From machine language to assembly language to high-level programming language, with the popularization of computers, the communication between developers and computers is also from “complex” to “vernacular”. Moreover, the programming language itself is gradually developing towards higher performance, security, and other directions. At the same time, as the most effective tool for developers, the usage of programming languages to some extent reflects the development of different fields.
IEEE Spectrum analyzed developers’ use of programming languages on CareerBuilder, GitHub, Google, Hacker News, IEEE, Reddit, Stack Overflow, and Twitter. The latest edition of the programming Language Rankings for 2021 aims to present the actual state of developer tools by dissecting the popularity of 55 programming languages.
Python won, but it's not suitable for everyone!
Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, announced his retirement last November and joined Microsoft’s developer group to make Python more accessible through open source. It’s no surprise, then, that Python once again tops the list of programming languages published by IEEE Spectrum for 2021.
“Learn Python, which is the biggest takeaway we can take from its continued dominance in IEEE Spectrum’s annual interactive list of top programming languages.” IEEE official comments.
Developers mainly use Python in Web applications, desktop applications, media tools, Web servers, and machine learning scenarios due to its simple coding, extensibility, GUI programming support, object-oriented, and portability.
At the same time, Python has rich library support. Therefore, if you master the basics of Python, you can quickly understand the ins and outs of many projects such as embedded and AI systems.
Of course, Python’s popularity doesn’t mean that every developer has to learn it. Depending on the nature of the programming language itself, each language has a different scope of application. Although, according to the survey, R, SQL, MATLAB, and other languages are also suitable for AI, data analysis, and other fields because they are more suitable for solving some specific problems, their usage is gradually rising.
The Changes of Programming Language
The choice of programming language is as good as it is right for you, which is why IEEE Spectrum’s annual programming language list this year is interactive, allowing developers to view different lists based on their preferences or scenarios.
However, some languages fluctuate more at particular times. For example, according to the Indicators of Twitter, the ancient programming language COBOL dropped from the 7th place last time to the 34th place today. The reason of COBOL high ranking in the past year, many foreign government management software were written in COBOL in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the need for many COBOL programmers to maintain COBOL became a trending topic on Twitter during 2020.
In addition, IEEE Spectrum’s default ranking of Microsoft’s C# has risen from 25th place last year to 7th place this year, which is probably related to the release of C# 9.0 at the end of last year. The upcoming Windows 11 will also have an in-depth use of C#.
Programming Languages Ranking for Jobs
The list isn’t far off the overall programming language trends list in terms of employment and recruitment needs, with Python still at the top, followed by C, Java, C++, and Go.
Ranking of Programming Languages for Open Source Projects