6 Best Programming Languages for Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence
Written by:
App Academy
Published on:
March 8, 2023

Explore the top programming languages that are most effective for machine learning. This article provides insights into their features, benefits, and why they are considered the best in the field.

There are many different programming languages out there, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Some are better for web development, and others are better for cybersecurity. If you have a particular interest or range of interests, it’s a good idea to pick one (or a few) programming languages that can help you achieve your goals.

As our technology continues to advance, more jobs are beginning to center around new areas of expertise like machine learning. If you want to get your foot in the door, what skills do you need to know? Let’s take a look at the most-used programming languages for machine learning and how to choose the best one to learn.

What is Machine Learning (ML)?

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. Developers can train machines to recognize patterns and make predictions based on those patterns.

For example, let’s say there’s a dataset of customer purchases, including the time and date of each purchase, what was purchased, and how much it cost. You could use this dataset to train a computer to predict whether or not a customer will buy something in the future based on their past behavior.

This is just one of the many applications of machine learning, but there are many ways to use machine learning. It’s involved in search engines, speech recognition, and predictive analytics (like our previous example).

Machine Learning Use Cases

Machine learning is changing the way we live and work. It’s being used in a variety of industries including finance, healthcare, and retail. Here are just a few examples of how machine learning is used:

  • Fraud detection: machine learning algorithms can analyze past transactions to detect fraudulent behavior by users.
  • Medical diagnosis: medical diagnosis systems allow doctors and nurses to analyze medical records and combine them with data from patients’ test results to make more accurate diagnoses.
  • Self-driving cars: autonomous vehicles process the data collected from their sensors using machine learning algorithms. These algorithms help the car make decisions about what to do next based on what it sees and hears around it.
  • Recommendation engines: machine learning algorithms can be used to make recommendations for customers based on their past purchases or search history.

What are Machine Learning Engineers?

Machine learning engineers write code for the algorithms that are used in machine learning. To become a machine learning engineer, you’ll need a broad range of skills.

First and foremost, you’ll need programming skills. There are several languages to choose from (more on that later!). You’ll also need to have an understanding of statistics and probability theory. A machine learning engineer must have an eye for detail and an analytical mind in order to determine what datasets are best suited for analysis and model building.

The Qualities of a Good Programming Language for Machine Learning

Every programming language has its own strengths and weaknesses and is better suited for certain projects. The programming languages you choose for machine learning can make or break your project. If you choose the wrong programming language for your project, it can lead to bugs, errors, and poor performance.

So what are the best machine learning programming languages? What makes one language better than another? There are three main qualities that make a programming language great for machine learning.


Performance is one of the most important factors when it comes to machine learning programming languages. The more data you feed your algorithm, the better the output will be when it solves problems. But the quality of your algorithm depends on the performance of your code. You need a language that’s fast and can handle large datasets and complex algorithms.

Ease of Use

The best machine learning programming languages have straightforward syntax and a clean application programming interface (API). It should also have built-in support for common mathematical operations. Programming languages that are easier to use and understand make it easier to write code without a big learning curve.

Availability of Libraries

You need a programming language with a large community of developers that can build the tools you need. Python and R, for example, have many machine learning libraries that are free to use and open-source, helping developers complete projects faster with proven-to-work code.  

The Best Languages for Machine Learning

Based on those qualities to look for in a programming language, here are a few of the best languages for machine learning.

1. Python

The beauty of Python is that it’s easy to learn and use. It has great libraries for scientific computing, including many libraries for machine learning. The Python documentation is also excellent. You can learn how to use the language in a relatively short period of time, and you’ll be able to write useful programs after some more practice.

Most importantly, Python has a very active community of developers who are constantly improving the core language and adding new features and libraries.

Learn more: Why You Should Learn Python as Your First Programming Language

2. JavaScript

Though primarily used for web development, JavaScript is a great language for machine learning. It’s easy to learn, has a huge community, and is cross-platform. You can run JavaScript in the browser or on a server — you can even write server-side code that runs in the browser (using Node.js).

