Top 5 Open-Source Programming Languages


Any programming language popularity is defined not only by the number of its ‘followers’, aka developers who prefer or utilize this language, but also by the number of projects that require knowledge of specific language and need of software developers with this language in their tech stack. Today we would like to discuss some of the most popular programming languages in terms of practical application, the number of jobs available, as well as potential development prospects. Let’s begin with a definition of open-source programming language. To be named an ‘open source’ a programming language should match certain criteria:

  • The open source code that is accessible, regardless of the location;
  • Free redistribution with no limitations on areas of application;
  • No product-specific license or limitations.

So here are some of the most interesting languages in terms of use, community, and future possibilities. PHP One of the oldest web-based programming languages that has been created at the beginning of the web age. The syntax is simple to learn, there is no multithreading in most cases. Pretty big part of all websites is driven by PHP frameworks, and the language itself is highly used for small and medium size projects. Modern PHP 7.0 is much more advanced than the previous versions which were designed mostly for web development and it can be used for stand-alone applications. The most popular frameworks are Laravel and Symphony. PHP is known for its CMS solutions such as WordPress (that hosts around 25% of all websites in the world), Drupal, OpenCart and Magento, that defines the need of PHP developers for hire all over the world. PHP community is a pretty big one and has a lot of forums where the beginner will find help if needed. There are also numerous conferences and courses for those who are interested in learning the language or improve their skills. Python Initially created as the language to learn computer science, as its main benefit is the simplicity and easy coding process. Python code can be nicely formatted, it has no curly brackets or `begin` – `end` sections. There are a lot of domains where python is used starting from desktop applications (PyGTK) and finishing with using python for science calculations (NumPy). The most popular frameworks are Django, Pyramid, Flask, Tornado. Python community is a big one. Most of its developers (around 79%) define Python as their primary language that might be combined with some of the most popular technologies in the industry (i.e. JavaScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and C/C++). This language is, reportedly, mainly used for web development and data science. One of the greatest things about this specific community is the fact that they share not only technical solutions, but success stories, information about events, and provide mentorship as well. It means that there are lots of developers from all over the world contributing to the development of this language and you can already find numerous packages in Pypi repos and most of the tasks have their own libraries already. JavaScript It is the most used programming language now. Since browser uses only JS it has a monopoly in the Web on the client side now. Designed to be used only in browsers, it now can be used as back-end engine to create the full stack web application. The most popular JavaScript frameworks are React, Angular and Vue for the client application and Express and KoaJs for backend applications. JavaScript community is the fastest growing one so far. According to GitHub Statistics, JavaScript is the top-language based on the number of pull requests. JavaScript or as it is called now ECMAScript community seems to be the biggest one, meaning that this community-driven programming language can offer a solution to virtually any question asked online. However, it comes with a downside of some bad code practices shared inside the wide community of developers, so make sure to trusts experts. Ruby This general-purpose language was designed to be as simple as Python, but more elegant. The syntax of Ruby is nice with a lot of sugar, so a single line of code can manage a lot of actions. Ruby is very easy in terms of maintenance and supports major programming paradigms such as OOP, for example. Also, an application written with Ruby is easy to understand even for a beginner (as it was initially designed to be read by humans). The most well-known Ruby framework is Rails, that has a wide market and offers a collection of shortcuts that help a developer save their time. The Ruby programming language community is not that big, but it has great package repository (Ruby packages are called gems) that offers valuable assistance in multiple spheres. Most developers work with websites, web and mobile applications. GO Being a relatively young technology, which was designed to kill old good C, it is also one of the most promising ones. The biggest benefit is the performance since this language is compiled. It has the simplicity of C code and it has no OOP at all. Also, the multithreading is the core of this language, which makes it highly scalable, since one server can hold a lot of requests. The community of this technology is the smallest one, but since it is driven by Google, the future of it is very promising. And like all the modern technologies, it already has its own web frameworks, that include Gin, Beego, and Echo. Here is our list of top 5 open-source programming languages, however, we would hate not give a round of applause to a few honorable mentions including Java, C++, and Lua. If we are talking about community, the above-mentioned languages offer great support and solutions from fellow programmers all over the globe. While choosing a language to learn, think of both available documentation and solutions, and potential use. If we are talking about web-developments, JS would be a must for a front-end developer, whereas back-end developers should choose PHP. If interested in app development, one shall consider learning Python or Ruby, which were designed to be easy to learn. While choosing another language to add to your expertise, you should consider GO, as it seems to be extremely promising.

Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and a marketing manager at Mobilunity. The company provides professional staffing services, so she is always aware of technology news and wants to share her experience to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date.



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