New Study Finds the World's Most Popular Programming Language: JavaScript

ZDNet reports:

JavaScript is now used by more than 16.4 million developers globally, says a survey of more than 19,000 coders — making it the world’s most popular programming language “by a wide margin”.

SlashData’s 21st State of the Developer Nation Report examined global software developer trends across 160 countries during Q3 2021, covering programming languages, tools, APIs, apps and technology segments, as well as attitudes of developers themselves… While not necessarily a surprise in itself — JavaScript has, after all, been the world’s most-used language for a number of years now — SlashData found that upwards of 2.5 million developers had joined the JavaScript community in the past six months alone. That’s the same as the entire user base of Swift; or, the combined communities of Rust and Ruby.

The data for JavaScript also included language derivatives TypeScript and CoffeeScript.

Python might not be a close second, but its popularity is impressive nonetheless: according to SlashData, the language is now used by some 11.3 million coders, primarily within data science and machine learning, and IoT applications. The brainchild of Guido van Rossum, Python’s popularity has exploded in recent years, overtaking that of Java, which is currently used by 9.6m developers. Java remains a go-to for mobile and desktop apps, SlashData’s survey found. According to SlashData, Python added 2.3m developers to its community in the past 12 months. “That’s a 25% growth rate, one of the highest across all the large programming language communities of more than 7M users,” the report noted.

“The rise of data science and machine learning (ML) is a clear factor in Python’s popularity. More than 70% of ML developers and data scientists report using Python. For perspective, only 17% use R, the other language often associated with data science.”
The survey concluded these are, in order, the 10 most popular programming languages:

  1. JavaScript
  2. Python
  3. Java
  4. C/C++ [Yes, it lumps them together]
  5. PHP
  6. C#
  7. “Visual development tools”
  8. Kotlin
  9. Swift
  10. Go

The report also found that Rust, although coming in at #14, grew faster than any other language in the past 24 months, “nearly tripling in size from just 0.4M developers in Q3 2019 to 1.1M.”

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