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Which programming languages do technologists really want to learn? According to a new survey from HackerEarth, Go tops the list, followed by Python, Kotlin, and some highly specialized languages such as R. If you’re looking for a new language to learn while locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might consider one of these.

Why is Go in the top slot? Good question. Go (also known as Golang) was developed inside Google, which has given the language a fair amount of buzz. In addition, Go aims to combine some of the best features of other languages into one package; for example, it offers Python-style readability along with runtime efficiency (like C++). It’s also used in a growing number of popular contexts, including container systems such as Docker and Kubernetes. 

All those factors are certainly enough to attract developer interest, even if Go isn’t actually used to the same degree as, say, Python or JavaScript. Speaking of which, the presence of Python and JavaScript in the second and fourth positions on this list (respectively) seems almost inevitable: Both languages are not only used to build lots of new software, but also have years’ worth of legacy code to be picked at and maintained.

Kotlin is likely on the list for reasons similar to Go: It has corporate support (Google named it a “first class” language for Android development) and a growing amount of buzz from the developer community. Also like Go, it’s a language that isn’t quite ready to challenge old-school languages such as Python in terms of broad-based adoption, although that day may come. 

HackerEarth’s data aligns closely with HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report, which came out at the end of February:

What’s clear from these lists is that certain languages such as Kotlin or Go could become very big in the future, if current developer interest is any indication. Keep them in mind if you’re exploring another language (or three) to add to your existing skillset.