67 responses

  1. Ian B
    February 8, 2012

    Rust’s ranking on github was erroneous, unfortunately:
    https://github.com/mozilla/rust/issues/1512

  2. gene
    February 9, 2012

    on LinkedIn, the Java user group grew members faster than every other tracked programming language excepting C# and Java.
    ——–
    probably mean C# and javascript

  3. Donnie Berkholz
    February 9, 2012

    You know what would be totally awesome? Making an vector plot with arrows from old to new locations of each language. That would make the moves you mentioned obvious, as well as others like the increases in popularity of XQuery and Arduino, Puppet, Standard ML and AutoHotkey (whatever that is), and other even less common languages. I’m particularly intrigued by XQuery and Puppet.

    • Simon Phipps
      February 9, 2012

       Just indicating the popularity trend with a colour (green for increasing, red for decreasing, for example) would be great.

      Also, it looks to me as if there are three clear clusters. Perhaps tracking movement between those clusters over time would be a good alternative metric? So mark the boundary of each cluster with a colour (blue for the leaders, orange for the challengers and grey for the specialists) and then mark each language in the colour of the circle that that appeared in last time. That way the movers would stand out clearly against the rest in their cluster.

    • Aníbal Montaño
      February 9, 2012
  4. Guest
    February 9, 2012

    Rust is ranked #23 on Github right now, but if you look at some of those “Rust” repos, you will notice that most of them are false positives probably due to wrong interpretation of the .rc file extension.

    • Justin Malcolm
      February 10, 2012

       Interesting. Based just on the chart above I was about to start digging into Rust. It really looked like I was missing something.

  5. DonaldOJDK
    February 9, 2012

    Suggestion — add a third dimension (perhaps with bubbles) representing the number of jobs posted on indeed.com, or some other site (maybe dice, as it’s less prone to noise).  Would be an interesting addition to ‘economic activity’

    • corridor5
      February 9, 2012

      How about a fourth dimension with animated, time-shifting nodes. With a fifth dimension and the cooperation of the LHC we may even be able to reach into the very chasm of eternity and touch language nirvana. Hm, Nirvana sounds like a good programming language. I think I’ll base it on the JVM. Ooo, I’m getting numb just thinking about it.

    • Robin
      February 9, 2012

      There is some jobs data on (my site) http://jobstractor.com/monthly-stats if you’re interested. Although a more limited data set than indeed I think it shows a reasonable snapshot of the jobs market for developers.

  6. Matt Katz
    February 9, 2012

    I’m guessing viml isn’t actually a popular programming language.  most of us keep our vim plugins in a git repo and keep that in github.  So I might have a bunch of viml repos, but I’m not maintaining them or programming in them.  Same for the rest of my dotfiles.

  7. adamgent
    February 9, 2012

    C# and Ruby would/should be closer to the middle.
    The reason they are not is that Stackoverflow was created/shared by C# programmers at first:Jon Skeet co-wrote the F# book and Stackoverflow was written in C#.

    Likewise Github was very popular by the Ruby community because Github was written in Ruby.  The Github authors wrote the Git/Ruby connectors.

    • Justin Malcolm
      February 10, 2012

      I agree with you anecdotaly but the data does not agree. Perhaps your assertions explain why Ruby is to the right of the line and why C# is above it, but both languages show about the same degree of popularity on both axes. Your interpretation does not explain why Ruby is so popular on Stack Overflow or why C# has so many projects on GitHub. To me, C# is especially surprising since CodePlex and OuterCurve no doubt suck up a lot of the C# projects. Then again, Mono has moved to GitHub so that adds a bit of a bump (the Mono project has quite a few GitHub repositories I think).

      • adamgent
        February 10, 2012

        Well I think you answered yourself with another interpretation. That is overtime as github and stackoverflow improve with popularity languages are moving towards the middle. Kind of like when facebook and twitter killed off the other social media services, github and stackoverflow are doing so likewise. 

        You are for sure right that C# should be even further away from the middle considering that Git is not as popular on windows (its only been recently that Git worked natively on windows) and the plethora of other C# project hosting.

        What is very surprising to me is how Haskell is in the dead middle. I expected to see far more questions than projects. A good sign for Haskell.

