Hottest programming languages of 2017Are your programming skills up to date? Are you looking to boost your career opportunities? Or are you simply looking for a new challenge? No matter what your motivation, we’ve got the inside scoop on the hottest programming languages of 2017.

We’ve scoured a variety of sources to seek out exactly which programming languages are the most popular. Being informed about these trends is key to staying competitive. Demand for top tech talent is skyrocketing, but it’s met by a short supply of professionals who can genuinely deliver. Companies need programmers to help take their technology initiatives to the next level. Do you have the skills they need?

The Hottest Programming Languages of 2017

Our favorite rankings of the hottest programming languages are the TIOBE Index and the IEEE Spectrum.

The TIOBE Index is calculated by using the most popular search engines to determine which languages generate the most search query results.

The IEEE Spectrum goes one step further, searching social media forums and job boards to track popularity based upon the volume of results. Some of these sources include Google, Twitter, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, CareerBuilder and Dice.

There is some crossover between the two lists, but there are also several differences. While TIOBE does track a greater number of sources (25 search engines), IEEE takes into account 10 sources that are significantly more relevant to the programming niche. Thus, each has its own merits that should be weighed according to your strategic career goals.

The TIOBE Index Top 10

The latest monthly results from the TIOBE Index suggest that the following languages are currently the most popular:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. C#
  5. Python
  6. JavaScript
  7. PHP
  8. Assembling Language
  9. Visual Basic .NET
  10. Perl

The IEEE Spectrum Top 10

IEEE’s annual rankings show the most popularity in the following:

  1. C
  2. Java
  3. Python
  4. C++
  5. R
  6. C#
  7. PHP
  8. JavaScript
  9. Ruby
  10. Go

Looking for a Career in Programming?

The following languages appear in the Top 5 for both TIOBE and IEEE, and are critical places to start if you’re thinking about a career in programming.

Java: There’s no question why Java consistently tops the lists of hottest programming languages. It’s used worldwide by approximately 9 million developers and on 7 billion devices. It’s known for its simplicity and compatible functionality, which is why some of the world’s biggest brands have used it to develop their sites, including LinkedIn, Amazon and Netflix.

C: Created back in the early seventies, C is a simple, structured programming language that is used worldwide. Its history and versatility mean that there’s still huge support for the language, and it’s compatible with most other popular languages.

C++: Originally a subset of the C language, C++ was developed with a focus on supporting object-oriented programming (as opposed to the structural programming of C). It’s a more complex and abstract language that results in greater flexibility and higher performance.

Python: Supporting a variety of programming paradigms, Python is a powerful, general purpose language that features concise coding readability and syntax. Used by big brands like YouTube and Dropbox, it’s also popular for its massive 20+ year old libraries of code and its globally widespread community of user groups.

Taking Your Career to the Next Level

The languages above are fairly foundational to the programming world. Every rookie should build some level of recognition in those when learning to code. But if you’re beyond all that, where should you look next? Here are some of the fastest growing programming languages you should take a look at.

Swift: Swift is a powerful programming language that was developed by Apple to power their various platforms, from desktop to mobile and everything in between. It’s one of the most in-demand skills for companies looking to develop dynamic apps. The language is only a couple of years old but has rapidly been climbing the popularity rankings.

Groovy: Based on Java, Groovy has steadily grown in popularity over the last few years. It should be familiar to Java developers, and is known for being flexible and concise. A broad range of companies are using Groovy in various applications, so it’s a great addition to your resume.

R: Originating in the 90s, R is currently in high demand across industries. Its strength lies in its statistical computing and graphing capabilities, which are highly valuable to data science and analytics. Thousands of companies are using it to help them gain an innovative, competitive edge in the marketplace.

Go: Created by Google, Go (AKA Goland) has skyrocketed in popularity since its conception in 2009, and is known for its simplicity and low learning curve. Its creators were motivated to design a code that rejected the complexities of languages such as C++.

Other hot programming languages to keep an eye on are Hack (from Facebook), Julia (for data science), Rust (from Mozilla), Dart (also from Google), and Scala (a little older but still growing in popularity).

The tech landscape is ever-evolving, and staying ahead of it means constantly growing and updating your skill sets. If you’re curious about where in the country to take your skills, check out the 6 leading cities for tech employment.

So what’s next in your career? Browse our open IT jobs for your next opportunity.


Jeff ClementJeff Clement is the managing director of MDI Group’s Atlanta office. If you are interested in learning more about how to attract the best IT talent in Atlanta, contact Jeff directly at jclement@mdigroup.com or call us 888-416-7949.  MDI Group also has offices and specializes in recruiting IT talent in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greenville and Phoenix.