CXO

The 5 worst programming languages to learn in 2018

A lack of growth, jobs, and community engagement mean developers should avoid learning these coding languages.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Dart, Objective-C, Coffeescript, Lua, and Erlang top the list of coding languages that developers should avoid learning in 2018 due to their lack of community engagement, jobs, and growth. — Codementor, 2018
  • Coding languages that are dropping in popularity may still be used for legacy code at some enterprises. — Codementor, 2018

We've covered the best programming languages to learn in 2018, but what about the ones you should avoid at all costs?

Codementor examined the level of community engagement, the job market, and overall growth for a number of coding languages to determine which are not worth your time at this point.

"We are in no way disparaging the usefulness of these languages or questioning their worth," according to the Codementor post. "This post merely assesses the performance of these languages based on three criteria: community engagement, the job market, and growth (level of developer interest in working with the language)."

SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)

Here are the five worst programming languages to learn in 2018.

1. Dart

Dart—the open-source, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language developed by Google in 2011—is often used to build web, server, and mobile applications, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It made no. 1 on this list primarily due to low engagement across GitHub, Stack Overflow, Freenode, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook.

"While Dart's numbers were respectable even for its worst ranking, its relative ranking was far lower than those of Kotlin, Elixir, TypeScript, and Swift," the post stated. "Although these languages debuted at around the same time, they all outperformed Dart in terms of community engagement."

Dart also came in dead last in terms of the number of companies using it in their stacks, the report found.

2. Objective-C

Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented language that debuted in 1984. It ranked 18th out of 20 for its community engagement score. Objective-C's growth has been declining since 2014, most likely because of Swift's debut, the post noted. While it is still faring well in terms of the job market, this lack of growth makes it a poor choice for a developer looking to learn a new language.

SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (Tech Pro Research)

3. Coffeescript

Coffeescript—released in 2009—is a language that transcompiles into JavaScript. It came in 19th out of 20th in terms of community engagement, and is largely in decline.

"One reason may be that CoffeeScript is almost a decade old and there are newer languages and versions of JavaScript to choose from, which makes CoffeeScript less interesting to developers," the post stated. "Though there is no one replacement for it, and even though there are quite a few tech stacks that use CoffeeScript, developers just aren't talking about it anymore — which doesn't bode well for its future."

4. Lua

Lua is an open-source, multi-paradigm, embeddable scripting language created in 1993. It remains popular in domains like gaming and web servers, but its growth has flatlined in the past five years. There are also more Lua developers on the market than jobs posted by companies in need of Lua developers, according to the report.

5. Erlang

Erlang is a functional language, created in 1986, that features a garbage-collected runtime system, support for distribution, and fault tolerance. It is often used in telecommunication, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony, and instant messaging. While there is still legacy code written in Erlang that needs to be maintained, its growth trajectory indicates that its heyday has passed, the report stated.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/SIphotography

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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