Programming Language Statistics

There is a multitude of coding languages you can choose to develop a new solution. There are more than 265 items in the TIOBE ranking, but the developers don’t use all of them.

We researched software language classifications (such as PYPL and TIOBE) and created the complete ranking to help you decide on the tech stack you need and forecast the upcoming programming trends and statistics.

The Programming Languages Top Lists

The PYPL and TIOBE classifications have a cooperative working principle, due to which they grade one or another software language by its frequencies of mention. And it’s only one of their common features. When you look closely at them, you can see that their working principles differ as well as their final results.

PYPL displays the languages that tutorials (the keyword for Google Trends) were recently googled above all else. TIOBE, in its turn, represents its ranking according to the search results of services like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and others. Furthermore, TIOBE doesn’t mention the most used coding language or the best one. It is intended for the developers to measure their skills and choose the proper technology stack for their projects.

Now, let’s analyze the lists and make our own one based on the classifications viewed before.

PYPL Popularity Ranking

Python opens the PYPL TOP-10, Java and JavaScript follow it. Swift and Kotlin round out the top list. As a result, Python (+4.3%), Kotlin (+0.5%), and JavaScript (+0.1%) are the most trendsetting languages, while Objective-C (-0.6%) and Java are the least (-1.9%) ones. It should be mentioned that PYPL’s TOP-10 does not contain Visual Basic.Net and SQL (Visual Basic is 17th in the TOP-20 rating, and SQL is not even in the TOP-30).

Software language ranking by PYPL

TIOBE Ranking

Java leads the TIOBE TOP-10 list. Meanwhile, C gains traction quickly, having a +2.4% increase, followed by Python (+1.41%) and C# (+2.07%).

Software language ranking by TIOBE

Programming Language Classification for 2021

We used the PYPL ranking to define the most popular languages in 2021. It should be noted that the classification doesn’t contain any frameworks.

10. Kotlin

This application language for Android is well-known in the mobile world because of Android apps’ popularity. According to recent statistics, 131.2 million Americans began using smartphones and tablets working on Android. Kotlin is used for coding 80% of Android apps, 31% of server-side apps, and 30% of libraries and SDKs.

Kotlin distinctive features:

  • Combinability with Java
  • Incremental compilation maintenance
  • Fitting both for backend/frontend apps
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Kotlin is the basis for the development of Netflix, Slack, Basecamp, and Evernote applications.

9. Swift

This language fully warrants its name. Apple’s official website says Swift is the quickest for iOS development, working 8.4 times better than Python and 2.6 times quicker than Objective-C.

Swift’s distinctive features:

  • Basic comprehensive syntax
  • Compatibility with Objective-C
  • Sustained ABI alternative for Apple’s products
  • Open-source software language

Swift served as a coding language for Hubspot, LinkedIn, or Airbnb.

8. Objective-C

It is called Swift’s ancestor because it was used for iOS app building till 2014. Despite the tutorials being concentrated on Swift, Objective-C stays requested nowadays because there are lots of apps written on it. So, the iOS devs must learn this language.

Objective-C distinctive features:

  • C-based language
  • Static library use
  • The efficient runtime code compilation
  • Maintenance of different OS

Such Apple software products as iTunes and Apple Music are developed on Objective-C.

7. R

In terms of statistics and analytic reports, R is the best choice (together with Python). Other uses include maintaining R solutions and producing graphics or text from the results. While R is used to perform statistical analysis, data scientists choose it to explore datasets and perform ad hoc analysis as well.

Distinctive features of R:

  • Possibility to conduct statistical analysis and use ML techniques
  • Interoperability with such OS as Linux or Windows
  • The acting of interactive statistical environment

R is used when it comes to data analysis in banking (such as clustering & forecasting), healthcare, and other domains.

6. C++/С

C++ and C are the two main languages for the development of operating systems and databases. For instance, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux are developed on C; PostgreSQL database is also developed with the help of C, and MS SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL are created both in C and C++. In Google Trends, C is as popular as C++ due to the PYPL rating.

Common features:

  • C and C++ have the same design transmitting scheme, but their compilation system is different from each other.
  • The languages share the same syntax and basic memory template, which is comparable to hardware.

Such software as Adobe’s and Microsoft’s primary products, as well as the Mozilla browser, have all been developed using C++ as a programming language.

5. C#

This language can be considered as a combination of C and Java. Its multifunctionality allows developers to create a wide range of products, from backend applications to mobile apps. C# is also used to build desktop platforms on the Mac and Windows solutions for PCs (together with the .Net framework).

Distinctive characteristics of C#:

  • Enumeration support
  • Native resource-control idioms
  • Tight cooperation with Windows
  • Presence of dynamic variables

4. PHP

Dynamic web pages and online services can simply be created with PHP. This language , as a backend programming one, may also be used to create web apps and web pages.

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PHP’s distinctive features:

  • Opportunity to interact with MySQL
  • Cross-platform feature
  • Small learning curve

PHP-based products

3. JavaScript

JS has been the most popular client-side programming language for several years. It’s commonly used for web page animation, as well as for effects, pop-ups, and small games creation. Developers integrate it with the Express, Node, or Angular frameworks to build both frontend and backend projects.

Distinctive features of JS:

  • Opportunity to interact with various software languages at once
  • Cooperation with several frameworks
  • Data validation ability

Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Amazon can serve as examples of web pages built with the help of JavaScript.

2. Java

Being famous for a long time, Java is the choice of global brands such as Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn, and Twitter, that created client-side web systems and designed web applications architectures with the help of this programming language. It is also used for developing Android applications; moreover, the most significant part of Google Play apps is written in Java.

Java’s distinctive features:

  • Constant stability
  • Top-quality code compilation
  • Portability across different OS

The future reputation of Java is supported by its popularity. GitHub has got 94,183 Java-related public repositories, and StackOverflow contains 1,625,874 questions connected to Java coding.

1. Python

According to PYPL’s ranking list, Python is in first place — and for a good reason. With the finest documentation and stable syntax, it’s great for web and mobile development. Python is the ideal choice for backend development because it has a standard library and various frameworks (including the popular Django).

Python-based apps

Python’s distinctive features:

  • Access provision to several modules
  • Ability to cooperate with ML and AI to create cutting-edge web and desktop applications
  • Cross-platform feature
  • Object-based software language

Software Development Trends for Future

GitHub noted the five quickest developing software languages in their “The State of the Octoverse” survey. We can use it to understand what should be waited for in the nearest IT future.

Languages like Rust and Kotlin will remain popular because they are oriented on compatibility and type safety, being statistically typed. Many contributors are also gained by Dart, and human-readable language (HCL) for DevOps is also growing quickly.

Wrapping up

The tech stack choice is essential for the scalability and future maintenance of your upcoming product. However, you can easily become entangled in all the trends and changes, and a competent software development team can help you deal with this issue.

The specialists will provide you with the results of their business analysis as to the currently popular toolset. Expert consultations about the most challenging problems to solve will help you develop the top-class and profitable solution for your business.

Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad, an Android app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

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