Top programming languages to learn in South Africa 2024

According to CodingNomads, Python is the most popular language for job seekers, followed by Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, and C. […]

Top 4 programming languages to learn in South Africa 2022

According to CodingNomads, Python is the most popular language for job seekers, followed by Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, and C. One of the most difficult decisions for anyone interested in a career in programming is picking which languages to learn. It is important to consider your career goals and personal hobbies while picking which languages to learn, as there are so many to choose from. CodingNomads, a computer programming training site, produced a research paper in February that looks at the “best” computer programming languages for 2024.

If you’re interested in data and reasoning, you might want to learn Python, Java, C, C++, or C#. If you’re passionate about visual design and user interfaces, TypeScript may be the right fit for you. Java for Android and Swift or Objective-C for Apple’s iOS are good options to consider if you want to build apps for mobile devices.

Aside from your personal career goals, it’s only reasonable that you’d want to learn a language that’s in-demand by businesses and pays a decent living income. In this context, CodingNomads analyzed job postings and salaries to identify the most popular languages. CodingNomads investigated the most popular languages in this regard, based on job posts and salary.

Python had the highest number of job postings on LinkedIn in the Developed World and in emerging markets, according to CodingNomads. Java came in second, with JavaScript, C++, C#, C, TypeScript, PHP, Perl, and Ruby rounding out the top ten.

In this article, we will outline various programming languages lists ranging from the programming languages for beginners to programming languages rankings.

What is a programming language?

A computer programming language instructs a digital computer to perform a specific activity or function that you might use every day on the internet or in an application. Knowledge of several programming languages allows computer programmers to do complex jobs on a wide range of platforms. The knowledge of different programming languages might help you better comprehend how computer programs are developed and why some languages work best for specific projects if you’re thinking about a career in computer programming or want to gain some new abilities.

Top 10 programming languages to learn in South Africa in 2024

1. Python

Top 4 programming languages to learn in South Africa 2022

From simple scripting to more complex web apps and AI-based systems, Python is an excellent general-purpose server-side language. Data science and machine learning, as well as software development and web development, are two of the most important skills for developers to learn in Python.

The demand for Python skills in 2024 will continue to rise dramatically because of Python’s use in the rising fields of data science, machine learning and AI, according to Ryan Desmond, co-founder and leading instructor of CodingNomads. It’s also popular with organizations, developers, and aspiring programmers because it’s one of the simplest languages to learn and the most powerful and versatile.

2. Java


Organizations around the world utilize Java because it’s a well-known and well-tested programming language. Because of Android’s dominance in the mobile market, Java is the primary programming language used. It is also the most widely used language for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

According to CodingNomads, Java is more difficult to learn than Python, but simpler than C or C++. For the most part, this is due to Java’s superiority over C and Python’s superiority over Java. On the bright side, once you’ve mastered Java, you’ll find it much easier to learn something like Python. Java is a good choice for anyone who wants to work as a general software engineer or mobile developer and isn’t afraid of the task.

3. JavaScript


As a scripting language found on over 97% of the internet’s sites, JavaScript lets you create dynamic and interactive web content, as well as animated graphics and other sophisticated web elements. In addition, it’s the most often used language by GitHub contributors, as well.

According to the research, JavaScript is essentially a client-side language because it runs in a web browser. However, run-time systems like Node.js and Frameworks are increasingly being employed on the server side. If you’re into visual design and user interface development, learning JavaScript is a must.

4. SQL


SQL is one of the languages mentioned in the paper. SQL, a querying language rather than a programming language, was the language with the most job ads in the Developed World, while not being in the top 10. No matter what language you develop in, you’ll almost always utilize SQL to communicate with databases. The vast majority of software engineers would benefit from becoming conversant in this language.

5. C#

C# is a modern, object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. It is commonly used to develop Windows desktop applications, games, and mobile applications for iOS and Android using the Xamarin platform. C# is known for its strong type checking, automatic memory management, and its ability to handle both high-level and low-level programming tasks.

It is also a component of the .NET framework, which provides a large set of libraries and tools for building various types of applications. Due to its versatility and ease of use, C# has become a popular choice for many developers, making it a valuable skill to have in the job market. Whether you’re building a desktop app, a mobile app, or a web app, C# provides the tools and resources you need to bring your ideas to life.

6. PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language that is widely used for web development. It was created in 1995 and has since become one of the most popular programming languages for building dynamic websites. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and it is an open-source language, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by anyone.

