Developer survey finds JavaScript remains the most popular programming language

Joe White

Posts: 18   +0
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The big picture: JavaScript continues to be the most popular programming language amongst developers, according to the findings of a recent survey which included over 17,000 responses from developers in 159 countries. The increasing popularity of Python saw it gain second-place for Q3 2020, while the third most popular language was Java.

The information comes from analyst firm SlashData's latest developer survey. JavaScript came in first-place once again, and boasts an ever-increasing 12.4 million active software developers—a gain of some 5 million since mid-2017. Python was found to have 9 million active developers and came in second-place, but the researchers also highlighted a shift in its recent popularity.

In the last year alone, Python has added 2.2 million developers, mostly due to the increase in machine learning and data science. And Java, which came in third-place, was found to have 8.2 million active developers—a growth of 1.6 million since mid-2017, although Java's figures haven't increased in the past six months.

Rounding off the top 6 programming languages, with a fairly equal share: C/C++ holds 6.3 million, PHP has 6.1 million, and C# is at 6.0 million. C#, in particular, has seen a marked decline in recent years. "C# may be sustaining its dominance in the game and AR/VR developer ecosystems, but it seems to be losing its edge in desktop development—possibly due to the emergence of cross-platform tools based on web technologies," the report explains.

Further down the list are app-development languages like Android's Kotlin and Apple's Swift. The report notes that Swift—which was first released in 2014—overtook Kotlin in early 2020. And with an even smaller developer user-base are Go, Ruby, Objective C, Rust, and Lua, which were found to have numbers ranging from 0.8 million and 1.5 million.

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Raytrace3D

Posts: 209   +215
As a C# web/desktop app developer, I can verify there is definitely a decline in desktop development and web-related development demand and absolutely a shift upwards to JavaScript frameworks such as Electron, React, Angular, Node.js, in addition to TypeScript and others that handle presentation related tasks as they are platform agnostic. Of course, C# is also platform agnostic through .NET Core but I think these other frameworks are gaining momentum due to their similarities and ease of development/deployment strategies. Still, I love C#... especially now that Core is around (as a former Windows only developer), it's great to be able to deploy on ARM, Linux, and even iOS now. :-D
 
As a C# web/desktop app developer, I can verify there is definitely a decline in desktop development and web-related development demand and absolutely a shift upwards to JavaScript frameworks such as Electron, React, Angular, Node.js, in addition to TypeScript and others that handle presentation related tasks as they are platform agnostic. Of course, C# is also platform agnostic through .NET Core but I think these other frameworks are gaining momentum due to their similarities and ease of development/deployment strategies. Still, I love C#... especially now that Core is around (as a former Windows only developer), it's great to be able to deploy on ARM, Linux, and even iOS now. :-D
Love this, such a great insight! I hope I am not wrong choosing C# and the .NET platform anyway
 
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OortCloud

Posts: 468   +288
Yes - I agree 'popular' is a strange choice of words. Most widely used maybe, but popular surely not?
We generally avoid it at my place by wrapping it in Typescript to try and tame the madness!
 
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Markoni35

Posts: 818   +300
JS is a scripting language. Same as Python. They are made for light tasks. Simple scripting and stuff. Using scripting languages for serious apps is calling for trouble. While C, C++, C#, Rust, Object Pascal, Kotlin, Java, Go, etc. are proper programming languages. Made for heavyweight apps.

Scripting languages should be separated from programming languages. Of course that scripting langs will always be more popular, since there are zillions of simple scripting tasks to be automated. Scripting can be done even by webmasters and other non-qualified "programmers". That's why scripting langs will continue to be at the top of all lists.

Just like medium-size family cars will lead in sales. But that doesn't mean you should use such a car for racing, or for transporting heavy loads.

Popularity contests like the above are misleading people into thinking: "Oh, JS and PY are popular, I'm gonna use them for everything". And then our civilization starts to collapse. Because even unit tests cannot make apps stable when written in a simple scripting language.

JS, Python, Lua, and even PHP, are good either for simple web tasks, or as glue that automate simple tasks. That's where they shine. For everything else there's MasterCa... nvm.
 
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