With the evolution of new processors and the increasing demand for more performance, new programming languages like Go and Rust are gaining ground. The industry is changing at a very fast pace, and you always find something new to learn. But the question is, how do you choose your next language?
But what if you want to try something less popular? To help you with this, we’ve gathered some new programming languages that have a chance to become industry mainstays.
Choose your weapon carefully.
Table of Contents
Kotlin is a statically typed language for modern multiplatform applications. It was developed by a team of JetBrains and first appeared in 2011. It is designed to be an industrial-strength object-oriented programming language, better than Java, and fully interoperable with Java code so that users can migrate gradually from Java to Kotlin.
Along with methods and classes of the object-oriented approach, Kotlin supports procedural programming with functions. It also supports Linux, Perl, shell script, string interpolation, and Type interface.
Kotlin features infix notation, null-point safety, and extension functions. In Google I/o 2017, Kotlin was announced as an official Android development platform. It became the third language fully compatible with Android (after C++ and Java).
The language is used by Pinterest, Square, Trello, Amazon Web Services, and Uber. Corda (a leading distributed ledger technology platform for regulated industries) has over more than 90% Kotlin in its codebase.
Influenced by: Standard ML, F#, Haskell, and OCaml.
The language focuses on three factors – performance, usability, and robustness. It includes an expressive set of language constructs, including let-expression, anonymous functions, if expressions, case expressions, and list interpolation.
Elm has its own virtual system; however, it has no support for higher-kinded types. Therefore, it doesn’t provide abstractions for various common operations; for instance, there is no generic map and filter function.
A few companies using Elm in production include NoRedInk, Futurice, Gizra, Hearken, and PivotalTracker. With the increasing number of smartphones and tablets, Elm has a great chance at breaking into the market and sticking around for a while.
Influenced by: Fortran, Lisp, Lua, Python, Perl, Ruby, and MATLAB
Julia is a high-level programming language for numerical analysis and computational science. It has an extensive mathematical function library, distributed parallel execution program, sophisticated compiler, as well as numerical accuracy.
It includes open-source Fortran and C libraries for signal processing, linear algebra, string processing, and random number generation. Programs written in Julia are organized around multiple dispatches, giving you the ability to define function behavior across various combinations of argument types.
Julia doesn’t impose any specific style of parallelism on users. It provides different key building blocks for distributed computation, making it flexible enough to support a wide range of parallelism styles and letting users add more.
Not only it is easy to create web apps in Julia, but the resulting product is fast and more user-friendly. Many well-established companies have started using Julia, including Facebook, McAfee, Zulily, Disney, Capital One, IBM, and Forio.
Influenced by: LFE, Clojure, Erlang, and Ruby.
Elixir is developed for creating real-time distributed applications. It is a dynamic, functional language that leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low latency and fault-tolerant systems. The objective of this language is to improve the performance of Rails apps running across different CPUs.
Elixir code runs on the Erlang Virtual Machine (known as BEAM) and is compiled to Erlang bytecode. If you are working on data processing, network apps, or some sort of banking software, this is a great option to consider. But if you haven’t done functional programming yet, this probably won’t be easy for you.
Everything in Elixir is an expression, and functions can be called without impacting run time. The language gives more importance to higher-order functions and recursion instead of side-effect-based looping. Moreover, it features pattern matching, lightweight concurrency, and Lazy and asyn collections with streams.
Elixir is successfully deployed by companies like Moz, Pinterest, Inverse, and Bleacher Report. It organizes annual events in Europe and the United States, as well as minor conferences and local events.
Influenced by: C#, Ruby, C++, Alef, Haskell, NIL, Cyclone, Limbo, and Erlang.
Rust is the system programming language developed by Mozilla. It got the top position in “The Most Loved” category of Stack Overflow’s 2020 and 2021 developer survey. The design of the code has been refined through the Servo web browser layout engine and the Rust compiler. It is very much similar to C++ and has easy-to-learn syntax.
Rust is designed to be a safe, concurrent, and practical programming language that can support imperative procedural as well as functional methods. It is not for developing apps for end users but for hardware; more specifically, for better memory safety (prevents segmentation) while maintaining performance.
Instead of using an automated garbage collection (like Java and Go), Rust manages memory and other resources via Resource Acquisition Is Initialization, with optional reference counting. In addition, it provides deterministic management of resources with minimal overhead and favors stack allocation of values.
The list of companies using Rust is quite impressive; it includes some popular names like Telenor Digital, SmartThin, Dropbox, Wire, Braintree, daZta, Ather, Onesignal, Faraday, and Clever Cloud.
Influenced by: C, Ruby, C#, and Python
Crystal is an object-oriented language that hopes to bring C-like performance into the highly abstract world of web developers. The syntax is mostly inspired by Ruby, the added benefit of a lower learning curve for experienced Ruby developers.
Crystal relies on LLVM for emitting native code, therefore making use of all optimizations built into the toolchain. Moreover, it is statically type-checked, so any error will be caught earlier rather than fail at runtime.
The language possesses a macro system and supports operator overloading and automatic garbage collection. It has dedicated syntax to easily call native libraries, which eliminates the need to reimplement low-level tasks. Moreover, it uses green threads, known as fibers, to achieve concurrency.
Crystal is currently in the development phase. Still, a few brave folks have started using it in the production line, including Neopoly GmbH, Appmonit, Bulutfon, and Protel.
