What is the most popular programming language?

Well, the answer is Java … according to the TIOBE Programming Community Index. Other statistics also announce Java as the most popular one. C/C++ is following closely but is still behind Java. Surprisingly PHP is in many charts on the next place while Perl and Python are struggling for being the most popular scripting language. However Ruby seems to continue it’s rise to conquer the world, although slowing down in the last months.

Here is a chart showing the long term trend of programming languages:

from http://www.tiobe.com

OK, so Java and Perl are slowly dying out. But who is replacing these languages? On the one hand Python and Ruby finally seem to get the attention they deserve. C# is also becoming more popular and is growing in a very stable rate. I think the development of C is interesting. The rapidly growing mobile market may be one reason why this language is still that popular. In the time of web application, plugins and powerful CPUs I would expect C to lose “market share” among the programmer community, but that doesn’t seem to happen.

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2 Responses to “What is the most popular programming language?”


  1. 1 zamkam January 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    The TIOBE index is highly misleading. To measure the “popularity” of a language, say Jave, they just search for “Java Programming” (exact match) on Google, Google Blogs, MSN, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and YouTube. How is that related to popularity? Java may have the largest number of pages, but that may only show the fact that it was extremely popular at some point in time, not that it is still the most popular. A more accurate measure would be to count the number of pages updated in the past month or so. I don’t know if that would truly measure the number of programmers actually using the language, but it would definitely be better than counting ALL pages ever written.

  2. 2 Brian November 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I searched and was shocked to see that C is right at the top in popularity.
    I did a lot of C programming until about 15 years ago and figured it was pretty much dead (by now) due to all the advancements in hardware and GUI.
    Back then, I was still writing C within the DOS framework of mind. I just need to look and see if today’s C can still do the job.


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