Perl, Delphi, and VBA top the list of most disliked programming languages among developers, according to new data from Stack Overflow.
In a Tuesday blog post, Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson examined the site's Developer Stories, in which developers can add tags for languages, operating systems, platforms, and libraries they would or would not like to work with—offering a way to examine the opinions of hundreds of thousands developers on the platform.
"There are many ways to measure the popularity of a language; for example, we've often used Stack Overflow visits or question views to measure such trends," Robinson wrote. "But this dataset is a rare way to find out what technologies people tend to dislike, when given the opportunity to say so on their CV."
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Here are the top 10 most disliked programming languages, according to developers on Stack Overflow:
Many of the most disliked languages—including Perl, Objective-C, and Ruby—are among the fastest-shrinking in terms of Stack Overflow activity. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum in the least disliked languages—including R, Python, Typescript, Go, and Rust—are among the fastest-growing on the site, and the least polarizing, Robinson noted.
However, "we're not necessarily suggesting a causal relationship, where tags being disliked by a component of programmers leads to them being abandoned," Robinson wrote. "Another possibility is that people feel comfortable expressing their dislike publicly if they sense that the language is already shrinking in popularity."
Stack Overflow also examined the most disliked technologies overall. The top five were Internet Explorer, Visual Basic, COBOL, Flash, and ASP Classic.
In terms of most universally liked technologies, machine learning, git, Python-3.X, HTML5, and CSS3 topped the list.
Another recent Stack Overflow report found that Python is the fastest-growing programming language, and by 2019 will surpass all other languages in terms of active developers.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.