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Microsoft Coding Languages Continue to be Popular

Working in Microsoft programming languages puts you in good company, according to an organization that tracks such things.

In the last year, C# overtook C++ as the third-most popular language in use right now, says the TIOBE Programming Community Index, and other Microsoft-created languages are either holding steady or gaining in popularity. The index, which is generated monthly, shows Java and C holding steady in the top two spots, as they have for years. Tiobe calls itself a company that specializes in assessing and tracking software.

Visual Basic has held steady in seventh place over the past year, while VB.NET has seen a jump from 22nd place overall to 16th place in the same timeframe. The Top 10:

1 Java
2 C
3 C#
4 C++
5 Objective-C
6 PHP
7 Visual Basic
8 JavaScript
9 Python
10 Perl

The biggest riser, not surprisingly, was Objective-C, as Apple's iPhone and iPad threaten to take over the world. JavaScript was the other top-10 language to see a large bump; this shouldn't be surprising either, given the explosion of mobile computing. In the top-20, Python, Ruby and Ada suffered the biggest drops. All these numbers are relative, however; given the fragmentation of this space, a small increase or decrease in popularity can have a substantial impact on rankings.

What does it all mean to the .NET developer? Not much, probably; this information, to me, is more interesting than significant. It is good news for Microsoft that its army of developers continue to soldier on, and don't appear to be jumping ship. With Windows 8 driving the increasing importance of C++ and JavaScript inside Visual Studio 11, I'll be curious to see the trends in those languages a year from now.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/16/2012 at 1:15 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jul 17, 2012 Bryan Soliman Toronto. Canada

I don't think that this stat is accurate; especially that Java took the first place among other languages. Java is an excellent language to work with, however, the environment that utilize Java such as Websphere, and other IBM development products are very complicated environment to work with in compare to the Microsoft environment. Even the deployment process of the final product is very difficult to work with. I’m Microsoft expert, and I’ve been working as a solution designer within Java environment, and I found it is really difficult for the developers to deal with many issues that can be done faster in Microsoft development environment. I think whoever came out with this stat has to check the facts again, and does a reality check on these facts. Thanks, Bryan

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 tmccorm

I find it utterly amazing that C holds the #2 spot and Visual Basic holds the #7 spot (the classic version as the TIOBE site shows – VB.Net is #16). I would have to guess that C still holds dominance for its continued use in kernel and embedded systems development efforts and both C and VB hold dominance for legacy support. Old timers rejoice!

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 Doug in Seattle

@XER21 If you look at the link to TIOBE, you'll see the disclaimer: "Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written."

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 Ras Fred

I would have to question the relatively low ranking for JavaScript. Is anyone seriously suggesting that there are more "classic" VB projects than JavaScript today?

Tue, Mar 20, 2012

This index is a great indicator of what people are searching for on the web. It's mild comparison to what the most popular language should be tempered with other factors like, ease of learning/likely blog topics/available coursework. I'm guessing the reason Java will always be on top is that it requires a lot of searching for what libraries/frameworks are available in the Open Source world. The other languages shift because the tide shifts and the early adopters start posting tutorials, etc. Kind of like hipsters to the newest bar. (Not that I don't watch this index, just saying)

Sat, Mar 17, 2012 mike

Java? Now I know for sure this survey is incorrect.

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 xer21

I'm sure this chart can't be accurate. I'm sure there are more websites that contain javascript then the amount of iPhone apps that are out there. PHP can be used to emit javascript so I don't see PHP being higher up then PHP. I must be missing something.

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