Influenced by: Python, Java, Smalltalk, Objective-C, and Perl
Groovy is an object-oriented scripting language that first appeared in 2003, but the stable release came out in 2007. Since it is dynamically compiled into Java bytecode, it seamlessly integrates with any Java library. So if you have programmed in Java or any other code that uses the curly bracket syntax, you can learn Groovy quickly.
Groovy is also getting popular because it increases developers’ productivity and has access to the Grails web application framework. It is packed with tons of cool features, including NoSQL support, powerful view technology, pluggability, and more.
Unlike Java, Groovy features both dynamic and static typing, native support for regular expressions, added helper methods, operator overloading, and the safe navigation operator to check automatically for null pointers. Also, it provides native support for many markup languages like HTML and XML.
The language has been used by some of the giant companies, including Oracle Sales Cloud, eXo platform, LinkedIn, XWiki Saas, DataMelt, Mastercard, Netflix, Airbus, and Apache OFBiz.
Influenced by: S, XLispStat, Common Lisp, and Scheme.
The R programming language is not new, but it has become more popular in recent years thanks to the big data revolution. It first appeared back in 1993, and now it is widely used among data miners and statisticians for data analysis and developing statistical software. It comes with both a command line interface as well as graphical front end.
R language is packed with a suite of operators for calculations on matrices, an effective data handling facility, and intermediate tools for data analysis. It has stronger object-oriented programming features than most statistical computing languages.
R’s data structures include arrays, matrices, data frames, vectors, and lists. The extensible object system has objects for time series, geospatial coordinates, and regression models. Furthermore, R operates as a general matrix calculation tool with performance benchmarks comparable to MATLAB or Octave.
R is used by political prognosticator FiveThirtyEight to model the chances of the 2008/2012/2016 presidential elections and 2010/2014 midterm elections. It is also used by the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee to identify potential voters and manage efforts to get the maximum number of people to vote.
Influenced by: C, Python, Smalltalk, Alef, CSP, Modula, Pascal, Limbo, and BCPL.
Go was released by Google in 2009 with the aim of managing coding issues that large organizations face on a daily basis. Ease of use, simplicity, concurrency features, and performance are the main reasons why developers are happy with Go.
Go provides two features that replace class inheritance: The first one is ‘Embedding,’ which can be viewed as an automated form of composition, and the second is its ‘Interfaces,’ which offers provides polymorphism. It has inbuilt features and library support for writing concurrent code – not only to CPU parallelism but also to asynchrony.
The language includes debugging, testing, and code-vetting tools, such as go test for testing and microbenchmarks, go fmt for formatting code, and many more. It also includes debugging and profiling support, race condition tester, and runtime instrumentation (like garbage collection pauses).
Go has many big-corporate users, including YouTube, Dropbox, Cloudflare, Netflix, BBC, Soundcloud, Zerodha, MaxCDN, Tumbler, Twitter, Yandex, Yahoo, Wikia, Uber, and CoreOS.
It is developed by Mark Marron, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research. He described how Bosque’s regularized programming approach could give a massive boost to productivity and how it is better than the structured programming approach that became popular in the 1970s.
11. Microsoft Power Fx
Influenced by: Excel formulas, Mathematica, Miranda, and Pascal
Power Fx is a general-purpose, strong-typed programming language designed to express logic across the Microsoft Power Platform. It binds objects together with declarative spreadsheet-like formulas. It also provides imperative logic when required.
Since the language is expressed in human-friendly text, it can be used by people who have never programmed before.
Influenced by: C++ and Rust
Carbon is an open-source project started by Google. It aims to fix the numerous shortcoming of C++ while focusing on readability and bi-directional interoperability.
It is fundamentally a successor language approach — not an attempt to gradually improve C++. Using this approach, carbon can be built on top of the existing ecosystem of C++, and bring along the existing codebase, developer support, and investment.
Influenced by: Python, F#, and C#
Initially released by Microsoft as part of the Quantum Development Kit, Q# is a domain-specific language for developing and running quantum algorithms. It supports a basic procedural model for writing code with common data types, loops, and if/then statements.
Q# also features quantum-specific data structures and operations like adaptive phase estimation and repeat-until-success, facilitating the integration of classical and quantum computations.
Specifically designed for cloud applications, Ballerina makes it easy to create, use, and merge network services. It’s a null-safe language with built-in support for XML and JSON, and seamless conversions between JSON and user-defined types. It introduces new abstractions of client objects, resource functions, services, and listeners.
Moreover, the readable syntax, static types, and explicit error handling make Ballerina programs reliable and maintainable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the first programming language?
In 1949, John Mauchly developed Short Code, one of the first high-level languages written for a computer.
In the early 1950s, British computer scientist Alick Glennie wrote Autocode, the first compiled programming language.
In 1954, IBM developed FORTRAN, the first general-purpose, compiled imperative programming language to have functional implementation. It is specifically designed for scientific and engineering applications.
In the 1960s, Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl developed Simula, the first language to support object-oriented programming.
In 1972, Alain Colmerauer, Robert Kowalski, and Philippe Roussel developed the first logic programming language named Prolog.
What are the most popular programming languages?
Python remains the second most popular language due to its versatility in everything from data science and machine learning to development and education. It is efficient and reliable, allowing programmers to build complex applications with minimal effort. It incorporates countless modules and tools to help automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
How much do programmers make?
In the USA, the average salary of a programmer is $67,954 per year. Bank of America and Epic Games are the two highest-paying corporations, with reported average salaries of $147,200 and $142,400, respectively.
Software engineers, in particular, make $92,383 per annum on average. Tesla, Apple, Amazon, and Oracle, and among the top-paying tech giants.