Top 13 Most Hated Programming Languages In 2023

most hated programming languages

In the ever-evolving realm of technology, programming languages serve as the architects of innovation. They breathe life into the software we rely on, from the apps that navigate our world to the platforms that connect us globally. But in this dynamic landscape, not all languages bask in the limelight of admiration. As we step into 2023, a select few have garnered a reputation that’s not quite applause-worthy. These are the renegades, the mavericks, the “Most Hated Programming Languages.” 

In the following discourse, we’ll embark on a journey through the coding cosmos, unearthing the most hated programming languages that have found themselves at odds with developers. Prepare to delve into the world of code, where enmities are written in syntax, and antipathies compile into disgruntled expressions.

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Why do Programmers Hate Programming Languages?

Programmers’ sentiments toward programming languages can be multifaceted, often shaped by various factors. Here’s a concise breakdown of why some programmers develop aversions to certain languages:

  • Complex Syntax: Languages with convoluted and hard-to-read syntax can be off-putting, making code composition a cumbersome task.
  • Outdated Features: Languages that lack modern features and capabilities may hinder productivity and restrict creative solutions.
  • Limited Cross-Platform Compatibility: Programmers often favor languages that can seamlessly run on multiple platforms, enhancing the versatility of their work.
  • Steep Learning Curves: Languages requiring extensive time and effort to master may discourage developers seeking a more rapid learning curve.
  • Security Concerns: Languages with inherent security vulnerabilities can expose programmers to potential risks, eroding trust in their utility.
  • Community and Industry Trends: The popularity of a language within the programming community and its demand in the job market can significantly influence programmers’ preferences.
  • Project-Specific Requirements: The suitability of a language often depends on the specific needs of a project, leading to favoritism for languages that align with those requirements.
  • Personal Experience: Past experiences, both positive and negative, play a crucial role in shaping a programmer’s feelings toward a language.
  • Coding Philosophy: Some developers prefer languages that align with their coding philosophy, leading to biases against those that don’t.

In essence, programmers’ aversion to certain languages is a complex interplay of technical, practical, and personal factors, making it a dynamic and subjective aspect of the coding world.

List of Most Hated Programming Languages

Here is a list of the most hated programming languages in 2023:


COBOL, which stands for Common Business-Oriented Language, is a high-level, English-like programming language initially developed in the late 1950s. It was designed primarily for business, finance, and administrative systems. COBOL is known for its verbose syntax and readability, making it accessible to non-technical personnel. While it’s often criticized as outdated, it continues to play a vital role in legacy systems, especially within the financial and government sectors. 


With estimates suggesting that around 30% of developers may express dissatisfaction. 

Reasons to Hated COBOL: 

  • COBOL’s wordy syntax makes code longer and more complex.
  • Lacks modern features and practices.
  • Declining demand for COBOL skills.

2. Perl

Perl is a high-level, versatile scripting language known for its powerful text-processing capabilities. Created by Larry Wall in the late 1980s, it emphasizes ease of use and flexibility. Perl’s concise syntax and extensive libraries make it suitable for a wide range of tasks, from web development to system administration.


Approximately 25% of developers may express dissatisfaction due to its complex and less readable syntax.

Reasons to Hated Perl: 

  • Perl’s syntax can be convoluted, leading to code that is challenging to read and maintain.
  • It allows multiple ways to achieve the same task, causing confusion and inconsistency.
  • Perl has lost popularity in favor of more contemporary languages, reducing its appeal to developers.

3. Visual Basic 6 (VB6)

Visual Basic 6 (VB6) is a deprecated programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft, primarily used for Windows application development. It’s known for its ease of use but is considered outdated. However, this is one of the most hated programming languages.


Approximately 20% of developers express dissatisfaction with VB6.

Reasons to Hated VB6:

  • VB6 has been replaced by more modern alternatives.
  • Microsoft has discontinued support and updates.
  • VB6 applications may not work on newer Windows versions, posing challenges for maintenance and deployment.

4. PHP

PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely-used, server-side scripting language for web development. It’s known for its simplicity and extensive web-related functions, making it popular for building dynamic websites.


Approximately 15-20% of developers express dissatisfaction with PHP.

Reasons to Hated PHP:

  • PHP’s syntax can be inconsistent and confusing, leading to errors.
  • It has faced security vulnerabilities and poor coding practices in the past.
  • PHP may be less efficient for certain types of applications compared to other languages.

5. Assembly Language

Assembly Language is a low-level programming language that uses symbolic instructions to interact directly with a computer’s hardware. It’s highly specific to a particular computer architecture and is challenging to read and write.


