Go, Kotlin Among Languages Developers Most Want to Learn

If you’re a software developer, you’re usually looking for ways to boost your knowledge. Learning new frameworks, languages and tools is the key way to keep your career on-track and unlock new opportunities. But which languages should you learn—and what are your peers studying right now?

HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report, which collects and analyzes survey responses from 116,000 developers worldwide, gives us some interesting perspective on the languages that developers are learning next. Here’s the report’s breakdown:

That Go topped the list is rather interesting. In its accompanying note, HackerRank suggests that this popularity is due to Google, which invented the language, driving its adoption. However, Go isn’t yet in a position to challenge massively popular languages such as Python and JavaScript; lists that monitor the relative popularity of programming languages, such as RedMonk and TIOBE, routinely place Go somewhere in the mid-rankings (i.e., 11th place, 16th place, etc.). Maybe that will change, especially since developers seem interested in figuring out how Go works.

In a similar vein, we have Kotlin in third place on HackerRank’s list. This is another case of “corporate sponsorship” highlighting a language. Google named Kotlin a “first class” development language for Android, after which its adoption rate noticeably rose (that being said, Dice conducted a survey last year showing that a majority of developers preferred Java, the original Android-development language, for their Android work).

Google has subsequently encouraged developer interest with resources and classes, including two tutorials via codelabs: Kotlin Bootcamp for Programmers and Developing Android Apps in Kotlin. As with Go, though, Kotlin has a long way to go (pun intended) before it can truly eclipse some of the world’s most popular languages.

Python’s top spot, meanwhile, is no surprise. Long popular as a “generalist” programming language, Python has increasingly found its way into niche and nascent industries such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.), as well as specialized arenas such as finance.  While the languages that developers want to learn don’t necessarily correlate with high salaries or broader adoption levels, there’s usually a good reason driving this urge to learn. If you haven’t picked your way through a new language in some time, consider one from this list.