DevOps Firm Plots Rise of TypeScript for CI/CD

TypeScript has climbed steadily over the past few years to become the most popular programming language used on the CircleCI platform.

The DevOps specialist this month published research taken from its 2022 State of Software Delivery report, which is based on two years of data from more than a quarter billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world on the company's continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.

The company said one of the key highlights of the report is that Microsoft's TypeScript language surpassed JavaScript as the most popular DevOps language, due to its developer-friendly features.

"TypeScript projects built on CircleCI rank higher than JavaScript projects in success rate and throughput, suggesting that TypeScript helps developers catch smaller errors locally, allowing them to commit working code more frequently and reliably than JavaScript developers," the company said in a news release. "Productivity and confidence-boosting benefits are a key driver of TypeScript's adoption at the enterprise level and are a natural complement to the developer experience improvements that continuous integration provides."

From Third to First
[Click on image for larger view.] From Third to First (source: CircleCI).

"Few teams will look at the popularity of a new language and decide to rebuild their entire codebase, but it is always interesting to observe the trends," the report said. "These trends highlight changes in the broader industry for development teams at the leading edge of application development. After all, entirely new services will have to be built in the future and the languages popular for building today's services may not be the most ideal for building the services of the future."

The report is just one of many that have recently indicated TypeScript popularity is increasing on several fronts. For example, in June Visual Studio Magazine reported "TypeScript Vaults Ahead of Java to Crack Stack Overflow Top 5." That article noted that TypeScript jumped a whopping 4.64 percent points (from being listed by 30.19 percent of respondents in 2021 to 34.83 percent in 2022) to overtake Java (which fell slightly from 33.91 percent in 2021 to 33.27 percent in 2022). That's by far the biggest jump among the top 20 languages.

Just last month, we reported "TypeScript Job Postings Explode," in which data from careers firm Dice showed that TypeScript's 142 percent job posting growth increase from 1H 2021 to 1H 2022 almost topped the chart, trailing only cloud computing, which saw a 162 percent increase.

Also last month, we reported "C#, TypeScript Crack Top 10 in 2022 IEEE Programming Language Ranking."

This rise in popularity has been evidenced for years, as shown the 2021 article "TypeScript Outshines C# in Developer Ecosystem Report" about a JetBrains report, and the 2020 article "Stack Overflow Dev Survey: TypeScript Surges, Leaving Python Behind."

Beyond CircleCI's TypeScript takeaway, other highlights of the data as presented by the company include:

  • HashiCorp configuration language jumps into the top 10: Usage of HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) on CircleCI has grown steadily over the past several years, climbing three spots since 2019 to become the ninth-most popular language used on the platform.

    HCL also appeared on the list of fastest-growing languages in GitHub's 2018 and 2019 State of the Octoverse reports suggesting that infrastructure as code (IaC) has crossed the chasm from individual practitioners to widespread adoption among organizations delivering software at scale.

  • Gherkin brings behavior-driven development into the top 20: Gherkin projects had the fastest mean time to recovery of all languages measured in CircleCI's report, implying that Cucumber's detailed error reporting gives developers highly actionable information on which to focus their debugging efforts.

"Our findings show that elite software delivery teams are adopting developer-friendly tools and practices that allow them to automate, scale, and successfully embrace change when necessary," said CircleCI exec Michael Stahnke. "The ability to move quickly is crucial in today's competitive ecosystem, but just as important is an organization's ability to attract and retain talent, and eliminate obstacles for team success. From development languages to testing frameworks to deployment scenarios, high performers are gravitating toward tools that encourage collaboration, repeatability, and productivity."

As far as methodology for the report, CircleCI said it explores data from more than 250 million workflows from nearly 50,000 organizations in 100 countries that was collected between Dec. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2021. To determine the top 25 languages, a language needed to be used in over 150,000 workflow runs. To reach the top 10 required millions.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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