masterpiece of Software Engineering and offers a battle-hardened runtime that has passed the test of time.

Over the years, JVM languages like Scala tried to answer the shortcomings of Java and wanted to better Java, but failed. Finally, in Kotlin, it looks like a search for a better Java is over.

Jet Brains (the company behind the popular IDE IntelliJ) has developed Kotlin, which runs on JVM and answers the shortcomings of Java and offered many modern features.

The best part is that unlike Scala, Kotlin is much simpler than Java and offers Go or Python-like developer productivity in JVM.

Google has declared Kotlin as a first-class language to develop Android and boosted Kotlin’s acceptance in the community. Also popular Java Enterprise framework Spring has started to support Kotlin in the Spring eco-system since 2017. In the same vein, let’s consider the 3 important features of Kotlin programming language.

3 Main features Kotlin programming language

  • The USP of Kotlin is its language design. I always view Kotlin as Go/Python on JVM because of its clean, concise code. As a result, Kotlin is highly productive.
  • Like many other modern languages, Kotlin offers features like Null pointer safety, Type Inference.
  • As Kotlin also runs in JVM, you can use the existing huge eco-system of Java libraries.

Popularity Kotlin programming language

Since its first release in 2015, the popularity of Kotlin is soaring. As per Stack Overflow, Kotlin is the fourth most loved Programming language in 2019:

top 7 new programming language

Kotlin is also one of the fastest-growing programming languages and ranked 4th.

Also, popular programming language ranking website PYPL has ranked Kotlin as the 12th most popular programming language with a high upward trend:

However, since Google has declared Kotlin as the first-class language to develop Android Apps. Kotlin on the other hand, has experienced a huge positive boost in trending as shown below:

Main use cases of Kotlin programming language

  • Enterprise Application
  • Android App Development

4. TypeScript

top 7 new programming language

On the 4th list of the top 7 new programming languages to learn in 2020 is TypeScript.

JavaScript is an excellent language but pre-2015 JavaScript had many shortcomings. Even noted Software Engineer Douglas Crockford has written a book called “JavaScript: The Good Parts”. 

Douglas Crockford implied that JavaScript has bad parts and ugly parts. With no modularization and with “Callback Hell”, developers did not like to maintain especially large JavaScript projects.

Google even developed a platform to transcompile Java code to JavaScript code (GWT). Many companies or people tried to develop better JavaScript e.g. CoffeeScript, Flow, ClojureScript.

But TypeScript from Microsoft arguably hit the Jackpot. A group of engineers in Microsoft, led by famous Anders Hejlsberg (creator of Delphi, Turbo Pascal, C#), created TypeScript as a Statically Typed, Modular superset of JavaScript.

TypeScript is trans-compiled to JavaScript during compilation. First released in 2014, it quickly attracted the attention of the community. Google was also planning to develop a Statically Typed superset of JavaScript back then.

They were was so impressed by TypeScript that instead of developing a new language, they co-operated with Microsoft to improve TypeScript.

In addition, Google has used TypeScript as the main programming language for its SPA framework Angular2+. Also, the popular SPA framework React offers support for TypeScript. The other popular JavaScript framework Vue.js has declared that they will use TypeScript to develop the new Vue.js 3:

Also, node.js creator Ryan Dahl has decided to use TypeScript to develop a secure Node.js alternative, Deno.

3 Key features of TypeScript programming language

  • Like Go or Kotlin in the list, the principal feature of TypeScript is the language design. With its crisp and clean code, it is one of the most elegant programming languages out there. In terms of Developer productivity, it is on par with Kotlin on JVM or Go/Python. TypeScript is the most productive JavaScript superset hands down.
  • TypeScript is a strongly typed superset of JavaScript. It is especially suited for large Projects and rightly termed as “JavaScript that Scales”.
  • The “Big Three” Single Page Application framework (Angular, React, Vue.js) offers excellent support for TypeScript. In Angular, TypeScript is the preferred programming language. In React and Vue.js, TypeScript is getting increasingly popular.

Popularity of TypeScript programming language

Certainly, developers love TypeScript for its elegant language design. In the Stackoverflow Developer survey, it has ranked joint second with Python in the most beloved language category:

top 7 new programming language

In short, and surprisingly, TypeScript is one of the fastest-growing Web programming languages and ranked fifth according to GitHub Octoverse:

Also, TypeScript entered the Top 10 List (ranked 7th) according to the GitHub Contributions:

top 7 new programming language

In conclusion, TypeScript is having more and more eyeballs in each passing year, which is reflected by Google Trends:

Main use cases of TypeScript programming language

  • Web UI Development
  • Server-side development

5. Swift

top 7 new programming language

Swift programming language made the no. 5, on the list of top 7 new programming languages in 2020.

Steve Jobs has refused to support Java (and JVM) in iOS as he has famously quoted that Java is no more a major programming language. We now know that Steve Jobs was wrong with his assessment with Java. But iOS is still not supporting Java.

Instead, Apple has chosen Objective-C as the first-class programming language in iOS. Objective-C is a hard language to master. Also, it does not support the high developer productivity required by modern programming languages.

Swift programming developer

In Apple, Chris Lattner and others have developed Swift as a multi-paradigm, general-purpose, compiled programming language that gives an alternative to Objective-C.

The first stable version of Swift was released in 2014. Swift also supports LLVM compiler Toolchain (also developed by Chris Lattner). Swift programming language has excellent interoperability with Objective-C codebase.

Meanwhile, it has already established itself as the main programming language in iOS App development. Next are the 3 main features of swift programming language.

