C reigns supreme and Java edges Python in TIOBE's latest programming language rankings

While the rankings were somewhat similar to February's, the company announced a number of new features to enhance the index moving forward.

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Image: iStock/monsitj

Each month TIOBE releases its roundup of the top programming languages, and the company recently unveiled its March rankings. The latest roundup is similar to the February rankings, however, there are nuances, surging languages and upcoming features to note.

Top programming languages: TIOBE March 2021

As was the case in February, C again holds the top spot with a 15.33%. Runner-up Java boasts a rating of 10.45% to edge out third-place Python (10.31%). In order, C++ and C# round out the top five with ratings of 6.52% and 4.97%, respectively. Compared to February's rankings, the March top five remained unchanged.

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Next, Visual Basic touts a 4.85% rating to lead seventh-ranked JavaScript (2.11%) and eighth-ranked PHP (2.07%). Compared to February, the only shakeups occur at the bottom of the top 10. In the latest rankings, Assembly Language surged to snag the ninth spot from SQL. Ninth-ranked Assembly Language has a 1.97% rating whereas SQL now carries a rating of 1.87%.

The TIOBE roundup also lists historical year-over-year data to detail long-term trends in the rankings. Compared with March 2020, Classic Visual Basic has jumped from 18 to 12 in the latest list. During this time period, Delphi/Object Pascal has climbed from 20 to 14 and Groovy has surged from 36 to 15. Between March 2020 and March 2021, MATLAB has slipped three spots, falling from 18 to 15. During this same time period, Swift slid from 13 to 19.

TIOBE Index: New features

With the somewhat stagnant rankings update, TIOBE's CEO Paul Jansen used the latest roundup to provide an update about upcoming features the company expects to deliver in the "near future." One such feature involves fixing a bug that could help shore up statistical discrepancies.

"Due to the complex algorithm that is used, such as eliminating outliers automatically, the sum of all percentages of all programming languages [do] not always adds up to 100%. This is a bug that should be fixed as soon as possible," said Paul Jansen, CEO TIOBE Software.

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Jansen said TIOBE will be "adding nice logos" for programming languages to "make the language tables look a bit more attractive" and mentioned an upcoming programming language properties feature.

"The properties that will be tracked are taken from Wikipedia. Examples are language paradigms (object-oriented, functional, ...) and type systems (statically typed, dynamically typed, weakly typed, ...). We will also add trends to see what properties are gaining popularity," Jansen said.

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