Survey Confirms Popularity of JavaScript, Python, C/C++, While C# Overtakes PHP

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Analyst firm SlashData surveyed over 19,000 respondents from 155 countries for its « State of the Developer Nation » survey — and now estimates that there’s 24.3 million active developers worldwide.

TechRadar reports: The report pegs JavaScript as the most popular language that, together with variants including TypeScript and CoffeeScript, is used by almost 14 million developers around the world. Based on SlashData’s observations over the past several years, more than 4.5 million JavaScript developers have joined the ranks between Q4 2017 and Q1 2021. This is the highest growth in terms of absolute numbers across all programming languages…

Next up is Python with just over 10 million users, followed by Java with 9.4 million, and C/C++ with 7.3 million. The report notes that Python added 1.6 million new developers in the past year, recording a growth rate of 20%.

From ZDNet: SlashData estimates the next three largest developer communities are using C/C++ (7.3 million), Microsoft’s C# (6.5 million), and PHP (6.3 million). Other large groups of developers are fans of Kotlin, Swift, Go, Ruby, Objective C, Rust and Lua…

SlashData, however, notes that Rust and Lua were the two fastest growing programming language communities in the past 12 months, albeit from a lower base than Python.

And Visual Studio magazine couldn’t resist emphasizing that C# « has ticked up a notch in popularity, overtaking PHP for No. 5 on that ranking… » « C# lost three places in the rankings of language communities between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, but it regained its lead over PHP in the past six months after adding half a million developers, » the report states… « C# is traditionally popular within the desktop developer community, but it’s also the most broadly used language among AR/VR and game developers, largely due to the widespread adoption of the Unity game engine in these areas… » It was a different story one year ago, when the 18th edition of the report said: « C# lost about 1M developers during 2019… [I]t seems to be losing its edge in desktop development — possibly due to the emergence of cross-platform tools based on web technologies. »

The language might see more desktop development inroads as new initiatives from Microsoft such as Blazor Desktop (one of those « cross-platform tools based on web technologies ») and .NET MAUI provide a wide array of desktop approaches.

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