Programming languages: Don't bother learning these ones in 2019

Developer-advice platform Codementor hopes to narrow the field of languages worth the time and effort to learn.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

While it's a given that a developer should learn certain languages, like Python or JavaScript, what about the rest of them? With so many languages to choose from, which of them are worth the effort? 

Codementor, a startup that connects developers with questions to developers with answers, has attempted to narrow those choices down by creating a list of the worst languages to learn. The 'worst-to-best' ranking creates scores using community engagement, growth, and the job market to determine the list. 

Last year the company ruled that Dart, Objective-C, CoffeeScript, Lua, and Erlang were the top five languages not worth learning.   

This year Codementor focused on "which languages you probably should not learn as a first programming language". For this reason, it excluded the top three most popular languages, including JavaScript, Python, and Java. 

The company's data suggests the languages to not bother learning this year are Elm, CoffeeScript, Erlang, and Perl. 

Somewhat surprisingly, Kotlin, a popular language for building Android apps, rose from 18th to 11th place on Codementor's worst-to-best list. Microsoft-owned code-hosting site GitHub crowned it the fastest-growing language of 2018 due to the massive growth in projects written in Kotlin. 

Meanwhile, the 'most improved' language was Dart, a language that was hatched in Google and released in 2013. 

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Codementor attributes Dart's improvement to Flutter, Google's mobile SDK for building iOS and Android apps from a single code base. Flutter apps are written in Dart and it is a key piece of Fuschia, a future OS that Google is working on.

Dart's rise on the back of Flutter demonstrates the power that Google's decisions have over a significant portion of developers. 

"Google's Flutter announcement, which happened around the time our list was published last year, breathed new life into Dart, skyrocketing it to 20th place on our Growth and Trending metric," Codementor notes. 

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Dart doesn't rate high in Codementor's Job Market index yet, but its community-engagement score has improved markedly due to chatter about Dart and Flutter.  

Of course, whether a language is worth learning depends on an individual's work, client demands, and industry. So the worst list should probably be taken in context of other measurements, such as the figures provided by Tiobe, PYPL, Stack Overflow, and IEEE Spectrum.  


Somewhat surprisingly, Kotlin, a popular language for building Android apps, rose from 18th to 11th place on Codementor's list.

Image: Codementor

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