One of the biggest advantages of PHP is that it integrates easily with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, making it a versatile tool for building web applications. It is also compatible with many popular databases, including MySQL, which makes it a great choice for building dynamic, database-driven websites. PHP is used by many well-known companies, including Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress, and it is supported by a large community of developers who continually contribute to its development. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, PHP provides a simple, yet powerful toolkit for building dynamic websites and web applications.

7. Swift

Swift is a modern, multi-paradigm programming language developed by Apple. It was first introduced in 2014 and has since become one of the most popular programming languages for building iOS and macOS applications. Swift is known for its fast performance, ease of use, and its ability to handle both high-level and low-level programming tasks. It is designed to be safe, fast, and interactive, with a focus on readability and ease of maintenance.

Swift is also an open-source language, which means that it is free to use and can be modified by anyone. With its growing popularity, Swift has become a valuable skill for iOS developers, and it is widely used in the development of many well-known apps, including Instagram, Uber, and Airbnb. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, Swift provides a powerful toolkit for building high-quality iOS and macOS applications.

8. C++

C++ is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that was developed in the early 1980s. It is an extension of the C programming language and is widely used in a variety of applications, including operating systems, embedded systems, game development, and scientific computing. C++ is known for its performance and versatility, making it a popular choice for developing high-performance applications.

It is also an object-oriented programming language, which means that it supports encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, making it a great choice for building complex applications. C++ has a large and active community of developers who continually contribute to its development, and it is supported by many popular tools and libraries, including the Standard Template Library (STL). Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, C++ provides a powerful and flexible toolkit for building high-performance applications and systems.

9. Kotlin

Kotlin is a modern, cross-platform programming language developed by JetBrains. It was first introduced in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular programming languages for building Android applications. Kotlin is known for its concise and expressive syntax, making it a joy to write and read. It is also fully interoperable with Java, which means that Java developers can easily transition to Kotlin and use it in their existing projects.

Kotlin is designed to be safe, fast, and expressive, with a focus on reducing code verbosity and improving developer productivity. It is also an open-source language, which means that it is free to use and can be modified by anyone. With its growing popularity, Kotlin has become the preferred language for many Android developers, and it is widely used in the development of many well-known apps, including Uber, Netflix, and Pinterest. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, Kotlin provides a powerful and modern toolkit for building high-quality Android applications.

10. Ruby

Ruby is a high-level, dynamic programming language that was first introduced in the mid-1990s. It is known for its clean and expressive syntax, making it a joy to write and read. Ruby is a dynamically typed language, which means that it supports duck typing and automatic type inference, making it a great choice for rapid prototyping and iterative development.

It is also an object-oriented programming language, which means that it supports encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, making it a great choice for building complex applications. Ruby has a large and active community of developers who continually contribute to its development, and it is supported by many popular tools and libraries, including Ruby on Rails, a popular web application framework. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, Ruby provides a powerful and flexible toolkit for building high-quality applications and systems.

7 common programming jobs in South Africa

1. Web developer

Web developers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of websites. Additionally, they are accountable for the site’s technical characteristics, such as performance and capacity, which are indicators of a website’s speed and capacity to handle traffic. Additionally, web developers may contribute to the website site’s content creation and Search Engine Optimization.

2. Web designer

Web designers design and develop websites and web pages by mixing various visual design elements such as text, images, graphics, animations, and videos. A web designer can construct a completely new website or merely make design and layout changes to current pages.

3. Blockchain Developer

Developers of Blockchain applications interface with the Blockchain at a high level. As a result of their work, they are able to take the algorithms created by the blockchain’s core developers and apply them to the creation of new decentralized applications that operate on the blockchain.

4. Video game developer

It is the job of video game developers to turn a designer’s ideas into a playable game for the general public. Video game developers, commonly referred to as video game programmers or video game developers, create the code that powers a wide range of video games, including those for personal computers, gaming consoles, the web, and mobile devices.

5. Computer systems engineer

Computer systems engineers combine their expertise in engineering, computer science, and mathematical analysis to create, test, and evaluate computer software and personal computers. Engineers in computer systems aren’t just engineers of computer technology, as many people believe.

6. Software quality assurance engineer

Quality assurance engineers for software provide test strategies, scenarios, scripts, and other test-related materials. Software faults should be documented and reported to software developers using a bug-tracking system. Inspect the program’s functionality, output, web screen or content to identify and document any issues.

7. App developer

Typical responsibilities of an application developer include coding, designing, managing the application, debugging, monitoring for updates and potential security concerns, and providing end-user support. They may also take on some project management responsibilities during the process of developing a new application.

