UPDATED BY
Brennan Whitfield | Mar 10, 2023

Learning a new programming language does more than just educate users on one specific area of coding. It can also help them sharpen problem-solving skills, boost their job opportunities and get a better understanding of technology as a whole.

For example, Ruby was software engineer Dillon Kearns’ first love, but then the functional programming language Elm entered the picture.

“Even if an experiment is a failure and you decide not to use the language you tried,” Kearns said, “it makes you look at things a different way or leads you down a path where you learn about something else.”

To that end, we rounded up a list of newer programming languages you should consider learning.

Top New Programming Languages to Learn

  • F#
  • Clojure
  • Elixir
  • PureScript
  • Swift
  • Go
  • Dart
  • Apache Groovy
  • Java 17
  • Crystal

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Functional Programming Languages

1. F#

F# is an open-source, cross-platform language that takes on more of a hybrid position between general and functional languages. Many programmers find F# to offer the same kind of simplicity as Python while delivering a more seamless experience than C# and Java. This may be because the language avoids the clutter of semicolons, curly brackets and other symbols, so developers don’t have to worry about clarifying their object type. As a result, tasks such as list processing and applying complex type definitions are easier when working in F#. 

The hybrid nature of F# also makes it compatible with other styles, including databases, websites and .NET entities. Whatever elements designers are working with, they can rely on the programming language’s strong type system to root out common errors. These factors all contribute to the flexibility and convenience of F#, which is why it remains a popular programming language.     

Key Takeaways:

  • Hybrid nature supports other styles. 
  • Simple design removes unnecessary symbols.
  • Type system detects common errors.

 

2. Clojure

Clojure is a general-purpose language designed for concurrency, which means it supports multiple computations happening at the same time. But Clojure is also a Lisp language, keeping its syntax to a minimum. These elements facilitate a coding environment where developers can easily preserve code while building on previous projects to make changes as needed.   

This programming language was also made for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), so it pairs well with any system related to the JVM. It’s no surprise then that many companies have added Closure to their tech stacks, including Adobe, Apple and Netflix.

Key Takeaways:

  • Supports simultaneous computations.
  • Features minimal syntax.    
  • Works with JVM and other JVM-related systems.

 

3. Elixir

“There was this subset of the Ruby community that wandered down the Erlang rabbit hole, and they came out with Elixir,” Grove senior developer David Rogers said.

Elixir, however, is easier to write than Erlang, with the functional programming concepts of a language like Haskell. Elixir runs on the Erland virtual machine, which works well for low-latency distributed systems. The platform prioritizes scalability and fault tolerance. Lightweight threads of events, or processes, send messages to each other. Those processes can run concurrently, maximizing machine resources and making it easier to scale vertically or horizontally. If something goes wrong, the platform shows the developer the last known state that’s sure to work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Compatible with Erland virtual machine. 
  • Lightweight threads support concurrent processes. 
  • Easy vertical and horizontal scalability.

 

4. PureScript 

PureScript is a purely functional programming language that compiles to JavaScript. Most comparable to Haskell, PureScript is best used for developing web applications and server-side apps. Like Haskell, it uses algebraic data types, pattern matching and type classes.

PureScript’s types are expressive and support type inference, meaning that it requires far fewer explicit type annotations than other languages. One of its biggest strengths is its interoperability with other languages that target JavaScript.

Key Takeaways:

  • Best for developing web and server-side apps.
  • Types support type inference. 
  • Works with other JavaScript-dependent languages.

 

5. Swift

Swift is a general-purpose compiled programming language developed by Apple that allows developers to write software for phones, servers, desktops or really anything else that runs on code. 

Originally developed as a replacement for Apple’s earlier programming language, Objective-C, Swift combines ideas from other languages like Objective-C, Rust, Ruby and Python to help reduce common programming errors.

The language combines a powerful type inference with a modernized syntax that helps ideas to be clearly expressed through code. Swift is an especially important skill for those seeking iOS developer roles in 2023.

Key Takeaways:

  • Enables software for phones, desktops and other items.
  • Successor to Apple’s Objective-C.
  • Features modernized type interference and syntax.

 

Procedural Programming Languages

6. Go

Go is a C-style language created by engineering leads at Google. Sleeker than C++ or Java and more typesafe than Ruby or Python, Go comes with benefits and drawbacks.

