Lua vs Javascript

Lua vs Javascript: Popularity, Salary, Performance, Features, and Applications

If you want to work on games, web applications, embedded systems, desktop applications, or graphic software, you should learn Lua.

Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. Lua is intended to be embedded into other applications.

It supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, data-driven programming, and data description.

On the other hand, if you are interested in web frontend design, web backend development, mobile app development, and desktop app development, you should learn Javascript.

Javascript is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and CSS. Javascript is used to make web pages dynamic and interactive.

Javascript Stats

Comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use for your next project can be tricky.

There are many factors to consider in order to choose the right programming language for the job you want to do.

Popularity, opportunities, type of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use.

Here are some of the comparisons and considerations you should make when choosing to learn a new programming language.


Comparing the popularity of programming languages is not an easy task because each programming language is different.

Although the usage of many programming languages may intersect, different fields and projects may require the use of different programming languages.

Plus, other programming languages have been around for a longer time than others, giving them more time to be tried and tested, so, bear that in mind.

If you want to learn a programming language solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn Javascript over Lua.

Generally, Javascript is more popular than Lua. As of June 2023, The TIOBE index ranks Javascript as the 7th most popular programming language while Lua is ranked as the 32nd most popular programming language.

According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2023, Javascript is the most popular programming language, it is used by 63.61% of developers.

Actually, 2023 continues JavaScript’s streak as its eleventh year in a row as the most commonly-used programming language.

On the other hand, Lua is the 17th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 6.09% of developers according to the same survey.

Further, Javascript is more admired than Lua, Javascript is admired by 57.83% of developers while Lua is admired by 47.98% of developers

Ultimately, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Javascript.

Also read, Is Javascript Enough to Get a Job


Another popular criterion that many people use to compare programming languages and as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.

Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.

Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned.

The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.

Generally, Lua developers get higher salaries than Javascript developers. The 2023 Stack Overflow survey of top-paying programming languages revealed that Lua developers get a median salary of $80,690 per year.

On the other hand, Javascript developers get a median salary of $74,034 per year, about $6,600 less than Lua developers.

So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a programming language, you should learn Lua over Javascript, because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a Lua developer than as a Javascript developer.

Here are 10 Programming Languages that Pay more than $90,000


If you want a programming language that is beginner-friendly and can be used to develop different types of applications, you should learn Lua.

Lua is easy to learn and work with than Javascript. It has fewer rules and comes with only 21 Keywords. It is also easy to maintain a Lua codebase even when the project is huge.

Many developers point “Fast learning curve” as the leading cause for choosing and learning Lua.

The good news is that there are plenty of helpful resources for both Lua and Javascript to help you learn the languages.

The Lua and Javascript communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.


Yes, Lua is very easy to learn if you already know another programming language. If you already know Javascript, you will find it very easy to pick up Lua.

Lua is a much smaller language than JavaScript, with a smaller standard library. This makes it easier to learn and use.

Of course, there are many differences between Lua and JavaScript. Lua and Javascript uses different keywords for some common operations.

However, these differences are relatively minor, and they should not pose a significant challenge to someone who already knows JavaScript.

Also read, Best Languages for Game Development


In terms of performance, Lua is generally faster than Javascript. There are specific cases where Javascript is more performant than Lua but generally, Lua is faster than Javascript.

Lua is very fast and performant, the designers of Lua focused on improving its speed, portability, extensibility, and ease of use in development.

When Lua is used with its just-in-time compiler, it is widely regarded as one of the fastest scripting languages in the world.

Another great advantage of Lua is that you can run Lua code in a C program or run C code in a Lua program using a simple Lua C API. This makes it easy to embed high-performance C code in Lua programs and other applications.



Javascript has found uses in many different fields, Jeff Atwood jokingly said, “Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.” 😂

There are countless Javascript frameworks that make developing projects with Javascript very easy.

You can use Javascript to develop web UIs, mobile applications, desktop applications, server-side applications, and games, just to mention a few.

Javascript powers some of the complex applications developed by some of the biggest tech companies and individual developers.


In general, Lua strives to provide simple, flexible meta-features that can be extended as needed.

Lua is also distributed in a small package and builds out-of-the-box in all platforms that have a standard C compiler.

Lua is used by many companies such as Adobe, Redis, Venmo, Lost Mable LLC, Aerospike, Wikipedia, Shopify, Close, Thumbtack, Roblox, Tokopedia, Unacademy, and many others.


Once you have compared the languages and evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn or use depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.

If you want to work on games, web applications, desktop applications, embedded systems, graphics software, and earn a higher salary, you should learn Lua.

If you want a popular language that you can learn easily, develop applications quickly, and work on web applications, mobile apps, etc. you should learn Javascript.