5 best programming languages for beginners

1. Python

Python is always advised as a good starting point if you’re searching for a simple and even enjoyable programming language to learn. Rather than forcing newcomers to programming to plunge into rigid syntax constraints, Python reads like English and is easy to learn. This enables you to get a fundamental understanding of coding processes without having to concentrate on little details that are frequently critical in other languages.

Python is also an excellent choice for web development, creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and developing applications. Indeed, it was utilized to develop Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify, indicating that, in addition to having a faster onboarding process, it is obviously in demand among employers.

While Python has a number of advantages, it is sometimes perceived as a slow language that requires more testing and is less suitable for developing mobile applications than other languages.

2. C#

While C is one of the more challenging languages to learn, it is an ideal first language to take up because it is used to implement practically all programming languages. This means that once you’ve mastered C, it’ll be straightforward to learn additional languages like C++ and C#.

Because C is more “machine-level” learning, it is an excellent way to learn how a computer works. According to software developer Joel Spolsky, it’s comparable to learning basic anatomy before becoming a medical practitioner, making it the most efficient way to code.

In this sense, C is an outstanding choice for anyone prepared to take on the task of becoming a master coder and a talented developer from the start.

3. Java

Java is a popular object-oriented and feature-rich programming language. It was developed on the principle of “Write once, run anywhere,” which means that it may be created on any device and executed on any platform.

As a result, it is one of the most sought-after (and thus highly compensated) language skills. Therefore, if you’re wanting to learn a language that can help you further your career, Java may be the way to go, especially given the fact that top employers for Java programmers include Ebay, Amazon, and IBM.

Additionally, Java is frequently used for Android and iOS application development because it is the foundation of the Android operating system, making it one of the finest alternatives for developing mobile applications.

While Java is not as simple to learn as Python, it is a high-level language and hence remains relatively beginner-friendly. However, it has a lengthy starting time and will require newbies to spend significantly more time deploying their first project.

4. JavaScript

JavaScript is yet another extremely popular programming language. According to General Assembly, many websites you use on a daily basis, like Twitter, Gmail, Spotify, Facebook, and Instagram, rely on JavaScript.

Additionally, because it connects with HTML and CSS, it is a must-have when adding interaction to webpages. This makes it critical for front-end development and consumer-facing websites, while also boosting its importance and demand in back-end development. Due to its prominence, JavaScript is also at the forefront of test automation frameworks, serving as the foundation for frameworks such as Protractor and Nightwatch.JS.

Because JavaScript is pre-installed in browsers, it is the simplest language to get started with in terms of setup. The disadvantage is that it is read differently across browsers (you’ll need to conduct additional cross-browser testing) and may suffer from responsive design inadequacies when compared to server-side scripting.

Again, while it is not the most difficult language to learn, it is far from as simple as Python. If Javascript initially appears to be difficult, consider this Javascript tutorial that is so simple that even a cat could do it.

5. Ruby

Ruby is comparable to Python in that it is one of the easiest programming languages to learn for those with no prior expertise. You don’t need to know a ton of commands or programming jargon to get started, and it comes with a slew of useful libraries and tools.

One of the primary reasons people prefer Ruby is due to the fantastic full-stack framework, Ruby on Rails, which is gaining popularity among startups and enterprise solutions. Airbnb, Groupon, Hulu, and Soundcloud are just a handful of the websites built with Ruby on Rails, and Ruby today has a thriving development community.

However, the reason it is so popular with small businesses is frequently one of the several criticisms leveled against it. Ruby may struggle with scalability across a big system and may perform poorly on larger websites. Additionally, while Ruby is a straightforward language to learn, the majority of chances require knowledge of Ruby on Rails, which may slow down your learning curve if you were planning to develop a website the easy way.

Although there are numerous computer programming languages, some are more extensively used than others. Three of the most popular computer programming languages are as follows:


HTML is an abbreviation for “Hyper Text Markup Language,” and it is used to create web pages. It identifies document elements such as headings and paragraphs and instructs a computer on how they should be displayed.

2. Java

Java has been used to enhance websites and provide interactive capabilities such as buttons and app widgets since the inception of the World Wide Web. Additionally, it is frequently used to program cell phones.

3. C

C is a foundational programming language that is extensively utilized to accelerate the performance of programs. It continues to be a popular choice for video game producers who also utilize the C++ programming language, as the two languages’ programming capabilities complement one another.

50 types of programming languages used in South Africa

Below are 50 types of programming languages and the programming languages examples:

1. Procedural Programming

A procedural language is a type of computer programming language that executes commands sequentially. BASIC, C, FORTRAN, Java, and Pascal are all examples of computer procedural languages. Procedural languages are among the most frequently used types of programming languages by script and software developers.