  8. valyard
    February 9, 2012

    Do you have data for earlier months?

  9. Warren
    February 9, 2012

    Why GitHub and not BitBucket? Why bias this by making GIT-usage an entire axis of how we measure EVERY language?

    • roger pack
      February 15, 2012

       Yes, data from bitbucket would be kind, and definitely add to python’s repo count :)  The reality though is that both SO and github are “new fangled” and “more social” (which is also somewhat “new”) so will tend to favor younger/newer languages/developers, too, so…take the entire study with a grain of salt I guess.

  10. Jon Fisher
    February 10, 2012

    >> Java was widely regarded as a language with a limited futureLol in what universe? A lot of people hate it for it’s success, but it’s a fast enough, clear-enough language with a lot of purposes.

  11. Eddy
    February 10, 2012

    Nice analysis.

  12. Rodrigo Alves Vieira
    February 10, 2012

    Nice, having some math and graphs to show people that Java is not dead and reports of it are “greatly exaggerated”. Good to see JRuby and Scala growing too ;)

  13. radkat
    February 10, 2012

    Do you have anywhere raw data available? I’m interested in the first picture mostly.

  14. Jonny Coombes
    February 10, 2012

    Wow – I’ve been programming for nearly 20 years and this is the first time I’ve ever commented as regards these “popularity polls”.  Just wondering what the exact point of these surveys is – other than to try and direct non-thinkers as to which direction they should be pointing their CV?  Bring back the engineering spirit I reckon, less of this pointless marketing bollocks. 

    • Guest
      February 11, 2012

      To train sheeple, sorry people, and deploy as worker threads.

      • Frankelr
        July 2, 2012

        Oh, “guest”, you’re such sn individual!

      • Matt Joiner
        July 2, 2012

        Well FWIW, if unis actually paid attention to something like this, it’d still be an improvement.

      • Typo333
        July 3, 2012

        Whatever do universities have to do with programming language choice in industry?

        I certainly hope your university (unless perhaps it is a 1-year trade school like “ITT Tech”) is teaching you first how to learn, and second the fundamentals of the field, rather than wasting exceptionally valuable time with such minutae as programming languages.  Programming languages are absolutely guaranteed to change completely during one’s career.  I’ve never met anyone who used professionally a programming language they learned in college.

        Students today are graduating with record amounts of debt, and I wouldn’t want anyone to be going into debt to learn details of Java syntax.

  15. phonebanshee
    February 11, 2012

    It’d be interesting to see a plot of just the delta from the last dataset.  (I’d really like to see some ranking over time, but just the Sep delta is probably easiest to do) .

  16. Prathamesh Mone
    February 12, 2012

    what do we mean by?
    Scala may be separating itself from the other Tier 2 languages

  17. Nick
    February 12, 2012

    I think you are misunderstanding the criticisms of Java. No one is arguing that its popularity is going down, it is definitely the lingua franca of the business software world (like COBOL before it). It is just no longer the best choice out there in terms of technological superiority (again, like COBOL before it).

  18. Larry Geiger
    February 13, 2012

    No MUMPS?  Hmmmmm.

  19. elimisteve
    February 17, 2012

    “…on LinkedIn, the Java user group grew members faster than every other tracked programming language excepting C# and Java.”

    Java was most popular except for C# and… Java?  I’m not sure what you mean.

  20. elimisteve
    February 17, 2012

    Glad to see Go getting more popular!  It’s such an awesome language…  Speed + simplicity + concurrency == Awesome.

  21. Yavuz Ege Özcan
    March 4, 2012

    Java is growing because of Android, don’t you think? Would that be hard to analyse? 

  22. Will Kriski
    July 2, 2012

    Just remember that popularity does not equal higher pay if anyone’s interested in that. I specialize in a narrow niche middleware product that pays way more than .NET and Java. In other words, there is value and usually less competition in ‘unpopular’ languages.

  23. Ben Galvan
    July 6, 2012

    Remember to not be fooled by trends. A really good strategy (highlighted in the book “The Passionate Programmer”) is to 1) Don’t marry a language 2) Know two or more languages, one established and on the way out, and one that is trending up, and find a market in integrating both.

    Also important to know that programming is programming. If you are a good programmer,  a new language is simply a matter of learning syntax and rules.

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