Some drawbacks: Typing is strict. You can’t mix signed and unsigned integers, or integer sizes. Go also has some noticeable omissions: There are no generics and no inheritance. And if curly brackets instead of parentheses makes your blood boil — walk away now.

But Go’s simplicity creates some marked advantages. Namely, the language is easy to use. There’s less hiding behind the written code, and the lack of inheritance helps developers avoid webs of dependencies, making it a solid language for data science in 2023. Tight definitions and thread safety seem to be Go priorities, Rogers said. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Strict typing and syntax.
  • Easier navigation with no inheritance.
  • Prioritizes thread safety.
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Object-Oriented Programming Languages

7. Dart

Another C-style language from Google, Dart is like JavaScript with type safety. It can easily compile to JavaScript, Java for Android, native machine code or a standalone Dart VM. It can also run back-end code.

Dart is good for building user interfaces with event-driven code. The hot reload command lets developers see changes to their applications instantaneously.

Some other Dart advantages, according to one Dart team member: optional static types, minimal compile-time errors and a strong, built-in editor.

Key Takeaways:

  • Compiles to JavaScript, Java for Android and other platforms.
  • Great for designing user interfaces with event-driven code.
  • Developers can view changes instantly.

 

8. Apache Groovy

Apache Groovy integrates with the Java platform and was made with the purpose of making life easier for Java developers. The programming language showcases concise and flexible syntax, allowing developers to reduce the time it takes to complete projects. This trait is also one of many reasons why Apache Groovy comes with a flat learning curve, rivaling the simplicity of languages like Python. 

Developers don’t have to choose between static and dynamic languages since Apache Groovy supports both types. These features are what make Apache Groovy a great programming language for conducting tests. The syntax is designed to be test-friendly, leading many Java developers to embrace this language. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Concise syntax speeds up projects.
  • Easy to learn for Java developers.
  • Ideal for conducting tests.

 

9. Java 17

While the Java lineage extends over the course of two decades, Java 17 provides a fresh spin on this renowned programming language. This latest Java version embraces a simpler syntax, addressing the wordiness of previous Java versions. Besides confusing syntax, previous Java versions also had no great way to troubleshoot bugs when a program failed. Java 17 is equipped with a NullPointException feature, singling out faulty variables. 

To keep up with tech developments, Java 17 also comes with the latest updates that make it compatible with the cloud and newer Apple computers. Developers and organizations now have more options when deciding how to apply Java to their tech stacks. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Simpler syntax compared to earlier Java versions.
  • Feature for singling out variables during program failures.
  • Compatible with the cloud and the latest Apple computers.

 

10. Crystal

Crystal is an object-oriented programming language that employs easy-to-learn syntax, especially for Ruby developers since the language takes its cue from Ruby’s simple syntax. The language is also static, allowing it to catch errors earlier on in the development process. This feature spares teams from making expensive mistakes during runtime, such as overlooking null references.  

As an extra measure, Crystal provides built-in type inference, so developers don’t have to clarify which language they’re using every time. Crystal also supports concurrency with a fiber system, allowing developers to perform more computations without draining memory. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Simple syntax like Ruby’s.
  • Catches errors early in development process.
  • Built-in type inference streamlines workflows.

 

11. Pony

Pony is a language based on data-race-free typing and garbage collection, and uses the actor model as well as something called reference capabilities.

Reference capabilities compel the programmer to label pieces of data as mutable, immutable or isolated. If data is mutable, the compiler doesn’t allow the programmer to exchange the data between actors — when two actors access mutable data at the same time, they may make contradictory updates, or the data could get corrupted. Reference capabilities keep data safe and eliminate the need for locks to prevent concurrent data updates. With no locks, concurrent programs run faster.

Down-sides to Pony are low API stability, few high-quality third-party libraries and limited native tooling.

Key Takeaways:

  • Based on data-race-free typing and garbage collection.
  • Reference capabilities require data to be labeled.
  • Lacks high-quality third-party libraries.

 

12. TypeScript

TypeScript is an open-source static type system built on top of JavaScript and maintained by Microsoft. So, it’s JavaScript, but with fewer ways to mess up. The TypeScript compiler checks for type mismatches and doles out compile-time errors to prevent runtime bugs.

