It is not easy to find a field of programming today where Python is not used extensively, noted Paul Jansen, CEO of TIOBE Software. Python’s main appeal is in its ease of use, he said.
“Most languages have a steep learning curve—except for Python,’’ Jansen said. “Hence, lots of newcomers start with programming Python. It is simple, well-structured, easy to install, and there are a lot of libraries available. So all the non-critical programming stuff can easily be done by Python. That makes it so popular nowadays.”
But Jansen added that “there is somewhere a ceiling for Python” because it is dynamically typed and too slow. “Since it is an interpreted language that can unexpectedly throw a run-time error, it will not end up soon in safety-critical systems,” he said.
This is why C and C++ are gaining momentum right now, Jansen said.
Other August findings
Other notable findings in the August index are that Swift and PHP swapped places again at position 10, Rust is getting close to the top 20, Kotlin is back in the top 30, and the new Google language Carbon enters the TIOBE index in the 192nd position.
The latter finding is especially noteworthy, and Jansen said he is very surprised that Carbon didn’t take off. “Carbon is the new Google language that is supposed to beat C++. When Google announced Go as a new language, it entered the TIOBE index in the top 20 from the start and became even the TIOBE language of the year,’’ he explained. The fact that Carbon started at the 192nd position “is quite remarkable.”
C came in behind Python at 14.59%, up 2.03%. It was followed by Java at 12.40%, up 1.96%, C++ at 10.17%, up 2.81%, and C#.
Python made TIOBE’s programming language of the year for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2020. It also received the award in 2018 but was displaced by C in 2019. It entered the index in 1997 at 28th place.
Programming is becoming more and more important, Jansen said, but at the same time, “the number of skilled engineers in this field is not increasing sufficiently to meet the demands. So salaries are going up, thus, attracting lots of other professionals.” He added that software engineering is not an easy profession.
The index is updated once a month and the ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses and third-party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. The TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written, the company said.
The index can be useful for checking whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system, according to TIOBE.
June 2022 – Top 3 continue their dominance
In the June 2022 edition of the TIOBE index update, there remained very little change at the top of the rankings, as Python, C and Java kept their stranglehold on the top-three spots.
“Last month, not much happened in the TIOBE index. The top 4 languages Python, C, Java, and C++ have a market share of almost 50% together now,” said TIOBE CEO Paul Jansen. “We are half way through the year and the biggest candidates for TIOBE’s language of the year 2022 are Python, C, C++, and C# so far.”
The most movement came towards the bottom of the rankings, as Fortran and MATLAB once again entered the top-20, supplanting Lua and Prolog. Each of Lua and Prolog fell significantly in the rankings from the May edition, with Lua falling six spots all the way to 24, while Prolog dropped from entering the top-20 last month to 25th in June. Within the middle of the rankings, programming language R saw a large drop as well, falling from 13 last month to 19 in June.
Classic Visual Basic benefitted most of R’s receding, jumping from 15 to 13 within the last 30 days. Ruby also saw a surge in June’s standings, jumping from 19 to 15 as part of the shakeup.
“Last month, not much happened in the TIOBE index,” Jansen said. “We don’t foresee any of the relatively new and hot languages such as Rust, Dart, Kotlin, or TypeScript approaching the top 20. Let’s hope for more exciting news in August.”
May 2022 – C# poised for a jump into the top 3?
While there was not a ton of movement from April 2022 to May 2022, C# as a programming language seems to be picking up steam. C# was singled out by TIOBE CEO Paul Jansen as being a contender to make a move into the top-3 of the rankings by replacing C, which currently sits in 2nd in the May rankings. One other contender to move into the top of the heap was C++, which currently sits in the fourth spot in the top-20.
“If we compare the current TIOBE index rankings to 1 year ago (May 2021), C# is gaining most popular of all programming languages by far. Its rankings has increased almost 2% for the last 12 months. C# is one of the most mature programming languages in existence, supporting many modern programming paradigms,” Jansen said. “Until recently, its only disadvantage was that its Linux support was questionable, but this is changing rapidly the last couple of years. So chances are high that C# might enter the TIOBE index top 3 by replacing C. Another serious contender for this top 3 position is C++. Its long term trend, boosted by C++20, is definitely upward.”
One minor change from April to May was R falling a bit in the rankings, from 11 to 13. Jumping into those lost spots were Delphi/Object Pascal (11th) and Swift (12th). Elsewhere, the rankings remain relatively the same outside of a few minor adjustments, but it remains to be seen whether C# or C++ are able to supplant C in the top-3.
April 2022 – MATLAB falls in rankings
The release of April’s edition of the TIOBE programming language index of the most popular programming languages saw a few marked changes across the board, with MATLAB notably continuing its fall out of the ranking’s top 20. In March, MATLAB ranked as the 15th most popular programming language for developers before falling to the 20th spot this month. Python remains the top programming language, according to TIOBE CEO Paul Jansen.
SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (TechRepublic Premium)
MATLAB’s steady decline
The biggest takeaway from this month’s rankings is the continuous slide of MATLAB, the programming language most known for use in matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces and interfacing with programs written in other languages. MATLAB includes functions and developments for multiple disciplines through MATLAB Add-On Toolboxes. Some Toolbox examples for MATLAB include 5G, communications analysis and testing, and audio.
“MATLAB is about to drop out of the top 20 for the first time in more than 10 years,” said Jansen. “The MATLAB programming language is mainly used in the numerical analysis domain. It is often combined with Simulink models, which are from the same MathWorks company. Although MATLAB has a biannual release cycle, the language doesn’t evolve that much. And since MATLAB licenses are rather expensive, alternatives are catching up quickly.”
The alternatives mentioned by Jansen are becoming too much for MATLAB to compete with, as the rivals include powerhouse Python, which reigns as the leading programming language once again, and Julia, which has a focus on numerical analysis. Julia moves from 32 to 26 in the April edition of the TIOBE Index.
Winners and losers
Python not only kept the number one ranking of programming languages from last month, but also saw the biggest increase in usage from April 2021 to 2022: A 2.88% increase year over year, moving from the third-most utilized language to number one.
Elsewhere in the rankings, PHP found itself falling two spots from its March ranking, declining from the 8th spot to 10th. Because of PHP’s small dip, assembly language was able to nab the 8th place in TIOBE’s index, with SQL moving up from 10th to 9th.
Another uptick, this time on the outside of the top 20, was Visual FoxPro, moving up four spots from 27th up to 23rd. Visual FoxPro is a data-centric procedural programming language with object-oriented programming features.