My Software Notes

Useful things I discover

Programming Language Trends

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There is a fascinating web page called the TIOBE Programming Community Index.  The index lists programming languages and gives an estimate of their popularity based on various criteria.

The index is useful if you are wondering which languages are popular and which are most used, etc., but more interesting is to view the trends of usage by clicking on the language names in the ratings table.

For example, as of right now (Oct 2009) Java is the top language, so if you were a new programmer you might be tempted to learn Java because it’s the most popular and there is probably lots of demand for Java programmers. But before you rush over to Amazon and buy Head First Java or Learning Java, click on the link to the long term popularity trend of Java and you might have second thoughts:  Java’s popularity is on the wane.  It’s popularity graph from 2001 to now, goes down at a 30 degree angle.

From its peak in 2001 in the #1 position with a rating of 26.5%, Java crashed to second place and a rating of 14.8% in 2004.  It recovered a bit by the end of 2005, but has continued to fall ever since.  If the trend continues then it won’t be #1 much longer.

In contrast, the long term popularity trend of C# is quite the opposite.  It’s graph is going up at almost a 45 degree angle.  So the neophyte programmer may be tempted to buy Learning C# 3.0 or C# in Depth: What you need to master C# 2 and 3.

Other languages that have very promising long term uptrends are Python and JavaScript.

Languages that were on uptrends but have now flattened out are PHP and Ruby – although they are still uptrending, just not as much as C#, Python and JavaScript.

Languages that are going down are Java, C (although it has made a small recovery since 2008), C++,  and Perl.

It all makes fascinating reading, so head on over and take a look.

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Written by gsdwriter

October 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Languages

Tagged with ,

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