Learning a new programming language is often necessary for work; but a new study suggests some languages just aren’t worth your time, regardless of why you want to know them. Although some programming languages are on the rise, others are almost certainly doomed.
Codementor recently examined some top programming languages in an attempt to decipher which are dead-enders. It measured community engagement, the job market, and “growth and trends” to provide an average weighted score. As you can see in the chart below, Dart is one you should definitely avoid.
The reason Dart is so toxic, according to Codementor, is its perceived short shelf life. One developer told Codementor: “No matter what Dart’s features are, or how easy Dart makes web development, the fact is there are a lot of other options out there and they all make the same claims, so Dart doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore.”
Google’s reputation for dropping projects may also play a part in Dart’s perceived weakness. With Go and Kotlin demanding much of Google’s focus, Dart may simply be a language that never took off internally or externally. Kotlin has been a strong contender for TIOBE’s top programming language, even though that group’s most recent study shows it’s used far less than Dart (still, it’s a ‘first class’ language for Android, and Go has seen a lot of uptick in the past year or so). Kotlin is also used far less than Java, but nonetheless seems to be enjoying some strong momentum among Android developers and other tech professionals.
Objective-C falls into a similar category. Apple still provides legacy support, but the entirety of its focus is on Swift, Objective-C’s successor. The Swift programming language has received a number of updates that make it a more fully featured language, which means there’s even less reason for developers to rely on Objective-C when building macOS and iOS apps (unless they’re trying to manage legacy code, of course).
We should point out that, while Dart and Objective-C have clear usurpers, all three – Go, Kotlin and Swift – pop up on Codementor’s worst-languages list.
Dice’s Salary Survey backs Codementor’s findings up, at least in terms of the job market. Dart doesn’t even register on Dice’s skills list, and Objective-C developers are earning 6.7 percent less YoY (down to $108,843; still above average, but trending down significantly). Unfortunately, Swift, Go, and Kotlin are too new or underutilized for us to provide reliable details on their performance in the job market.
It’s important to remember this is all future-facing. Go, Swift, and Kotlin may not be the languages du jour, but each is the future for their respective use-cases. Other poor performers, most notably CoffeeScript, back up another finding from TIOBE: Scripting languages are on the decline.