Developers can also use JavaScript for general-purpose programming, which makes it well-suited for working in conjunction with other languages like Python or R through libraries like NumPy or Pandas.

Learn more: What is JavaScript?

3. Java

Java is the preferred language for the Apache Spark framework, which is the most popular open-source machine learning library in use today. This means there’s less need to reinvent the wheel when developing your own machine learning algorithms.

The Java platform is built around object-oriented programming concepts, so it’s easy to write code that can be reused and extended by other programmers. It also has a wide variety of packages available for machine learning and data science tasks.

4. C++

C++ is a general-purpose programming language that can be used for any type of software development, but it’s especially popular among machine learning developers because it’s fast and performs well.

It also has many built-in functions for mathematical operations on data types, such as vectors and matrices (which are heavily used in machine learning). Another advantage of C++ is that its memory management system (RAII) makes it possible to write reusable code with minimal effort.

5. R

R is one of the best languages for machine learning because it’s powerful, flexible, and easy to use. It has a large community of users, and its development is led by statisticians who focus on making the language as intuitive as possible.

R can be used for anything from simple statistical analyses to machine learning tasks like neural networks and deep learning models. Its popularity means there’s plenty of documentation available online if you get stuck while using it, along with plenty of tutorials that can help you get started coding from scratch.

6. Julia

Julia is a programming language that is designed to be fast, easy to use, and flexible. It’s a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing. It features a high-quality compiler, parallel processing, precision in numerical calculations, and a wealth of mathematical utilities.

Julia is a great language for machine learning because it makes it easy to work with large amounts of data. It has a number of built-in features that make it particularly useful for numerical computing.

How to Choose the Best ML Language for You

Choosing the best language for machine learning to learn can be tough. As a developer, you have a lot of options, and they’re all a little bit different. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the best programming language for machine learning. You’ll need to consider a number of factors to decide on the best ML language for you.


If you’re already familiar with a particular language, it may be easier for you to learn how to implement your machine learning models in that language. If you have no experience with a particular language, on the other hand, it may take more time and effort to get up to speed. Consider your level of expertise and if one language or another could decrease your learning curve.


There are tons of programming languages out there, but they’re not all equally popular or widely used in industry applications. If you’re looking for job opportunities after graduation or you want to be competitive in the job market, it’s worth considering which languages employers are looking for so you can optimize your skill set accordingly.

Specific Application

Always consider your exact project or the specific application for the language you’ll choose. For instance, if you’re looking into using Python for machine learning, there are some differences between using Python compared to using R or Julia.

Type of Data

Depending on the type of data you have, some machine learning programming languages may be better suited for your needs. For example, if you have large amounts of structured or unstructured data, then R might be better suited for your needs than Python. R tends to be more complex than Python and also more effective when handling large datasets.

Take the quiz: Which coding language is best for you?

Start Developing Your Skills With App Academy

At App Academy, we can teach you the coding skills you need to take your career to the next level or steer it in a new direction. With our range of immersive programs, we can help you start your journey toward changing your career — and your life.

Reach out to one of our Admissions Specialists today or explore our curriculum to learn more about our programs.

Full-Time Online Coding Bootcamp - 24-Week Full-Time Software Engineer Program

Part-Time Online Coding Bootcamp - Part-Time Software Engineering Program

In-Person Campus Programs - New York & San Francisco Campus Programs

Learn to Code for Free - App Academy Open


Don’t miss a beat with The Cohort!

We’ll send you the latest Tech industry news, SWE career tips and student stories each month.

You can unsubscribe at any time. View our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! You've now been subscribed to The Cohort.
There has been an error. Please try again.

Interested in an App Academy Bootcamp?

One of our coding bootcamps, prep course or free online coding platform (App Academy Open) could be the next step you need to make a lasting career change!