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Top 10 programming languages of the future – you voted!

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Editor’s Note: Our friends over at “Red Canary”: conducted a public forum with entrepreneurs and founders, like you, to find out what will be the top (most relevant, most used) programming languages in 2013. The results are in, we think they are worth reviewing for your strategic planning, and future hiring needs. (If you haven’t yet, do “check out Red Canary”: so you can “vote on the #1 language yourself”: Red Canary is full of other very useful content, and we really like their tagline, “opportunity meets community,” which expresses an ethos complimentary to Found|READ’s own mission.)

While digging around in the archives of Red Canary’s predecessor-site, Editor Trevor Stafford came across a ranked list of programming languages that were most in demand by employers in 2001. So Trevor posted the top-10 languages on Red Canary and asked his readers to vote on which of these languages would be most relevant in the future. Then he conducted the poll again, with the help of other entrepreneurial groups, like YCombinator.

For your ease, I’ve published the most recent results of Trevor’s poll, first.

Here’s the list *after 2 weeks of voting* and an influx of opinions from Californian startup types (thank you, yCombinator). Python is the biggest mover.

1. HTML/CSS 7.6
2. Javascript 7.3
3. Ajax 7.2
4. Python 6.9
5. Java 6.7
6. C# 6.7
7. Ruby 6.2
8. .Net 6.0
9. C++ 5.4
10. C 5.1

10 = extremely relevant
1 = irrelevant

Trevor’s note: Even though Ajax and CSS/HTML are markup tools, not programming languages, I couldn’t put a list like this together without them, and I couldn’t come up with an umbrella term for everything. Future technologies? Yuck. If you wanted to get really picky you could point out that transact-sql is merely a language extension. So is PL/SQL. Javascript might even warrant an argument. Please don’t get that picky, however. One Red Canary reader asked for Haskell to be added, but it didn’t make the top 10.

Below is the list Trevor started with, based on what was most valued, six years ago.


1. C++
2. Windows NT4
3. Oracle
4. Java
6. ASP
7. Visual Basic 6
8. DB2
9. Cobol
10. ANSI-C

Seeing that list got me to thinking about the nature and future of coding. *What languages or splinter languages would dominate the list in 2013?* Certainly not Cobol and ANSI-C :) Where will .Net and Java be in 6 years? What about xml and the surging popularity of Ajax? Will PERL and Lisp coders be able to transition to Ruby? Will they need to? What about young languages like “Lua”:

I’m not smart enough to see into 2013’s crystal ball, so here’s a list of 20-odd languages. Assign up to 10 stars to as many languages as you like (according to how relevant they will be in 6 years).

Here are the predicted top 10 languages of 2013 after almost one week of voting:

1. Java 7.7 (avg. stars)
2. C# 7.7
3. HTML/CSS 7.4
4. .Net 6.9
5. Ajax 6.8
6. Javascript 6.2
7. Transact-SQL 6.0
8. C++ 5.5
9. Ruby 5.4
10. PL/SQL 5.4


1. HTML/CSS 7.6
2. Javascript 7.3
3. Ajax 7.2
4. Python 6.9
5. Java 6.7
6. C# 6.7
7. Ruby 6.2
8. .Net 6.0
9. C++ 5.4
10. C 5.1

*Remember, this is not a list of today’s most popular languages, but which languages you think will be dominant in 2013.*

15 Responses to “Top 10 programming languages of the future – you voted!”

  1. yeah how come actionscript 3.0 not there? i know flash is a buggy piece of software { onr of the main reasons why ipad and iphones doesn have it , also another reason why unix and linux systems dont recommend} but still.. many websites are flashed based!… i was learning actionscript 3.0 and flex.. found it interesting too..

  2. Comvete, I recognized that many of the items on the list were not ‘languages’ and said so. I asked if anyone had a more encompassing term. I could not, however, leave them off the list.

    Try reading the whole post before you pass judgement.

  3. html/css, windows nt, ajax, any-script(java,action) for the web, db2, Transact-SQL 6.0 are not programmming languages.

    make sure before making this website link page, must be knowledgeable in software and hardware slots.

    if you want a better the best languages try borland products like c++builder, c#builder or Delphi(my primary language)[down:)[email protected] Why? because its no hassle to write, compile and run.

    if you like some, try microsoft visual or, so! if you want to install your programs or just even running it to the other computer, you might need a dotnetfx package installation, what a hassle.

    for aspx(new version model) users, its slow. Better use asp(old version). Tested awhile on our windows 2003 s2 server.

    for someone likes the trade name Microsoft try [visual basic 6].(my secondary language)

    you want games programming try: python.

    you want fast io operations in the web, try javascript with ajax direct framework, with linux OS. (tested awhile)

    you want slow applications processing try java language.

    want to ask questions: feel free to visit my site :)

    comvete since 1990 :)

  4. I would have voted on this forum, except you forget an elephant of a choice: ObjectiveC + cocoa.

    Asides from the fact that the language and the framework is a joy to work with, aside from the fact that practically all shareware applications being created on OSX look and behave 100 times as better as any shareware app on windows, there is the huge fact that Vista is fizzling fast while OSX is on a boom.

    You did say 2013, right?}

  5. you should also probably include flex/as3 on your list too. I know up until now AS hasn’t been a real or very popular programming language like C, but i feel things are about to change with flex, since its the RIA age and adobe has been really pushing hard to make it the next best thing to HTML both online and offline apps (AIR)..

    its pretty impressive too judging from the stuff i’ve seen done with it so far}