For Java users, TypeScript may look especially familiar: “If you’re glancing at TypeScript — or looking at Angular code, which is all written in TypeScript — the code reads like Java 8. It just needed some annotations and some types, and look! It’s Java,” Rogers said.

Key Takeaways:

  • Built on top of JavaScript with more safety features.
  • Compiler prevents runtime bugs.
  • Code reads similar to Java 8.

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Other Programming Languages to Know

13. Julia

Julia is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that can be used to write virtually any application. Though, its fast and heavy-lifting features make it useful for computational science, numerical analysis and especially big data analytics and other data analysis tasks in 2023. Julia is known for being a high-performance language that is dynamically typed and reproducible. 

Julia has real-world applications in everything from data visualization to machine learning. It’s used by British insurer Aviva for risk calculations, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for financial modeling and even the Climate Modeling Alliance for climate change modeling. Its functional interfaces for Fortran, C++, R, Java, C and Python make it one of the most highly sought-after new languages to learn

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for computational science and numerical analysis.
  • Dynamic and reproducible language.
  • Offers functional interfaces for C++, R, Python and other languages.

 

14. Kotlin

Kotlin is a faster, sleeker version of Java that runs in the Java Virtual Machine. It’s now one the most preferred languages for Android development. According to Android’s developer site, its programmers switched to a Kotlin-first approach because the language comes with less boilerplate code, fewer null pointer exceptions and interoperability with Java.

Kotlin is useful for applications that run on both iOS and Android, programs that don’t use additional runtime or virtual machines and server-side applications.

Key Takeaways:

  • Works with Java Virtual Machine.
  • Reduced boilerplate code and null pointer exceptions.
  • Great for developing iOS and Android applications.

 

15. Python 3

Even if you’re fluent with Python 2, Python 3 will come with some surprises. It diverges significantly from the last version, Rogers said.

So, why make the switch? Python 3 has more intuitive code, with better type safety. The differences between binary code, Unicode and plain text are easier to parse. It also comes with new commands like asyncio, which cuts down on threading issues, and concurrent.futures, which launches parallel tasks.

Key Takeaways:

  • More intuitive code with type safety.
  • Clear differences between codes.
  • Convenient commands like asyncio.

 

16. Reason

What if JavaScript was faster, simpler and typesafe? That’s the question the Facebook developer who created Reason set out to answer. Instead of building a new language from the ground up, though, he took OCaml, a language that’s syntactically similar to JavaScript at runtime, and adjusted it to resemble JavaScript.

Reason compiles to equivalent JavaScript using the project ReScript and can be run in-browser. It can also compile to barebone assembly, iOS, Android and microcontrollers.

“You’ll notice that most of these languages are becoming popular because of the faults in JavaScript, and its pervasiveness,” Rogers added.

Like OCaml, Reason is functional and immutable, but allows users to opt in to objects and mutation. Its type system covers every line of code and infers types when none are defined, with guaranteed type accuracy after compiling.

Key Takeaways:

  • Based on making OCaml look more like JavaScript.
  • Compiles to JavaScript, iOS and Android.
  • Type inference with guaranteed type accuracy.

 

17. Red

Red is a programming language originally designed to overcome limitations by the language Rebol. Introduced in 2011 and influenced by languages like Rebol, Lua and Scala, Red is useful for both high- and low-level programming. 

The language can be used to develop everything from high-level GUIs to lower-level operating systems. Red boasts a human-friendly syntax, low memory footprint and is garbage collected. Its second part, Red/System, is similar to C and provides the flexibility to program many low-level programming capabilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Influenced by Rebol, Lua and Scala.
  • Facilitates high- and low-level programming.
  • Low memory footprint and intuitive syntax.

 

18. Rust

Rust addresses some of the same problems as Go — thread safety and process safety at the system level — but with a focus on longevity, backwards compatibility and stability.

Like Go, Rust has C-style syntax. But unlike Go and C++, Rust has a memory-safety-focused “borrow checker” that makes sure any data being referenced still exists. This, along with assigning code to potential edge cases to please the compiler, can slow developers down.

But the language’s static typing and lack of garbage collection can also make things go faster.

Direct access to memory means programmers can write low-level code like operating system kernels. Rust is also a good fit for embedded devices, network services and command line editing. It won Stack Overflow’s most loved language for several years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brings longevity to safety issues.
  • Borrow checker validates referenced data.
  • Static typing and no garbage collection speeds up processes

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