10 Years of Programming Language Evolution – IT recruitment Amsterdam

10 Years of Programming Language Evolution

By Cabe Atwell

Python remains the most widely used programming language, according to IEEE Spectrum, but what does this say about where the industry is headed?

We are so fond of our devices. Camera phones enable us to document our most precious moments, and the Internet and its many communication tools keep us connected to friends and family far away. It isn’t often that we think about the programming languages that make our connected world possible, but it’s worth noting that there have been recent shifts in the popularity of certain programming languages that could give us clues about where the digital world is headed, and also remind us of how far we’ve come.

Python ranks #1

IEEE Spectrum released its annual ranking of program languages last month and many were surprised to see Python maintained its top spot. Python, a script-based language, has held the top spot in IEEE Spectrum’s ranking since 2017. That’s not the surprise. IEEE scores the languages using a weighted scale. Last year, Python had a score of 100, while C++ scored 99.7, Java scored 97.5, and C scored 96.7. This year, however, the landscape of languages changed. Python maintained its top spot with a score of 100, but Java came in second with a score of 96.3 — quite a fall. C came in third with 94.4, C++ slid all the way into fourth place with a score of 87.5, and statistical programming language R took the fifth spot with a score of 81.5. Spots 6-10 were taken by JavaScript, C#, MATLAB, Swift, and Google’s Go, in that order.

(It is worth noting IEEE Spectrum’s ranking includes all programming languages used to support hardware and software applications within the context electronics and electrical engineering. IEEE generates its ranking based on 11 metrics from eight sources, including The IEEE, Reddit, Stack Overflow, Twitter, Google, GitHub, CareerBuilder, Hacker News, and GitHub.)

IEEE is the world’s largest organization for engineering and applied science, but it isn’t the only organization to rank programming languages. TIOBE also releases an annual ranking of programming languages specific to software. With hardware out of the picture, TIOBE’s ranking places Java as the most used language, followed by C, Python, C++, C#, Visual Basic .NET, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, and Objective-C.

Rankings from 10 years ago

In 2010, the TIOBE Programming Index ranked the top 10 languages in order as follows: Java, C, C++, PHP, (Visual) Basic, C#, Python, Objective-C, Perl, and Ruby.

In its very first ranking in 2014, IEEE’s ranking also included C#, PHP, and Ruby.

What changed?

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