Java, C, and Python top the list of most popular programming languages now, but it wasn't always that way, according to the TIOBE Index.
While Java, C, and Python top the list of the most popular programming languages right now, the developer world remains ever-changing, as seen by the fluctuating popularity of top coding languages each year on the TIOBE Index, which released its August edition this week. (Note: This article about programming languages is available as a free PDF download.)
The TIOBE Index estimates the popularity of programming languages worldwide based on results from major search engines, including Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu. While it is not a perfect measure, its rankings are broadly in line with others, TechRepublic's Nick Heath noted.
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It should be noted that the index is not meant to rate the best programming language, but rather to check whether a developer's programming skills are up to date, or what language should be adopted for a project.
TIOBE also compiled a programming hall of fame, naming a "Programming Language of the Year" for each year dating back to 2003. The award is given to the coding language that saw the highest rise in ratings in a given year.
Here are the most popular programming language of each year, according to the TIOBE Index:
- 2018: Python
- 2017: C
- 2016: Go
- 2015: Java
- 2013: Transact-SQL
- 2012: Objective-C
- 2011: Objective-C
- 2010: Python
- 2009: Go
- 2008: C
- 2007: Python
- 2006: Ruby
- 2005: Java
- 2004: PHP
- 2003: C++
While Python has received a lot of attention in the past couple of years—reaching an all-time high ranking on the index of 10% in August—this isn't the first time the language has peaked. The language's more recent rise is due in part to the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data science in the enterprise, as well as the large developer community around it. But, it's clear from the index that this kind of growth may wax and wane over time.
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