Recently I stumbled upon an artcle discussing the most popular programming languages based on a ranking at http://www.sitepoint.com/best-programming-language-learn-2014/
Below is the best chart from this article
(Click on image to open in separate window)
It’s interesting to see the fragmentation of programming languages. Granted a number of these languages listed are niche languages, but I wonder if this portends a more rapid turnover of languages. My guess is in the 80′s COBOL would of been near the top of the list, and now it doesn’t even appear (which I think is an aberration due to the methodology of this chart. My guess is COBOL developers don’t use the internet to ask questions much, and don’t post projects on GitHub). In the 90′s I would of guessed Visual Basic would of spiked, and its already on the downward slide.
A few other observations:
- SmallTalk, which was the darling object oriented ‘niche language’ of the 90′s, is now overshadowed by others.
- Why is XML included as a language, whereas HTML, XAML and JSON are missing? Arguably they are all on the edge of a programming language vs a formatting language.
- Arduino shows up in the top half of language representing the robotics programmers. My guess is a big player like Google or Microsoft will have a standardized robotics language that will win out for robotics and the Internet of Things.
- If I had the time and energy, a few of the languages I would be curious to dabble in would be Go, Erlang, and Typescript, as these languages have some interesting approaches to doing things. I have also heard interesting things about Ruby. The problem is, the older I get the harder it is to bend my mind around the new ways of thinking some of these languages require.
The old adage in programming is you can’t learn everything, so you have to pick your areas of expertise and hope your right. As this chart shows, in the 21st century these choices get harder and harder.