The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Bernat Guitart
Published on Jul 03, 2018 in App Development
The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

A plethora of programming languages has appeared in the recent years. With mobile devices becoming more and more powerful, the urge to create innovative apps is on the rise. In this rapidly evolving ecosystem, a top mobile app developer needs to be continuously learning about the new trends and programming languages.

Why learning the right programming language is important

Learning the right programming language defines your career growth. After all, it is your programming skills that will fetch you a higher salary, better job opportunities, and more clients if you are working as a freelancer.

This article is the outcome of an extensive research on the basis of the popularity of the language in the developer community and its job and client potential. We will be sharing the popularity stats, earning stats, job stats and future learning stats of the most popular mobile programming languages - helping you make a better-informed decision.

All the data is derived from reliable sources like StackOverflow, GitHub, and IEEE. So, which are the top mobile programming languages to learn in 2018?


The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Mobile Programming with JavaScript

JavaScript was created back in 1995 and it is, still today, one of the most popular programming languages. As an object-based language used to create scripts, JavaScript is lightweight enough, leading to feature rich app development. JavaScript phenomenally overcame the challenges of HTML by improving browser control, identifying the OS, and using predefined objects for faster app development.

Market Stats of JavaScript

  • JavaScript ranks #1 on GitHub repository with 2.3 Million open source developers using it.
  • Again, the 23-year-old scripting language is the most popular one on StackOverflow with 62.5% votes.
  • From a salary point of view, JavaScript faces a downward graph by being placed at the 21st position in the world, for an average salary of $50,000.
  • TIOBE community places JavaScript at 6th place and it has seen a rating growth of 0.26% in the year 2017.
  • IEEE ranks JavaScript 7th in the queue of spectrum ranking.

The Future of JavaScript

JavaScript is ever-growing. Given its importance in the mobile and web development environment, it will probably never lose its scope. As per the O’Reilly salary survey of 2017, JavaScript ranks 5th in the list of future programming languages.

React Native

The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Mobile Programming with React Native

React Native is Facebook's new technology, which grew from an internal Facebook project to a global hybrid app development framework. Solving architectural issues faced by app owners, it becomes an obvious choice for mobile application development. It works both on Android and iOS platforms with 95% capacity.

From performance to development speed and compatibility, React Native is the cure to many mobile app development issues. At the same time, it allows app developers to design beautiful UIs and develop efficient features with its in-built coding standards.

Market Stats of React Native

  • With around 64K open source developers using React Native on GitHub, this framework is quickly gaining popularity.
  • StackOverflow has almost 31.3K React Native followers.
  • Upwork considered it as the 3rd (out of 20) fastest growing skill among mobile app development companies.

Future of React Native

The most stable version of React JS was released in 2017. Companies like Skype, Bloomberg, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Walmart, Wix, Tesla, and Uber are already using this technology as per the Facebook’s React Native User Showcase.


The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Mobile Application Development with Objective-C

The first phase of Objective-C was in the year 1980, and later, NeXT Software licensed Objective-C in 1988. The future looked bright for Objective-C in 1996 when NeXT was acquired by Apple and the OS was built using this language. The popularity of Objective-C has been consistent because it’s feature-rich and relatively simple to learn.

Market Stats of Objective-C

  • Objective-C ranks #15 on the GitHub repository with 66K developers using it as per the year 2017.
  • Objective-C as an object-oriented language has 6.4% followers as per StackOverflow details.
  • With a great support from the Apple community, Objective-C developers are valued more than JavaScript developers and rank at #15 with an average yearly salary of $53,763.
  • TIOBE community saw a major drop in Objective-C popularity with the rating going down from 10 to 17 that measured to be a 0.75% drop.

Future of Objective-C

Objective-C’s future scope for both professionals and students is witnessing a major decrease in ranking. The major cause behind this slope is Swift, Apple’s new programming. But as Swift is still maturing, there is still a good market for Objective-C.


The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Mobile Application Development with Swift

The Swift programming language dates back to 2010 and has made a rapid growth on all charts. Primarily designed for iOS app development, it works on the Cocoa framework and a rich set of Objective-C ready-to-use codes. It is a more flexible and easier form of programming language. A robust debugger, compiler, and framework make Swift quite an expressive language for mobile app development.

Market Stats of Swift

  • Built on top of Objective-C, Swift is ahead of it by ranking at #13 on the GitHub repository. In 2017, 107K developers have used Swift for mobile programming.
  • Swift and Objective-C seem to be in a never-ending rank battle, as Swift ranks just one position above Objective-C on StackOverflow’s survey, with 6.5% of the total developer community.
  • Swift is on par with Objective –C when it comes to salary procurement. The average yearly salary for Swift developers is exactly the same at $53,763.
  • The TIOBE community reported a 0.34% drop in Swift’s popularity as a programming language.

Future of Swift

As per the O’Reilly salary survey of 2017, Swift is the 4th future mobile programming language. What contributes to its growth is, undoubtedly, a very active community.


The Best Mobile Programming Languages to learn this 2018

Mobile App Development with Python

Python is a programming language born in the 80s with an object-oriented feature, and support of advanced data structures. The coding simplicity of Python makes it a perfect programming tool for Artificial Intelligence apps. Python is used effectively to bind existing software by developing scripts on it.

Market Stats of Swift

  • Python’s popularity in Github is great (thanks primarily to Artificial intelligence supporters), making it the 2nd most popular language.
  • As per StackOverflow, the popularity of Python as mobile app programming language is around 32%.
  • The salary driving force of Python is yet to see a significant raise despite its popularity, as it remains equivalent to $53,763.
  • The TIOBE community reported a mild increase in the popularity of Python, but it is among the very few to have retained the 2016’s ranking at position #5.
  • IEEE gives 100% spectrum ranking to Python’s popularity at #1.

Future of Swift

The O’Reilly salary survey 2017 ranks Python at #2 in popularity among professionals and students, as the future of Artificial Intelligence seems to be driven by this language.

Final thoughts

With a very clear and specific approach, we have established the facts and figures of some of the most popular mobile programming languages. As a mobile app developer, you must be updated on what is happening around the development community. While it’s true that all programming languages seem to be paying well, you can earn more as a developer if you broaden your spectrum.

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About the author
Bernat GuitartCEO at AppFutura

Bernat is the CEO at AppFutura and he has been a Marketing manager in different companies over the years. Besides being the main person in charge of our company and its strategy, he takes care of our SEO and curates our SEO Companies and Digital Mark...

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