These Programming Languages Are Here to Stay

When new programming languages emerge, they may seem poised to overtake an older one. After all, many fledgling options are highly capable and enjoyable to use, making legacy options seem clunky or antiquated by comparison.

However, many languages don’t go down without a fight. At times, they have loyal user bases that genuinely enjoy them, creating at least a degree of longevity. In others, the sheer volume of legacy code plays a big role, allowing the language to stick around because redoing the work is too cumbersome.

Regardless of the exact reason, some programming languages aren’t disappearing any time soon. Here are a few that have stood the test of time and will likely continue doing so for the long term.


Some experts predicted the demise of Objective-C, claiming that Apple’s Swift would be its undoing. While Swift is certainly functional and fairly elegant, Objective-C didn’t go quietly into the night. Ultimately, its 30+-year history was too much for a new language to overcome.

When a language has been around for decades, the amount of legacy code in existence is usually staggering. Rewriting or updating every app featuring Objective-C is just too much to ask.

Plus, many programmers favor languages they already know. If the choice is between sticking with Objective-C or learning Swift, many will choose the former.


Python was the language that seemed prime to take R out of the equation. After all, Python is incredibly popular and highly versatile, while R is a niche, focusing solely on the data analytics space.

Luckily, R has some fans on its size. Many specialists still rely on R, which may help it stay around longer than most would expect.


Another language that may survive due to legacy code is COBOL. It’s over 60 years old, so there’s a lot of it in use.

This became incredibly apparent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many government databases and financial institutions never updated mainframe databases and other legacy systems. As a result, COBOL was critical for a range of core systems.

Demand for COBOL skills rose as companies tried to find tech pros to help them navigate the coronavirus challenges. And, until those systems are updated, at least some degree of demand will remain.


PHP – a 25-year-old programming language – has reportedly been at death’s door for some time. Its use has fallen over the years. However, its presence in legacy code keeps it alive.

Even major tech giants like Facebook have PHP code. As a result, the chances that it will disappear in the near future are fairly small, even if the headlines say otherwise.

Ultimately, all of the programming languages above are likely here to stay. If you’d like to learn more about in-demand programming languages and how the right ones can make it easier to further your career, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our specialized recruiters today and see how our programmer career expertise can benefit you.

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