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Popular Programming Languages

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First of all, Happy New Year!

IEEE Spectrum published a ranking of the most popular programming languages. Computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos wrote the article. While it may surprise some, I wasn’t surprised to find SQL in the top ten.

07dataflow-1403643424680Nick weighted and combined 12 metrics from 10 sources (including IEEE Xplore, Google, and GitHub) to rank the most popular programming languages.

  • Compiled programming languages (Java [#1], C [#2], C++ [#3], C# [#4], Objective-C [#16])
  • Interpreted programming languages (Python [#5], JavaScript [#6], PHP [#7], Ruby [#8], Perl [#11], HTML [#12])
  • Data languages (SQL [#9], MATLAB [#10], R [#13])

I couldn’t resist including Objective-C because it shows how the iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS impact our daily lives. At the same time, Assembly [#15] is actually more popular than Objective-C. Shell [#17] follows Objective-C. While the Visual Basic [#14] programming language still remains very popular.

There are many “why” questions raised by this list of popular programming languages. The “why” from my perspective deals with what are the market drivers for their popularity. The money drivers I see are as follows:

Business Intelligence (BI) software manages most high-level data analysis tools and they’ll continue to get better over time. However, if SQL has shown us anything over 30 years it’s that ultimately we revert to it to solve problems. The conclusion from the reality of BI probably means the programming languages that develop those tools will continue to rise and so will the underlying data languages.

It’s also interesting to note that nine out of ten of the popular programming languages work with databases, like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server. While JavaScript doesn’t access the database typically, it’s JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is supported in all the databases.

Written by maclochlainn

January 1st, 2015 at 9:46 pm

6 Responses to 'Popular Programming Languages'

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  1. Here’s another interesting site that sums up 2014. This one is a little different because its data comes from users who voluntarily submit via twitter.

    Still, I think it’s interesting that SQL rates so high. Databases continue to be a core of just about any development that goes on these days. Unless you are solely doing development in the client, you are going to need to know how to interact with a DB.

    Mike Farmer

    2 Jan 15 at 9:38 am

  2. Mike, That’s an awesome site and interesting visual. Thanks.



    2 Jan 15 at 10:51 am

  3. Howard Kovacs provided this salary match link or snapshot below.

    java $102,000

    c $84,000

    c++ $104,000

    c# $94,000

    python $107,000

    javascript $99,000

    php $89,000

    ruby $107,000

    sql $92,000

    matlab $80,000

    View Larger Salary Graph


    3 Jan 15 at 12:59 pm

  4. I think the results are fair. I expect Java at #1 for compiled and Python for interpreted. These are indeed popular within the industry


    15 Feb 15 at 8:59 pm

  5. […] new MySQL 5.7 JSON functions […]

  6. […] JSON is key to web development […]

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