It's official, these are the most popular (and lucrative) programming languages right now

A developer writing code
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Elle Aon)

Four a tenth year running, JavaScript has held onto its title as the most popular programming language in the world, new data from Stack Overflow shows.

Surveying more than 73,000 developers worldwide, the coding platform found that  JavaScript is used by 65% of all respondents, followed by HTML/CSS (55.08%) and database language SQL (49.43%).

The competition at the top of the rankings is tighter for rookie developers, however, with JavaScript, HTML/CSS and Python "almost tied" as the most popular languages for people learning to code.

Learning to code

Many people learning to code are turning to online courses. Among all the different platforms that offer such services, Udemy is by far the most popular one, used by two-thirds (66%) of the respondents. Coursera is second with a third (35%), and Codeacademy third (26%).

One of the reasons why Udemy seems to be so immensely popular, compared to other platforms, is because it allows people to purchase individual courses they want, and doesn’t force them to necessarily follow a certain path.

But most popular doesn’t necessarily mean most lucrative. The report says that Clojure remains the highest-paid language to know, with the average salary crossing the $100,000 mark. Dart is the most poorly compensated language, with developers earning an average salary of just $43,724 a year.

When it comes to the highest-paying roles, chief developers take home the biggest pay check, followed by cloud infrastructure engineers, blockchain engineers, and data engineers. Developers with colocation experience usually get paid more than their peers with cloud-only experience.

Big data and data streaming skills are well compensated too, with Apache Spark, Apache Kafka and Hadoop all in the top three other frameworks and libraries.

Full-stack (46%), back-end (43%), front-end (26%), and desktop developers (15%) continue to account for the majority of all respondents.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.