According to the Online Historical Encyclopaedia of Porgramming Languages about 8.945 coding languages have been created. At present, various sources report a number of coding languages between 250 and 2500. Many of these languages are little or not used at all. Truth is, a much smaller number ranks among the top of the group of most popular languages. How can we therefore understand which are the most used programming languages?
Use of programming language
TIOBE is one of the known indicators. It is based on a combination of data such as the number of websites assigned to a certain language, the number of searches in different search engines, the number of certified experts, etc. Still, due to the number of sites in a certain language, the TIOBE index may not reflect actual interest and usage.
Unlike the TIOBE indicator, the PYPL indicator analyses the frequency with which tutorials are requested for learning a programming language. It is therefore assumed that the higher the number of requests, the more popular the programming language. Hereafter we will show you the 10 currently most used programming languages according to the PYPL index.
The 10 most used programming languages in the world
Python is one of the most used programming languages and this tendency won't stop. The language has it all: it is open-source and the script is easy to use and understand, which means it saves time and resources. It also lends itself as one of the most suitable languages for learning programming.
This programming language is also used in the development of websites, mainly thanks to the Django or Flask frameworks. For example, sites such as SemRush or Reddit were developed with Python.
Java has been a popular programming language for decades and still today it is the first choice for many companies and developers. Big companies like Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Spotify, Airbnb and many others use Java.
Although it has been superseded by Python, Java remains a practical, stable, consistent and useful programming language for developers to create many types of applications and to minimise implementation dependencies. Its syntax is also close to English and makes it easy to learn, understand and write compared to other, less simple programming languages.
The wide range of applications allows software to be created for mobile devices, payment terminals, ATMs, IoT (Internet of Things) and websites. Java is the most widely used language for Android application development and is still essential, although Kotlin is gaining popularity at an increasing rate.
C# is a programming languages that continues to appear in the lists of the most used programming languages and is the most important in the world of Microsoft's .NET framework. C# was developed in 2001 as a competitor to Java and is completely controlled by Microsoft, which results in the possibility of rapidly implementing extensions to the language. It is present in the corporate as well as in the government, banking or medical environment.
Still, it is very versatile and is also used in other areas such as IoT (Internet of Things) or the development of video games, websites or mobile applications. When it comes to website development, the ASP.NET framework or the Xamarin tool can be used to create native applications for Android and iOS.
C is the basis of C++ and is used in many areas, such as for operating system programming or system programming. C++, an extension of C developed in 1979, is widespread among the 'Big Three': Google, Facebook and Apple. It is mainly used for machine-oriented programming.
C and C++ are still popular programming languages in system and application programming, especially when efficiency is important. C is also often the first programming language to be supported by a new hardware platform. Many of today's database systems, such as Oracle, MySQL or MongoDB, are programmed in C++.
The server-side scripting language PHP is mainly used in web development. In fact, almost nothing works on the Internet without PHP and MySQL, precisely because they ensure good communication between websites and servers. It is therefore clear that PHP is one of the leaders and probably will be for many years to come. Moreover, the language is quite easy to learn.
A statistical tool that has become increasingly important in recent years is the R programming language. R appeared in 1993 and is an open source software and flexible programming language for the statistical analysis of data, the creation of graphs and the execution of simulations.
R is very popular among statisticians, data scientists and analysts and is also widely used in academia and research, as it allows users to easily reproduce and share their results through reproducible code and documentation.
The Swift programming language was developed for Apple in 2014. The aim was not to replace the previously used Objective-C programming language, but to create additional possibilities for iOS and macOS app development. In addition to app development for Apple devices, Swift can also be used for the development of server applications, games, software development tools and automation applications.
Although Swift is a compiled and type-safe language, for which the compiler is able to detect many errors at compile time, it has a very elegant and compact syntax reminiscent of scripting languages.
Although we find Objective-C in tenth place in the PYPL index, it is a language that is less and less used thanks to the advent of Swift. For this reason, we have chosen to "climb" one place to a language that is increasingly popular: GO.
Go is a general-purpose open source language. it was developed by Google to create reliable and efficient software and is a statically typed and explicit language. Today, Go is used by Google in numerous products such as Google Chrome, Google Earth, YouTube and Google App Engine. Other prominent companies that have relied on Go to develop and improve core software products are Uber, Twitch, SoundCloud, Docker, SendGrid and Dropbox. Go is particularly important for the development of microservices in the cloud.
Our DevInterface team also uses Go, if you want to learn more about this topic, we recommend you read our article 'Why we use Go for high-performance APIs'.
Not far behind Go's eleventh position is another language that we use regularly: Ruby on Rails. At the time of writing the article, this programming language is in 15th place in the PYPL ranking and is on the rise.
Thanks to its simplicity and convention on configuration, Ruby on Rails enables fast and effective development, lending itself particularly well to high-performance web platforms in various sectors: from e-commerce, social networking, start-ups and education.
Ruby is one of the basic languages that also makes up our technology stack. The question is often asked whether Ruby on Rails is now obsolete or still relevant. For us, Ruby's fairly high position in the ranking is already an answer to this question.
Do you think the PYPL classification is adequate? Which of these programming languages do you use? Let us know by leaving a comment!
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