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Top Dying Programming Languages in 2020

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  • Last Updated : 29 Oct, 2020

If you’re a 90’s kid, you must have heard about LOGO – Language for Graphics Oriented (right, Turtle Graphics!!) that was particularly designed for children to teach them programming. Similarly, you must be familiar with other renowned languages like ALGOL, BASIC, COBOL, and many more.


But do you know there is one thing common with all these languages that with the emergence of the technologies and the advent of various trending programming languages, these veteran languages have witnessed an unpredicted decline in their popularity & usage?

And if you’re assuming that these are the only languages who have experienced such situations then you must know that there have been a lot of programming languages that just came, rule, and fade away. So, the point is there is nothing wrong with these languages that made them disappear (in fact, Programming Languages never die, they become outdated!!), it’s just they get replaced by the better alternative that came in the market. Hence, it’s up to you to analyze the demand of the tech market and be aware of all the latest trends in the programming world to survive in the IT world. You need to know about the current and future scope of the languages and need to adapt to the changes accordingly to grow in your career.

Here, in this article, we’ve listed out 7 Programming Languages (based on various research parameters and standard resources) that are not worth learning in 2020 as these are going to die or fade away from the tech market in the future.

1. Objective-C  

The first name that comes here in the list of top dying Programming Languages is – Objective-C. The language that came around 36 years ago is a general-purpose, object-oriented language that follows the Smalltalk-derived syntax and is primarily used to develop applications for Apple platforms such as macOS, iOS, etc. The language single-handedly ruled the particular domain until the arrival of its alternative language Swift in 2014. Swift is comparatively being more preferred than Objective-C by the developers due to various remarkable features such as robustness, better memory management, etc.

As per the reports, Objective-C has dropped by 10-12 positions from the list of top programming languages within the last few years and subsequently Swift climb the ranking list with rewarding points during the same period. However, the language has still some occupancy in the market and probably not going to fade away anytime soon, but if you’re looking forward to starting your journey particularly with the macOS or iOS domain, you’re recommended to go with Swift instead of Objective-C.

2. Haskell

Haskell is one of the oldest general-purpose, statically typed functional programming languages. The language was particularly designed for handling symbolic computations along with list processing applications and it is considered to be much relevant to research and industrial application domain. Moreover, due to several worthwhile features such as better reliability, shorter lead times, etc., the language is being preferred by various big tech companies such as Facebook, GitHub, IBM, etc. in the past.

However, if we take a look at the TIOBE popularity index, the language shows a consistent decline in its demand & usage in the last 8-10 years. There may be various reasons behind that such as difficult to learn, static-typing, etc. Hence, despite the major standard update of Haskell in 2020, you’re recommended to not majorly rely on Haskell and consider learning other trending languages as well such as Python, Go, etc. for better career opportunities. Though, learning Haskell along with the other programming languages would also be the best option as having an understanding of functional programming language is always appreciated.

3. Perl

Perl, introduced in 1987, is a general-purpose programming language that incorporates Perl 5 and the latest sister version i.e., Perl 6 (also termed as Raku). The language is used for a wide range of tasks such as web development, text manipulation, GUI development, network programming, and many more. The language has enjoyed a good run in the tech world around 2004 but after the advent of several other prominent programming languages especially Python, Perl, and even its latest sister version is finding it difficult to make a strong command over the market.

According to the TIOBE Index 2019 Reports, Perl was ranked in 19th position which was an all-time low for the language. However, the language is been doing quite well with the rankings in the current year but still, you’re recommended to diversify your programming language choice considering the average downward trend of Perl in the last few years.

4. Pascal

Let’s move to another programming language that is not worth learning in 2020 – Pascal. The language is a general-purpose, procedural programming language that was specifically developed for teaching programming practices in a structured manner. The journey of Pascal Language is in such a way that it was developed on the model of ALGOL 60 language and then led to the development of Object Pascal. In general, Object Pascal can be considered as an object-oriented derivative of Pascal language.

The language has indeed enjoyed its popularity and demand in the market due to various features such as easy to learn,  extensive error checking, strongly-typed, etc. But when it comes to the growth and demand of Pascal in the current day scenario, you must know that old Pascal is almost dead and even the Object Pascal is on the verge of vanishing from the market as there is no buzz of the language among the developers.

5. Erlang

Erlang is a general-purpose, functional programming language that is primarily known for its support to concurrency, distribution, and fault tolerance. The language was initially used for huge telecommunication systems but then it expanded its implementation into various domains such as e-commerce, banking, and others. Though the language is still in utilization by some established organizations yet due to several factors such as steeper learning curve, availability of better alternatives like Elixir, Elm, etc. it is not being much preferred by the new developers and companies.

As per the reports, Erlang is experiencing a consistent decline in its popularity in the last few years. However, the jobs for Erlang Developers are still existed in the market and not going to disrupt anytime soon but if you’re having a long-term career vision for yourself then you should opt for any other trending and relevant language rather than going with Erlang.

6. CoffeeScript

Though the language, CoffeeScript, came into the existence in 2009 and is not that much old that it should be here in the list of top dying programming languages – yet it is!! It is a programming language that compiles to JavaScript with several additional features like list comprehension, destructuring assignment, etc. and provides better syntax & readability. The language became very popular in a very short span however that popularity doesn’t last long. As per Google Trends reports, CoffeeScript has witnessed a huge decline in the last 2-3 years in its popularity.

Several major reasons behind the decreasing demand for CoffeeScript are additional compilation process, prone to change, etc. Hence, if you’re currently working with the CoffeeScript or looking forward to starting your career with the language, you’re recommended to explore several other alternatives as well for better career opportunities in the long run.


Lastly, here comes one of the most renowned languages of its time – VB.NET!! The language is an object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft and is implemented on the .NET Framework. Visual Basic was developed by Microsoft as a variant version of the BASIC and then Microsoft proposed VB.NET in 2002 as the successor of its initial Visual Basic language. Undoubtedly, VB.NET was the favorite child of the market for a longer period of time but it somehow gets on the weaker side against its competitor language C# which is also primarily built on the .NET framework.

As per the TIOBE Index reports, C# has taken over the VB.NET in terms of demand & popularity and VB.NET is losing its charm according to Google Trends results also. Meanwhile, due to its strong command over the programming world in the past, VB.NET still has some adequate occupancy in the market but if you’re just about to start your career or in the beginner stage, you’re recommended to prefer other options.

Again, you must take into account that the above-mentioned languages like Objective-C, Perl, etc. are not going to die or disrupt immediately in the upcoming times, but they’re not worth learning from scratch in the year 2020 as there are better and worthwhile alternatives available in the market. And, on top of that, this is not only about Programming Languages, you’re always required to stay updated with all the latest trends & technologies to do better in your career!!

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