3 Main features of Swift programming language

  • One of the killer features of Swift is its language design. With simpler, concise and clean syntax, it offers a more productive alternative to Objective-C.
  • Swift also offers features of modern program languages: null safety. Also, it offers syntactic sugar to avoid the “Pyramid of Doom”.
  • As a compiled language, Swift is as fast as C++.

Popularity of Swift programming language

Above all, developers love Swift programming language like many other modern languages. According to the StackOverflow survey, Swift ranked 6th as the most beloved programming language:

top 7 new programming language

In the programming language ranking of TIOBE, Swift has moved to the number 10 ranking in 2019. Considering how young the language is (5 years), this is quite a feat by the Apple group.

Google trends also show a sharp rise in the Popularity of Swift followed by a slight decrease in trending in the last couple of saturation:

Main Use Cases:

  • iOS App Development
  • System Programming
  • Client-side development (via WebAssembly)

6. Dart

top 7 new programming language

Interestingly, Dart programming language comes in at 6th position on the list of the top 7 new programming languages in 2020.

In short, Dart is the second programming language in this list made by Google. Google is a key player in the Web and Android domain.

Similarly, it is no surprise that Google has developed its own programming language in the Web and App Development domain. Led by the famous Danish Software Engineer Lars Bak (who lead the Development of Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine). Google had released Dart in 2013.

Likewise, Dart is a general-purpose programming language which supports Strong typing and Objected-Oriented programming. Dart can also be transcompiled to JavaScript and can run where JavaScript runs. It means virtually everywhere (e.g. Web, Mobile, Server). We’ll take a brief look at the 3 main features of Dart programming language.

3 Main features of Dart programming language

  • Like other Google language Go, Dart also heavily focuses on developer productivity. It is hugely productive and loved by developers because of its clean, simple, terse syntax.
  • surely Dart also offers Strong Typing and Object-Oriented programming. Dart is also a second language in this list which fits the ‘Scalable JavaScript’ tag.
  • It’s one of the few languages which support JIT compilation (compilation during Runtime) and AOT compilation (compilation during creation time). Thus Dart can target JavaScript runtime (V8 Engine) and Dart can be compiled to fast Native code (AOT compilation)

Popularity of Dart programming language

According to Github Octoverse, Dart is the fastest-growing Programming language in 2019 and its popularity has five-folded in last year:

According to the TIOBE index, Dart stands 23rd position and has already surpassed many other existing and modern programming languages in only 4 years:

It is also one of the most beloved programming languages as ranked 12th in StackOverflow developer Survey:

top 7 new programming language

Along with Flutter, Dart has also experienced huge traction in the last two years as clear by Google Trends

Main use cases of Dart

  • App Development
  • UI Development

7. Julia

top 7 new programming language

Lastly, on the bottom list of the top 7 new programming languages in 2020 is the amazing Julia.

Most of the top 7 new programming languages in this list are developed by large corporations except for Julia. In addition, it was developed by 4 researchers at MIT. In technical computing, usually dynamic languages like Python, Matlab are used.

These languages offer easy-to-use syntax but are not fit for large-scale Technical computation. They use C/C++ libraries for the CPU intensive tasks which gives the famous Two-Language problem as they need Glue Code to bind both languages. As Code is translated between two languages, there is always some performance loss.

To tackle the issue, a group of researchers at MIT planned to create a new language from the ground-up which takes the advantages of modern hardware and combines the best parts of other languages. They work in the MIT innovation lab with the following Manifesto:

Julia is a dynamic, high-level programming language that offers first-class support for Concurrent, Parallel, and Distributed Computing. The first stable version of Julia is released in 2018 and soon got the attraction of the community and industry.

Julia can be used in Scientific Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and many other fields and can finally solve the “Two-Language” problem.

3 Main features of Julia programming language

  • Like Rust, the key feature of Julia is the design of the languages. It tries to combine some of the best features of the existing programming language in high performance and Scientific computing without sacrificing performance. Until now it has done a great job.
  • Julia is a dynamic programming language with optionally typed. Thus, Julia is easy to learn a programming language and highly productive.
  • It uses a multiple-dispatch programming paradigm at its core.

Popularity of Julia programming language

Similarly, Julia mainly competes with Python in many areas. As Python is one of the most mainstream programming languages, it will take a few years until Julia will be mainstream. Julia is relatively new (developed in 2018) but still ranks 43rd in the TIOBE index:

Google Trends also shows a stable interest in Julia over the years.

But considering the feature set and the number of companies that are working behind Julia, such as: 

It is just a matter of when instead of if, for Julia to make a breakthrough in the community of programming.

Main Use Cases of Julia

  • Scientific Computing
  • High-performance computing
  • Data Science
  • Visualization

Conclusion on the top 7 new programming languages

In this list of the top 7 new programming languages in 2021, we have seen a whole lot of varieties in the modern programming languages we have now.

Notwithstanding, being new programming languages, some of them if not most, have become popular already. Also in this list of top 7 new programming languages, we advise you to take a programming language for learning to add to your programming knowledge.

With the recent development in programming, I suggest learning the likes of Kotlin, Dart, Rust, and Swift in this list of top 7 new programming languages in 2020. It will surely make you a better programmer and developer.

Use the comment box to share your thoughts on this ranking, maybe you feel otherwise. Feedback will help us in our next blog post.

FAQs

What are the top 7 new programming languages to learn in 2020

1. Rust
2. Go
3. Kotlin
4. TypeScript
5. Swift
6. Dart
7. Julia

Which 3 new programming languages are the best to learn in 2020?

1. Rust
2. Dart
3. Kotlin

Which programming language is used in iOS development?

Swift programming language

Must I learn Java before learning Kotlin?

No, but learning Java first will help speed your proccess in learning Kotlin. But that should’nt be the case, go for Kotlin if you want, its not a must to learn java first.

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