Which according to you are the top languages to watch out for in 2011 and beyond?

This article talks about 9 languages to watch out for in 2011. What are your views and inputs on this?

  • 2
    How did Lua get on that list? We've been using Lua for years as a very easy to embed scripting language. The fact that "go" is on the top of the list also makes the article suspect, at least for me. 'Top' is based on merits and usefulness, not just what lands you a job (in my book).
    – Tim Post
    Dec 14, 2010 at 12:28
  • 3
    My view: just an indication that blogging is a medium -- called that because it's neither rare nor well-done. Dec 14, 2010 at 15:01

3 Answers 3


Language popularity contests are always suspect.

AFAIK, the TIOBE index is based on something like averaged search hits for "[name of language] programming" on various sites, which completely misses the point. By that criterion, an article titled "Blub programming sucks balls" is a vote for Blub and "Blub++ programming has driven me insane; I just killed my dog." is a vote for Blub++.

There are more important things than how popular a given language is.

According to me, Lisp (lets say Common Lisp, to be specific), Haskell and Erlang are probably going to be interesting in the next little while. Lisp because some of the concepts it was pushing back in the 70s are finally getting explored in the mainstream, Haskell because it's a highly expressive language with focus on performance (through its optimizing compiler), and Erlang because it was built for programming networks of machines rather than individual computers (which seems like it'll get more and more useful as time goes on). Other than Haskell, I doubt many would agree with this assessment.

If you're merely talking about popularity, keep your eye on Python, Go and the .NET languages (before the Oracle thing, I'd have said Java too, but many Java devs seem to be spooked enough to jump ship lately).

  • 2
    Absolutely. Back in the 90s Delphi was right at the top of these list right before it died on it's arse (commercially). Dec 14, 2010 at 12:37
  • That's one of the beauties of Clojure though...it is a dialect of Lisp but it runs on the JVM and CLR which I think will open up the eyes of .Net and Java programmers to the joys of Lisp
    – Jetti
    Dec 14, 2010 at 14:01
  • I think Java's 'demise' is greatly over exaggerated. With the JVM languages as well as 7 and 8 JSRs being passed Java looks healthy enough. The JCP on the other hand... Dec 14, 2010 at 14:22
  • @Maetin Verburg - Agreed, but it hasn't stopped at least some Java stalwarts I know from taking a serious look at C#. Which is ridiculous, as far as I'm concerned; having Microsoft control your destiny seems to be about as bad as having Oracle do the same. I guess there's Mono, but I don't have enough experience to know how much of an effect that has in reality.
    – Inaimathi
    Dec 14, 2010 at 14:33
  • I am looking forward to Clojure in Clojure. A native port would be interesting. Dec 14, 2010 at 14:58

It's all about who is demanding

People need motivation to learn languages, and without that motivation few languages are likely to become popular. Here's a quick list of the thought processes that typically apply when a developer is faced with learning a new language.

  1. Can I easily pick this language up? (Impossible syntax implies failure)
  2. Can I use my existing knowledge with this language? (Hey, it works on the JVM/.Net, I know those libraries inside out so I'm not a noob)
  3. Will it pay the bills? (No jobs asking for this that are tele/commutable implies failure)

But the overriding item is simply: Who says I have to learn this, me or my boss?

If it's your boss then all other options are out the window - you will learn it. If it's you, then maybe (if you're keen) or definitely (if your ongoing work depends on it).

So what does your boss want you to learn?

The hot topics today are making highly scalable concurrent web applications that (sometimes) handle large datasets and are extremely quick to change to meet market needs. Your boss will be reading the technical literature and blogs that promote the idea that his team needs to change language to remain current in the marketplace.

Enter functional programming (F#, Erlang, Haskell, Lisp dialects) and data querying (R) languages.


I think, MS is going to promote and push forward F# (they already do this AFAIU). Also, I would like to understand what is going to happen with Java.

  • 2
    Java will keep trucking along just nicely. If you want fancy new language features then you can use a host of JVM languages that are all interoperable with Java (Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Fantom) Dec 14, 2010 at 14:21

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.