2. Assembly Language

Assembly is a form of low-level programming language that is designed to interface directly with the hardware of a computer. In contrast to machine language, which is composed of binary and hexadecimal characters, assembly languages are intended to be human readable.

3. Functional programming

Although functional programming has historically been less popular than imperative programming, a growing number of functional languages are being used in industry and education today, including Common Lisp, Scheme, Clojure, Wolfram Language, Racket, Erlang, Elixir, OCaml, Haskell, and F#.

4. Machine language

Machine language is the only language that the computer knows. It is composed entirely of 0’s and 1’s. Assembly language is more succinct but remains extremely inconvenient to program in. Easy programming is facilitated by using a high-level language such as FORTRAN or C.

5. Languages geared for education

Education-oriented programming languages are intended to be used as instructional tools by inexperienced programmers. They include, in particular, programming languages that allow children of preschool and elementary school age to gain a playful understanding of the functionality and principles of software development, as well as programming languages for advanced students and adult education that incorporate more complex aspects.

6. Object-oriented programming languages

Object-oriented programming is a paradigm for programming that is built on the concept of “objects” that can include both data and code: data in the form of fields and code in the form of procedures. A property of objects is that their own methods can access and frequently modify their own data fields.

7. Scripting Languages

A scripting language is a programming language for a runtime system that automates the execution of operations that would normally be performed manually by a human operator. Scripting languages are typically interpreted rather than compiled at runtime.

8. Logic programming

Logic programming is a style of programming that is heavily influenced by formal logic. A program created in a logic programming language is a collection of logically constructed words describing facts and rules regarding a certain issue area.

9. Data-oriented languages

In computer programming, data-driven programming is a paradigm in which program statements specify the data to be matched and the processing to be performed rather than outlining a sequence of processes to be performed.

10. Business-oriented languages

COBOL is a business-oriented compiled English-like computer programming language. It is an imperative, procedural, and object-oriented language that was introduced in 2002. COBOL is primarily used in corporate and government business, finance, and administrative systems.

11. Declarative languages

Declarative programming is a programming paradigm in computer science—a way of structuring and constructing computer programs—that describes a computation’s logic without detailing its control flow.

12. Decision table languages

A Decision Table is a concise visual representation that specifies the actions to do in response to certain conditions. Decision tables’ information can alternatively be expressed as decision trees or in a programming language using if-then-else and switch-case instructions.

13. Embeddable languages

A language that can be easily integrated (“embedded”) into another program is known as an embeddable language. However, this is a property of a certain language implementation rather than a property of the language itself. That disparity may not matter for languages with only one implementation, but many popular languages have multiple implementations, some of which are easier to embed in another program than others.

14. Interactive mode languages

A programming language designed to function in an environment where the user and computer communicate as transactions are being processed.

15. Imperative languages

In computer science, imperative programming is a programming paradigm that employs statements that alter the state of a program. An imperative program is made up of orders for the computer to perform in the same manner that the imperative mood communicates directives in natural languages.

16. Dataflow languages

Dataflow programming is a programming paradigm in which a program is represented as a directed network of data flowing between actions, hence applying dataflow principles and architecture. Dataflow programming languages share certain characteristics with functional languages and were generally developed to bring some functional principles to a language more suited to numerical processing. To prevent confusion with dataflow computing or dataflow architecture, which are based on an indeterministic machine paradigm, some authors use the term datastream instead of dataflow. In the 1960s, Jack Dennis and his graduate students at MIT pioneered dataflow programming.

17. Authoring languages

A programming language used to generate tutorials, computer-based training courseware, websites, CD-ROMs, and other interactive computer programs is known as an authoring language.

18. Concurrent languages

A concurrent programming language is one that leverages the concept of concurrently operating processes or threads of execution to structure a program. A parallel language can express programs that can run on multiple processors.

19. Languages for document formatting

Languages for document formatting organize written text and pictures, and some are akin to word processors. TeX, PostScript, and SGML are all examples.

20. Display languages for the World Wide Web

World Wide Web display languages are used to create web pages and to add required functionality to them, such as page retrieval via links. HTML, XML, and CGI are all examples.

21. Front end development languages

Front end development languages are used to code the graphical elements of websites, games, software, and applications. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are all examples.

22. Database programming languages

Database programming languages enable the creation of databases and the manipulation of their data storage structures. C++, COBOL, Java, and Perl are all examples.

23. Rule-based languages

Once activated by particular criteria in a data collection, rule-based languages enforce rules. AWK, CLIPS, Prolog, and Wolfram Language are all examples.

