Skip to main content

Explore your training options in 10 minutes

Most Popular Programming Languages for Freelancing

Esa Landicho - March 07, 2022

Freelancing has become very popular because of the flexibility and revenue it provides. In 2020, there were 59 million freelance workers in the United States. Tech industry professionals can choose to work as freelancers for different organizations or private clients.

If you work in this field, knowing the best programming languages for freelancing is essential. In this guide, you’ll learn about the most popular programming languages for this career path and how you can thrive as a freelancer in the tech industry.

What Are Programming Languages?

Programming languages are computer languages used to develop scripts, software programs, and other computer instructions. So, whether you’re into mobile app development, backend development, or simple software development, you need to be proficient in programming languages.

Get offers and scholarships from top coding schools illustration

Find Your Bootcamp Match

  • Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
  • Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy , and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.

What Programming Languages Do Freelancers Use?

Some programming languages that a freelance developer uses are Ruby, Java, JavaScript, C, C++, Python, and C#. Professional developers are usually experts in most of these languages. According to the TIOBE Index, Python is the leading programming language among several computer languages. So, you should consider learning Python .

Best Programming Languages to Learn for Freelancing

  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Java
  • Swift

Which Programming Language Is Best for Freelancing?


Python is a popular language that’s great for building websites, creating software, automating tasks, and conducting data analysis. It is a full stack language used in backend web development and front end development. It is a fun programming language to learn because it’s beginner-friendly.

If you learn Python , you can do machine learning projects, build websites, and make desktop applications. A mobile developer can use Python to create games. Popular games like Vega Strike, Disney’s Toontown, and Civilization IV have been made by using Python.


One of the most recommended languages for freelancers to learn is JavaScript. You can use this helpful programming language to make web pages interactive. Whether you’re already a skilled developer or still learning, JavaScript gives you an edge because it provides structure and style to the web pages you want to create.

You can see JavaScript everywhere. For example, the search box on Amazon or the refresh option on your Twitter feed were created with JavaScript. Being proficient in this programming language is essential for your freelancing career because it gives you the chance to develop web and mobile apps.


PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a widely known language by freelance developers because it’s used for web development. It’s also a general-purpose language used to make graphical user interfaces or GUIs. It’s not surprising that demand for freelance developers is increasing because many big companies like Facebook use PHP.

The benefit of using this language is that it is platform-independent. This means you don’t need to use a specific operating system to run it. In addition, it is open-source, so the code used is made available for everyone. That’s an advantage, especially for tech companies, because they can build upon the code they have already used. PHP can also sync databases.


Many freelancers learn to code in Java because the demand for this language is also increasing. Java enables programmers to make desktop GUIs, enterprise, web, and mobile applications. Moreover, Java is easier to use compared to other in-demand programming languages like C++.

Java is a reliable, object oriented programming language and was built with a high level of security. Furthermore, it is a cross-platform language and works on various operating systems. Freelancers developing mobile apps prefer this programming language because of features such as its robustness and ease of use.


Swift is another programming language used by ambitious developers who focus on iOS, macOS, and tvOS. This safe, fast, and interactive language is used for Apple platforms. Swift is also a beginner-friendly language, but if your goal is to become a freelancer in one of the best tech companies in the world, then you have to make sure that you’re well-versed with this language.

Swift optimizes and compiles code to get the most out of contemporary hardware. Python has also impacted this language, which is an open-source programming language. Despite the fact that this is an Apple programming language, it has been used in other major programs such as WordPress, LinkedIn, and Lyft.

Venus, a software engineer at Rockbot

"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"

Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

Which Programming Language Should I Learn First?

The first programming language you should learn is Python, especially if you’re looking for something easy and fun to learn. Python can assist you in starting your development career as a freelancer because it is written in English. It’s also great for GUIs, web development, and software development. Consider how many projects you’ll be able to take on once you’ve mastered this language.

Startups usually use Python because it’s accessible. They use it as their primary backend stack. If you’re into AU, then you’ll certainly use Python too. Several types of projects are successfully executed because of Python. It also has lots of advantages like an extensive library. It focuses on code readability and it has a large community.

