TIOBE Index June Highlights
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Wednesday, 12 June 2024

The June 2024 TIOBE Index is out and its headline comes as a bit of a shock: C++ surpasses C for the first time in history. Lower down the ranks both Go and Rust have achieved their highest positions ever at #7 and #17 respectively. 

We've said it before but it bears repeating, the TIOBE index should be treated as an interesting indicator of programming language popularity rather than as anything definitive or absolute. It has some correspondence to trends in the software development landscape but its noise to signal ratio tends be overwhelming. On the other hand we programmers enjoy following the ups and downs of the programming languages we use or admire and look out for each month revision by Paul Jansen of the chart that goes back to 2001. 

As regular readers will know, if I had to be restricted to just one language, it would be C. So seeing C++ overtaking C and edging into #2 of the TIOBE Index is disappointing. However as examination of the chart, or rather a truncated one for the last five years, C++'s achievement can be described as "only just" and may well be reversed in the future. However, while both C and C++ are showing a year on year decline, C's change since last June is -3.14% while C++'s is only -1.33%.


Paul Jansen's comment on C++'s showing in the June 2024 index sums things up nicely:

C++ is the new number 2 in the TIOBE index. Originally, dubbed as the better and object-oriented version of C, it took C++ 39 years after its inception to beat C's popularity. C++ has never been that high in the TIOBE index, whereas C has never been that low. C++ started a new life as of 2011 with its consistent 3 yearly updates. Although most compilers and most engineers can't take up with this pace, it is considered a success to see the language evolve.


Jansen points to the main strengths of C++ being its performance and scalability and its downside being is its many ways to get things done, i.e. its rich idiom of features, which is caused by its long history and aim for backward compatibility. 

Personally I would go further and say that its "many ways to get things done" is its biggest problem. You can never figure out if you are using the best way of doing something and trying to read someone else's program is a nightmare. There isn't just one C++, there are as many dialects of C++ as there are C++ programmers. All this makes it easier to make some really important mistake. With C++ you have all of the vunerabilities of C plus some and none of the simplicity. Perhaps this is why C++ is going up in the index - so many programmers searching for the right answers.


It was back in February that we reported that Go was back in the TIOBE Top 10 for the third time in its history. Occupying #8 it was at it's personal best but has now gone one better, to #7, which is seven places higher than in June 2023 when it was at #14. In March 2023, when Go previously reached the Top 10, in #10, we speculated it might climb higher by overtaking PHP which was then in #9. Since then PHP went on a dramatic slide, dropping to #17 in April 2024 and is now in #15 after a slight recovery, and now it is Rust that is poised to overtake PHP.


As I gleefully reported at the time, Rust first entered the TIOBE Top 20 in March 2020 and was again at #20 in June 2023. This month it is at  #17, its new highest ever position. On current showing is likely to continue to climb, overtaking not just PHP but three others in a tight the group of languages with rankings only marginally (.05 to .07) above it, all of which are decline, Scratch, MATLAB and Assembly language. 

So while I'm unhappy this month that my favourite language, C, has declined in relative popularity, I can take comfort that my second favourite language, Rust, appears to be on the up.


More Information


Related Articles

C++ Picked Out By TIOBE - An Odd Choice?

Golang Back In TIOBE Top 10

Rust Is A Top Twenty Language 

Is PHP in Trouble?

C# Is TIOBE Language of the Year


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 June 2024 )