Go In Top 10 On TIOBE Index
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Moving into the 10th place on the TIOBE is a milestone for any programming language, giving it a place on the popularity chart which is refreshed at monthly intervals. Can we expect Go to rise towards the top of the chart? There's a long way to go.

The TIOBE Index Chart resembles a selection of brightly coloured knitting wool after the family of cats has fought over it and at first glance seems to convey little information as the noise overwhelms the trends. 

tiobe mar23 10

Study the chart for a few minutes and you may be able to make out how Python can risen through the ranks over two decade while Java has tended to decline with periodic recoveries so that it held top position in most months. 

Luckily this is an interactive chart and by clicking on the x-axis labels you can toggle lines on and off so that you can see just Go:

tiobe mar23 go

From this you can see that Go was at its most popular in terms of its percentage ranking in 2017, achieving 2.36% in July before slipping over a 2-month period to 1.36% in September that year, a slightly better ranking than this month's 1.24% 

Another interactive feature, activated by clicking on a language's icon in the Top 20 table, gives information about Go's relationship with the TIOBE index:

 Highest Position (since 2009): #10 in March 2023

 Lowest Position (since 2009): #122 in May 2015

medal Language of the Year: 2009, 2016

Language of the Year is awarded to the one that has experienced the greatest greatest year-on-year increase in its popularity and Go has been awarded this accolade twice - in 2009, the year in which it was launched and quickly gained a following and again in 2016. As the chart shows Go experienced a marked resurgence in popularity and having been at its lowest ever position in the TIOBE index (#122) in May 2015 went from 48th place to 13th between November 2015 and November 2016, as outlined in Go Turns Seven With Lots Of Attention.

Commenting on Go in this month's TIOBE Index report, Paul Jansen, CEO of TIOBE Software says: 

"Go has entered the TIOBE index top 10 this month. Engineers appear to love the Go programming language. What makes it stand out? Go is not revolutionary, but its strength is in combining the right features. It has built-in concurrency and garbage collection, is statically typed and has good performance. It also helps that Go is backed-up by the Google company. This improves the long-term trust in the language. Popular applications such as Docker and Kubernetes have been developed with the aid of Go.

This is a very similar assessment to the one included last month by Kay Ewbank in her report of new features in Go 1.20:

Since its initial development by Google, Go has matured as an open source project maintained by a team at Google alongside many contributors from the open source community. Go was designed as a systems programming language, and has also been used in high profile commercial successes such as Docker.

Google has a penchant for new languages - Dart was launched in 2011 as a new structured web programming language, in 2021 we reported on Logica, a logic programming language and in 2022 we met Carbon, a replacement for C++ - but while Google's support certainly helps, a language needs wider popularity to thrive.

Jansen also raises the question of whether Go will remain in the top 10 pointing out that:

position number 10 of the TIOBE index seems to change almost every month. 

Go's curve over the past few years has been typified by "up one month, down the next month" so it could well drop out, but so are those of the other languages close to it in the table. 


Next month we could see Go displaced by Scratch coming up. More likely is that PHP drops one more place, putting Go into 9th place.  Time will tell. 



More Information


GoLang Org Webpage

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A Decade of Go - Google's Systems Language

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Go Survey 2021

Python Overtakes Java In TIOBE Index


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 March 2023 )