24. Compiled languages

Compiled languages have been converted from one programming language to another by computer programs that transform data directly to code, streamlining the programming process. ActionScript, Ballerina, C++, and ALGOL are all examples.

25. Back end coding languages

Back end coding languages are used to program servers in order to ensure that web pages display and work properly. Python, Java, and Ruby are all examples.

26. System languages

When programming a full system, system languages can perform tasks such as memory management and task management. Swift, Rust, C++, and Nim are all examples.

27. Algorithmic programming languages

Algorithmic languages are used to express mathematical or symbolic computations and can include algebraic operations. Fortran, ALGOL, Lisp, and C are just a few examples.

28. Command-line interface languages

Command-line interface languages provide commands to computer programs via lines of text. Batch, CLIST, TACL, and 4DOS are all examples.

29. Languages computational

Computational languages express the logic and functions of a computer command declaratively. Wolfram Language, Gremlin, QML, and Mercury are all examples.

30. Visual languages

Through many sorts of graphic layouts, visual languages specify programs in two dimensions. Grasshopper, GameMaker Language, XOD, and ToonTalk are all examples.

31. XML, or Extensible Markup Language

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a format for encoding documents that can be read and understood by both humans and machines. It is widely used on the internet. Apache Ant, MXML, ECMAScript for XML, and XQuery are all examples.

32. Exception handling syntax languages

For context-free grammar, syntax handling languages provide analyzers that convert character sequences to token sequences with specified meanings. ANTLR, lex, Prolog, and JavaCC are all examples.

33. Interpreted language

Rather than being compiled, interpreted languages enable programs to be executed from source code via an interpreter. Apache Ant, JavaScript, PostScript, and Windows PowerShell are all examples.

34. Little languages

Little languages assist in the management of a specialized set of problems, such as text formatting, combination, and resource allocation. AWK, Comet, sed, and SQL are all examples.

35. Metaprogramming languages

Metaprogramming languages allow for the creation and editing of programs that create and edit other programs. C++, META II, Python, and TREEMETA are all examples.

36. Esoteric languages

Esoteric languages are used to experiment with unconventional approaches to computer language design, such as basing a program on a fictional language. Beatnik, INTERCAL, Piet, and Whitespace are all examples.

37. Non-English-based programming languages

Non-English-based programming languages construct commands using keywords from other languages. Chinese BASIC, Lexico, Rapira, and ezhil are all examples.

38. Curly-bracket languages

Curly brackets or brace characters are used to define statement blocks in curly bracket languages. AWK, Ballerina, C++, and ECMAScript are a few examples.

39. Off-side rule languages

Off-side rule languages use indentation to identify code blocks. ISWIM, ABC, Python, and Elixir are a few examples.

40. Iterative languages

Iterative languages are constructed around generators, which solve smaller instances of a certain problem to inform how they might solve the original problem and generate a specific result. Aldor, Eiffel, Julia, and Python are a few examples.

41. Constraint programming languages

Constraint programming languages are declarative programming languages that use restrictions to express connections between variables. MiniZinc, Oz, and Kaleidoscope are a few examples.

42. Numerical analysis languages

The majority of numerical analysis languages are utilized in technical computing. Wolfram Language, Analytica, Fortran, and MATLAB are a few examples.

43. Multiparadigm languages

Multiparadigm languages enable a program to employ many programming styles in a single program at the same time, as well as mix constructs from other programming languages. ALF, C++, ECMAScript, and Python are a few examples.

44. Array languages

Scalars are used by array languages to apply operations to vectors, matrices, and other high-dimensional arrays. Analytica, BASIC, MATLAB, and Fortran 90 are a few examples.

45. Extension languages

Extension languages are built into other programs so that their features can be used in extension scripts. JavaScipt, Perl, Squirrel, and CAL are a few examples.

46. Hardware description languages

The design, structure, and operation of electronic and digital logic circuits are described using hardware description languages. Verilog, VHDL, Java, and Ruby are a few examples.

47. Macro languages

Macro languages can be used for application or textual substitution to turn one source code file into another, which is frequently done in order to preprocess source code. C++, m4, and ML/I are a few examples.

48. Shading languages

To generate visuals, such as 3D computer graphics, shading languages employ both real-time and offline rendering. AGAL, PSSL, and RenderMan Shading Language are a few examples.

49. Reflective languages

Programs can inspect and alter their high-level structure using reflective languages. Cobra, ECMAScript, Prolog, and Ruby are a few examples.

50. Fourth-generation languages

Fourth-generation languages are high-level languages that are designed around database systems and are frequently used for database management and report development. ABAP, FOCUS, OpenEdge ABL, and DataFlex are a few examples.

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