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The Top 6 Programming Languages in 2021

9 months ago by Andrea Amato

​Looking to update your resume, or want to know which language to start with? Here’s our recommendations following software developer trends.

Software developer and engineer trends differ from year to year, and with it the expectations in the job market. Due to the rapid acceleration of technology, developers are known to practice one programming language one day and learn an entirely new one the next. In keeping up with current jobs in Malta and elsewhere, here are the most sought-after programming languages this year.


​JavaScript consistently remains one of the most popular programming languages. Stack Overflow, a large community representative of developers, lists this language as the most commonly used one in 2020.


• Considered an essential tool for front-end development
• Less server demands
• Flexibility with other programming languages and tools
• Wide range of applications including game and mobile application development

JavaScript’s collaborative and interactive functions are enjoyed by some of the largest tech organisations, including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. That being said, JavaScript offers challenges such as poorer client-side security, static typing, and browsers interpret code differently.


​Python is a programming language most software developers have heard of, though it remains a language yet to be mastered. In the same Stack Overflow survey, Python is voted as the number one language developers want to learn and use for the fourth year in a row.


• Simple and intuitive syntax
• Open-source framework
• Application versatility
• Large range of libraries

Python’s versatility and open-source nature makes it a top programming language to learn. It is also compatible with trending technologies such as AI and machine learning, leaving it the preferable choice for these developments. Its understandable syntax is a popular beginner’s choice for web development, and industry giants such as Instagram and Spotify believe in it too. However, Python is not suitable for mobile development and is known to consume large quantities of memory.


The recent demand for Scala developers is exacerbating, leaving it one of the greatest paying programming languages to learn. It is considered as a top web programming language and the modern cousin of Java.


• Compatibility with Java
• Customisable data types
• Ability of concurrent programming
• Supportive of object-oriented and functional programming

Originally designed to resolve developer issues with Java, Scala is quickly becoming a sought-after language adopted by the likes of LinkedIn, Netflix, and Twitter. Although its syntax is more complicated than Java’s, the relatively new technology doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.


​Go is the ideal programming language for software engineers wanting to enter the field of systems programming. Developed by Google, Go is a statically typed programming language. A lesser-known programming language than others, it is steadily becoming a loved language by software developers.


• Easy to learn syntax
• Advanced tools for static analysis
• Open-source functionality
• Resolves issues such as slow compilation and execution

That being said, Go does not include the same number of packages as other programming languages. Similarly, it owns a limited number of frameworks. Currently Go is popular for engineering products such as cloud services and media platforms, among others.


​Due to the influx of newer languages, Java seems to be losing its charm. However, it remains a consistently popular language and in-demand in the job market. It is mainly used for internet programming.


• Object-oriented
• Simple to learn and use
• Platform-independent
• Robust and popular frameworks

Java’s history allows it to be one of the more secured programming languages, appreciated by industries such as Adobe and Amazon. Java’s dynamic applicability offers efficient performance that leaves it a worthy language to learn in the present and future.


​Commonly used for web development, Ruby serves as the basis for the Ruby on Rails web application framework. This programming language is followed by a great developer community, making it a favourable choice for individuals starting out in software engineering.


• Object-oriented
• Simple syntax
• Active community
• Adaptability of Ruby on Rails

Many organisations built their websites using Ruby on Rails at some point, including Shopify and Airbnb. However, Ruby is not as popular as other multi-purpose programming languages, due to reasons such as slow speed and insufficient debugging. Nevertheless, Ruby remains a great option for web projects that include prototyping and content management systems, among others.

The right programming language for you

All in all, the above presents the programming languages that are popular and in-demand in 2021. Depending on your business requirements and project type, the above is a good indicator of how these languages are applied in today’s industries. Whether you are a prospective software developer or one whose been in the field for a number of years, remaining up to date with trends is important in broadening your skill set and career prospects.