TIOBE Index - Top 10 Languages Slump
TIOBE Index - Top 10 Languages Slump
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017

This month's TIOBE Index shows a downward trend for every language in the Top 10 except two - but on further inspection they too are in decline when you focus on recent months.

The TIOBE Programming Community index is intended as an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The rating are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors with data collected from sources including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu. It started in 2002 and is published on a monthly basis with a Top 10 Chart providing the overall trends over 15 years.

If the Top 10 chart is to be believed interest and educational/economic activity connected to computer programming is in terminal decline - something we know just isn't true. So we need to ask just what is it telling us?

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The headline news from the above chart is that the top programming languages C and Java have all time low scores in a decline that seems to be in freefall. However, this doesn't stop them being two of the most used languages. This says to me that rather than ask questions or speculate on these mature languages, developers just get on with using them and those looking to hire developers also take them for granted. 

One anomaly with the TIOBE index is the position of JavaScript in the ranking. Despite being the language in which more lines of code are written in GitHub repos than any other, it has never dominated and currently it is in 8th place, down from 7th last year.

 

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The two languages that moved upward within the August 2017 Top 10 chart were Ruby, up from 12th place to 10th and Visual Basic.NET up from 8th place to 6th. However, if you focus on the right of the chart, the most recent period, they too have declined in popularity since the turn of this year. Even so Visual Basic.NET does buck the trend. Could this be down to a debate over whether it is has any future? 

If you look at its popularity on the recently launched Stack Overflow Trends, which is based on the use of Stack Overflow tags then a very different picture emerges of interest in VB.NET which is probably more accurate:

sotvb

 

Two of the languages that have moved in a positive direction on TIOBE are Go, which went up 5 places from 20th to 16th year on year and Dart, up 7 places from 26th to 20th. However StackOverflow Trends paints a different picture with Go's trend much more positive than Darts which seems to have had its day.

sotgo

This month's TIOBE commentary speculates on what languages are doing well:

So what languages are taking advantage of this? It is all happening down in the charts around position 40. A new set of languages is gaining ground, notably Crystal (#32), Kotlin (#41), Clojure (#42), Hack (#43) and Julia (#46). Especially Crystal with its jump from position 60 to 32 in one month is doing very well. The Crystal programming language is a statically typed Ruby variant. Since it is compiled it is superfast and has a small memory footprint without losing the feeling of being easy to use. It seems worthwhile to give it a try. 

Whereas it highlights Cystal, this isn't a language that is easy to monitor on Stack Overflow Trends because of a name clash with Crystal Reports. Kotlin on the other hand has a unique name and it has been very much on I Programmer's radar. According to Stack Overflow it is indeed on the ascendant. 

sotkotlin

 

 Kotlin it seems is one to watch.

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More Information

TIOBE Index

Stack Overflow Trends 

Related Articles

C Slides In TIOBE Index 

Explore Your Favorite Topic With Stack Overflow's Interactive Trend Tool

Why Is C Top Language In IEEE Ranking? 

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 August 2017 )
 
 

   
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