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Transact-SQL Named 'Programming Language of the Year' for 2013

Maybe it's not the sexiest programming language, but SQL continues to be relevant. In fact, TIOBE Software, which publishes a TIOBE Programming Community Index gauging the popularity of programming languages, named Transact-SQL the language of the year for 2013.

This "award" further emphasizes the importance of competency in SQL. I earlier wrote about how SQL gurus and other database-related programmers enjoyed excellent job security and how SQL Server developers were in high demand.

That's the good news. The bad news, according to TIOBE, "It is a bit strange that Transact-SQL wins the award because its major application field, Microsoft's database engine SQL Server, is losing popularity. The general conclusion is that Transact-SQL won because actually not much happened in 2013."

Not much happened in 2013? Wow, talk about strange. Has TIOBE heard of a little thing called Big Data?

Anyway, following Transact-SQL in popularity gains were Objective-C and F#. Objective-C had been the "language of the year" for the previous two years.

Microsoft fared well in other aspects, too, even regarding the much-maligned Windows Phone platform. As TIOBE wrote: "As we have seen the last decade, programming language popularity is largely influenced by external trends. The most important ones at the moment are mobile phone apps and web development. Android (mainly Java) and iOS (Objective-C) are the major mobile platforms, while Windows Phone (mainly C#) is catching up."

In index rankings, Transact-SQL went from No. 22 in January 2013 to No. 10 in January 2014. Otherwise, the rankings stayed the same for the top eight positions: C, Java, Objective-C, C++, C#, PHP and Python. The only other move in the top 10 was JavaScript going from 10th to the 9th spot.

In other attempts at ranking the popularity of programming languages, SQL was No. 12 in a list developed by LangPop.com last October. Meanwhile, Python garnered the "language of the year" prize in the Popularity of Programming Language (PYPL) index, which measures how often respective language tutorials show up in Google searches. No variants of SQL made the top 10. TIOBE said its ratings "are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors."

In Google Trends, searches for "SQL Programming Language" held fairly steady throughout 2013, except for a strange dip right at the end of the year.

How do you feel about the importance of keeping your SQL skills honed? Do these popularity rankings mean anything at all? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 01/16/2014 at 11:23 AM


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