Is it Possible to Choose the ‘Wrong’ Programming Language?

No, it is not possible to choose the wrong programming language, especially when you’re starting as a freelance developer. Regardless of which programming language you choose, each one has its own functions and advantages. With that being said, even the best programming languages for freelancing have their limitations.

How to Start Freelancing

The freelancing job market offers many opportunities, whether you’re an average freelancer or have been doing it for several years. Nowadays, whatever skill, strength, or passion you have, you’ll be able to offer your services to a wide range of potential clients. However, you may be wondering how you can become a freelancer and thrive in the industry. Below we have included some essential steps to help you.

Identify Your Skills

As an aspiring freelancer, you must first identify the skills you possess and the services you can offer to your private clients. If you’re an IT professional, a web developer, or a UX designer, you already got some essential skills to succeed in your freelancing role. If you realize that you don’t have the necessary skills yet, then it’s the perfect time to learn them and enroll in relevant courses or certification programs.

Determine Who Your Clients Are Going to Be

The next step is to find and identify who your clients will be. For example, you need to decide if you want to work with small businesses, restaurants, or nonprofits. You don’t have to overthink and finalize everything immediately. However, knowing who your clients will be will help you gain more clarity and think of the projects you want to take.

Define Your Service Charge

The next step is to price your services. You have to decide whether you want to be on an hourly retainer, have a fixed project fee, or a value-based pricing fee. It all depends on the type of service you offer. This should be clear at the start of your agreement with your clients. Choosing how much you will charge is up to you, but you can research and check what other freelancers are charging for similar projects.

Create a Portfolio

For a client to choose you, you must show them first what you’ve created so far. You can do this by developing a portfolio with your best personal projects. If you want to build a web developer portfolio , for example, you can showcase websites you’ve built before, which will show potential clients your expertise.

Top Freelancing Resources

  • Website builders . These can include Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. On your website, you can show information about yourself and your existing portfolio. This will make it easier for the client to get to know you and see your skills.
  • Project management tools . Project management tools include Asana, Trello, or Slack. These are tools that help you keep up with your tasks and remind you of your to-do lists. Some clients also use this, so it’s helpful if you already have an account.
  • Time tracker . If you want to be paid by the hour, having a time tracker tool is essential. Usually, time trackers take a screenshot of your progress when they’re turned on.
  • Invoicing software . Invoicing software will take care of your payments and store your records. It is especially important when you need to pay your taxes.
  • Freelancing job boards . Job boards are where you can see available jobs and talk to clients. Job boards for freelancers include Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru.

Ready to Break into Tech?

Becoming a freelancer can be risky, especially when you’ve been in a company for several years. You may feel that your job security is uncertain at times because clients can drop the projects you are working on at any time. However, this risk can also bring about bigger opportunities to take on more projects and earn more.

Knowing the best programming languages for freelancing can help you stand out from others. As a freelancer, you can work on a wide range of exciting projects such as artificial intelligence apps, mobile development, application frameworks, and even software solutions.

Best Programming Languages for Freelancing FAQ

Is Python a good programming language to learn for freelancing?

Python is a good programming language to learn for freelancing as it is used in data science, process automation, web applications, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It has several applications and is very easy to learn. There are many clients that are trying to find professionals who are good at Python.

Can I do freelancing with knowledge of the C programming language?

Yes, you can do freelancing with knowledge of C. The C programming language is a general-purpose programming language that efficiently works on games, graphics, and enterprise applications.

How much do Python freelancers earn?

A freelance Python developer can earn an annual wage of $108,082 , according to ZipRecruiter. A full-time freelancer working as a Python developer can earn as much as $172,500 annually, which is an excellent salary.

How long will it take to learn Python?

The time it will take to learn Python will depend on you and how many hours you can spend learning it. However, since Python is known to be an easy language to learn, it should not take you too long to learn it. Within two to six months, the majority of Python users become proficient in the language.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Esa Landicho

About the author: Esa is a content writer who has extensive experience talking to students about their careers and life choices. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling.

Skip to main content