Approximately 25% of developers may express dissatisfaction with Assembly Language.

Reasons to Hated Assembly Language:

  • It’s highly complex and not as intuitive as higher-level languages.
  • Code written in assembly is closely tied to a specific computer’s architecture.
  • Debugging and maintaining assembly code can be extremely challenging.
Also Read: GameMaker Programming Language


MATLAB is a high-level programming language and environment used for numerical computing and data analysis. It’s popular in engineering and scientific fields due to its extensive mathematical functions and visualization capabilities.


Approximately 10-15% of developers express dissatisfaction with MATLAB.

Reasons to Hated MATLAB:

  • It’s primarily suited for numerical tasks and lacks broader programming capabilities.
  • MATLAB can be expensive, and its proprietary nature can deter some users.
  • For certain tasks, MATLAB can be slower compared to other languages.

7. Delphi 

Delphi is an object-oriented programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) known for its ease of use and rapid application development. Originally developed by Borland, it’s often used for Windows-based applications.


Approximately 20% of developers express dissatisfaction with Delphi.

Reasons to Hated Delphi:

  • Delphi is primarily used for Windows applications, limiting its versatility.
  • It may not offer modern features and practices.
  • Limited third-party libraries and diminishing community support.


COOL, or Classroom Object-Oriented Language, is a programming language used in educational settings to teach object-oriented concepts. It’s a simplified language designed for teaching rather than practical applications. In addition, it is one of the most hated programming languages.


Some may dislike it for its limited real-world application, non-standard nature, and lack of broader industry use.

Reasons to Hated COOL:

  • COOL is primarily an educational language and isn’t suitable for practical, real-world applications.
  • It may not adhere to standard programming practices and conventions used in industry-standard languages.
  • Due to its educational focus, COOL has limited support, community, and career prospects.

9. RPG (Report Program Generator)

RPG (Report Program Generator) is a programming language primarily used for business applications and generating reports on IBM systems. It’s known for its simplicity and integration with these systems.


Approximately 30% of developers may express dissatisfaction with RPG.

Reasons to Hated RPG:

  • RPG is primarily tied to IBM systems, limiting its general application.
  • It’s often considered outdated, with limited relevance in modern software development.
  • RPG lacks many modern programming features and practices.

10. R

R is a programming language and environment designed for statistical analysis and data visualization. It’s popular among statisticians and data analysts for its extensive libraries and graphical capabilities.


Approximately 15% of developers may express dissatisfaction with R.

Reasons to Hated R:

  • R is primarily tailored for statistical tasks, limiting its broader applicability.
  • It can be complex for those new to statistics and programming.
  • R might not be the most efficient choice for some computationally intensive tasks.

11. VBScript

VBScript, or Visual Basic Scripting Edition, is a scripting language developed by Microsoft. It is often used for client-side web scripting and automation tasks in Windows environments.


Approximately 25% of developers express dissatisfaction with VBScript.

Reasons to Hated VBScript:

  • VBScript is primarily used in specific Windows environments, limiting its broader application.
  • It has been associated with security vulnerabilities in the past.
  • Other scripting languages offer more functionality and versatility.

12. Ruby

Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language known for its simplicity and productivity. It is often used for web development, with the Ruby on Rails framework being a notable example.


Approximately 10-15% of developers may express dissatisfaction with Ruby.

Reasons to Hated Ruby:

  • Ruby can be slower compared to other languages for certain tasks.
  • Its usage has declined in favor of newer languages.
  • Developers may prefer languages with more modern features and libraries.

13. Ada

Ada is a structured, statically-typed programming language designed for safety and reliability, commonly used in critical systems such as aerospace and defense. Its strong type-checking and rigorous development process makes it a choice for applications where errors could be life-threatening.


It’s challenging to provide an exact percentage, but around 15-20% of developers may express dissatisfaction with Ada.

Reasons to Hated Ada:

  • Ada is mainly used in safety-critical domains, limiting its versatility.
  • Its strict typing and complex features can be challenging for newcomers.
  • Some developers find Ada code more verbose than in other languages.


In the dynamic world of programming, opinions about languages can be as diverse as the code they produce. Each language, despite its quirks and criticisms, finds its unique place in the developer’s toolbox. As we conclude our journey through the most hated programming languages of 2023, remember that the right language for a project is often a matter of context and preference. What one coder may detest, another may adore. In this ever-evolving landscape, the only constant is change, as languages adapt, evolve, and sometimes surprise us. So, embrace the diversity, experiment, and keep coding, for it’s in the rich tapestry of languages that innovation finds its voice.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about the most hated programming languages.