I want to contribute to open-source software, is there any programming language in particular that is better than the rest?

I barely have any knowledge about programming in general and I want to know where to start from so that I can contribute my own works. Thanks.

Disclaimer: I’m not a developer.

This seems like a very hard question to answer, to be honest. It really depends on what you’d like to contribute to and learn.

If you’d like to look into Android app development, Kotlin seems the way to go nowadays. In general, Rust is highly regarded, especially in terms of its security, as it is a memory safe language, unlike C.

This is partly why, for example, Tor is being essentially re-written in Rust with their Arti project.

In conclusion, though, in terms of a concrete answer, the best most people will be able to give you is “depends”.


I should also mention that, while clearly essential, programming isn’t the only method of contributing to open source software.

This blog post inspired me to start doing what I can to help the projects I’m passionate about. I’m not quite there yet with my technical qualifications (still working on it)—and development just isn’t really my thing—but I do have experience in research and academic writing, so that’s where I’ve started!

Just contributing ideas is valuable, too. :smile:


The other two replies here are on point. As @matchboxbananasynergy said, it “depends”. And as @anon34719932 said, you don’t necessarily have to contribute as a developer if you don’t feel the vibe.

I’ll offer another perspective, in case it helps. Programming is mostly a mindset. Once one gets into the mindset, then the choice of the programming language itself is, while important, in a certain sense irrelevant.

All this is to say, pick any programming language that fits your vibe. Maybe try a few to find what fits your vibe. Once you’ve found and learnt one programming language, learning the second one won’t be hard. Or maybe you’ll find that you don’t particularly enjoy programming, which is fine too, there are many ways to contribute in equal and/or even more impactful ways without writing code.


You don’t need to be a developer to contribute to open source projects, writing documentation, doing testing, doing translations, etc. are all very important tasks.

Thank you all for the helpful replies. :slight_smile:


I think python is good too.

For lots of Linux stuff bash can do magic, its basically powerusing linux.

Rust, if its not hard to read, is probably the best. I looked at some code and it seemed understandable.

It is pretty high efford, but lots of stuff will be rewritten in Rust, the Linux kernel too, drivers, … lots of work needed to just make whats existing more secure

FOSS exists in every language, I’d look at what software in particular you’d like to contribute to.

For example I find LibRedirect and FreeTube interesting projects, which both use JavaScript. On the other end there is Firefox and Tor, written in C++.

As a developer I can say the language you start out with is mostly irrelevant if you pick a mainstream one. It doesn’t take long to pick up a new language, you mainly have to figure out syntax.