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The Most In-Demand Coding Languages and their Applications

by Michael Smith on 11/21/17 10:35:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


I grew up with BASIC. That’s where I tested my skills and my patience as a programmer and realized that I had enough of both to be able to progress. I was limited to what I could do with that platform and I always fancied myself as a creator of grand and glorious games, as well as big websites, so I eventually moved into HTML, PHP and C++. My resume reads like a multi-linguist who is really bad at parties.

These days a few other languages have taken over. BASIC is no longer the launching pad that it once was and HTML is barely even necessary anymore. These in-demand languages (based on job postings on major sites like Indeed and Monster) are where it’s at.

5. C++

BASIC may be a thing of the past, but there is still a place for C++, which was built off of C, the daddy of all programming languages. Not only is it still widely used, but it seems to be growing. In 2016 demand increases as 20,000 more jobs hit the marketplace than in 2015. Into 2017 there has been another slight increase, thanks to its use in everything from web development to video games.

4. JavaScript

Voted as the most popular language on StackOverflow, JavaScript has been in a slight decline the last few years, but it remains popular enough to be in the top 5, with countless brands and agencies seeking skilled developers.

3. Python

This is one of the fastest growing languages in the top 20 and seems to be increasing in popularity every year. In 2016 and 2017 it remained in the top 3 based on the number of jobs available in the US marketplace, but you only have to go back a few years to find a time when it wasn’t even in the top 10. The future is bright for anyone who can code in this all-purpose language.


There has been a significant rise in Java job postings in the last few years. This is all down to the increase in the number of Android users on the market, with many keen to develop apps and games for these users. It’s a versatile language and it’s also fairly easy to learn. As a result, it’s not as specialized as other programming languages on this list, but will likely grow faster than many of them.

1. SQL

Structured Query Language was the most in-demand programming language in 2016 and it has remained in top place in 2017. This is a database language that has grown thanks to the growth of Big Data and the need that many companies have for storing, manipulating and expanding huge amounts of data.

SQL jobs can include everything from working with small technology companies, helping them to backup and understand their data, to huge medical corporations, helping them to avoid ZPIC audits and keep patient data safe. It’s not as versatile and useful for freelance developers, but it’s certainly a good skill to have.

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