Programming Languages Rating as of Fall 2017

Andrew Zola
Andrew Zola on Linkedin

The fall of 2017 is in now full swing and it’s the perfect time to take a look at what programming languages will survive in the new year. But analyzing popularity isn’t straightforward and requires the use of various proxies, data mining, and a combination of metrics to ascertain which languages are dominating the software engineering space.

Luckily for us, the good folks at IEEE Spectrum research group have already done all the hard work for us. In fact, they actually combined 12 metrics from 10 highly respected sources to rank 48 programming languages.

They also collected data based on what companies were looking for in job postings and what was currently dominating the open source market.

The data was collected from the following sources:

  • CareerBuilder
  • Dice
  • GitHub
  • Google Search
  • Google Trends
  • Hacker News
  • IEEE Spectrum’s own digital library
  • Reddit
  • Stack Overflow
  • Twitter

What’s more, the data was then filtered based on their usage in desktop, embedded, enterprise, mobile, and web environments to identify the languages generating the most buzz this year.

Going over their interactive ranking will provide an in-depth view of what languages are currently popular within the industry and what languages will probably dominate this sector in the new year.

Python reigns supreme!

According to their findings, Python that’s been in third place for the last two years has jumped two spots to be crowned the most popular programming language on the planet. This is because it was used often by developers in recent months to add programmability to applications like animation software and engineering analysis tools.

While Python’s popularity doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s also important to note that the top four languages have continued to dominate this space for the past few years.

Python, C, Java, and C++ continue to dominate in close popularity, but if you filter it down to what skills recruiters are looking for, C replaces Python at the top by a significant margin. There was also a change in the fifth place with C# replacing R.

Ruby is going off the rails

Ruby has continued on its downward trajectory in recent years and now sits all the way down, out of the top ten, in 12th position. At the same time, Apple’s Swift (which only emerged two years ago) joined Google’s Go in the top 10 taking the 9th and 10th place.

At the other end of the spectrum, Apple’s Objective-C dropped out of the top 20 and is now takes up the 26th spot.

What’s interesting is the fact that no new languages have entered the rankings for two years now. This suggests that we have entered an era of consolidation of coding to meet the demands of big data, cloud, and mobile applications.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that Fortran (28th place) and Lisp (35th place) continue to remain relevant even in 2017. This means that even if a language is decades old, it can still continue to sustain significant levels of interest.

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