Top 5 Dying Programming Languages in 2024

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If you plan to pursue a career in programming, you need to continuously evolve and stay at the forefront of technologies. Unfortunately, this means that over 30-40 years of professional activity, you’ll need to switch your technological stack 4-7 times because programming languages become outdated. In this article, we’ll delve into dying programming languages in 2024, as well as which ones appear promising. Plus, we’ll analyze the parameters that unite the most popular programming languages.

Heading for Retirement: Top Dying Programming Languages in 2024

Our list includes five programming languages that are reaching the end of their era: Objective-C, Pascal, Perl, COBOL, and Rust.


Before Swift took over, Objective-C was used to build apps for Apple devices like iPhones and Macs. For example, popular apps like Instagram and Airbnb were initially built using Objective-C. Even though Swift is the new favorite, some older apps still use Objective-C.


In the past, Pascal was often used in educational settings to teach programming concepts. It was also used for writing small programs and tools. For instance, early versions of Adobe Photoshop were partially written in Pascal. However, its usage has declined significantly in recent years.


Perl was widely used for web development, especially for handling tasks like processing forms and generating dynamic web pages. For example, popular websites like Craigslist and IMDb relied on Perl for various backend tasks. However, as web development evolved, Perl’s usage diminished in favor of more modern languages like Python and JavaScript.


COBOL has been traditionally used in industries such as banking, finance, and government for handling large-scale business operations. For example, many banking systems, insurance platforms, and government databases still rely on COBOL code developed decades ago. However, the demand for new COBOL projects has decreased significantly.


Rust gained popularity for system programming tasks, particularly in projects requiring high performance and memory safety. It has been used in projects like operating systems (e.g., Redox OS), game engines (e.g., Amethyst), and web browsers (e.g., Mozilla Firefox). Despite its challenges, Rust continues to find niche applications where its unique features are valued.

Rust is the youngest among this group. It’s only 14 years old as of 2024. Meanwhile, the average age of our “retiring” group is 42 years.

Read: Remote software developers or on-site team – what programmers are more effective and why? Fresh stats.

What Unites the Described Dying Programming Languages in 2024

Let’s look at the languages and technologies that are currently replacing the mentioned five outdated languages:


Replaced by Swift for developing applications for Apple’s operating systems (iOS, macOS, iPadOS). Swift offers a more modern syntax, type safety, and improved performance.


Replaced by more modern languages such as Python, Java, C#, and JavaScript, which offer greater flexibility and power, as well as extensive communities and ecosystems.


Replaced by Python and Ruby, which offer cleaner syntax, modern features, and more advanced frameworks for web development.


Replaced by more modern programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, and others, which offer greater flexibility, performance, and opportunities for developing business applications.


While Rust doesn’t have a direct replacement yet, some of its features and advantages can be found in programming languages like Go and Kotlin, which are also oriented towards developing system and high-performance software.

In summary, we notice that languages become outdated when their syntax becomes too complex, and they lack the flexibility and performance to solve current tasks.

Let’s leave our poor Dying Programming Languages aside and see which languages are currently at the peak of popularity.


The Most Popular Programming Languages in 2024

The PYPL (PopularitY of Programming Language) Index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google.

Based on the PYPL Index in the USA, we can assert that the most popular programming languages are Python, Java, R, C/C++, and, of course, JavaScript. Their average age is 35 years.

Python rules them all: requests about Python make up 33% of the total number of queries.


Common Features

While the popular languages may differ significantly in terms of flexibility, syntax simplicity, and performance, the following factors are undoubtedly common among them:

  1. Community All listed languages have active and developed communities that support language development, library and framework creation, as well as knowledge and experience sharing.
  2. Scalability
    • Python, Java, and JavaScript are often used for creating large and scalable applications and systems due to their developed ecosystem of libraries and frameworks.
    • C/C++ are widely used in system programming and game development, where scalability and performance are key requirements.
    • R is commonly used for data analysis and scientific computing, where scalability may be critical.

Thus, all these languages are scalable.

Community and scalability will always be key factors in the popularity of any technical tool. Simply because it’s easier for you to work when your tool can handle tasks of any complexity and you have someone to ask for advice.

At JetSoftPro, we understand that business dictates trends, and the most interesting projects can be written in less popular languages. If you’re planning development in one of these rare languages, reach out to us, and we’ll find the best experienced specialists for you!

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