This month, the programming language Kotlin reached the top 20 on the TIOBE Programming Community Index for the second time. Kotlin was created in 2016 by software development company JetBrains and rose to popularity relatively quickly; now, it has had time to build up a community to reach wider adoption.
Each month, TIOBE Software ranks 100 programming languages by their popularity with the programming community.
- Why is Kotlin becoming more popular?
- What else changed in the top 10 programming languages list in September?
- What is the TIOBE Programming Community Index?
Why is Kotlin becoming more popular?
Kotlin’s rise is likely due to two factors: Google declaring it the best language in which to develop mobile applications for Android, and a large fanbase. It took about five years for that fanbase to develop, according to TIOBE Software CEO Paul Jansen. Now that it has, more people recognize that Kotlin is a “promising” and useful language in which to work on Android mobile app development, Jansen said.
SEE: How to get started with Kotlin (TechRepublic free PDF ebook)
In particular, Kotlin provides a more streamlined alternative to Java’s infamous verbosity.
“Studies have shown that Kotlin is much more expressive than Java, i.e., you need to write less lines of code to do the same thing in Kotlin,” Jansen told TechRepublic. “For instance (very simplified example), for the infamous ‘hello world’ program, you need five lines of Java code but only three lines of Kotlin code.”
Kotlin joined the TIOBE Index’s top 20 rankings at number 20, replacing the Julia programming language.
SEE: Top 10 list of programming languages from this month’s TIOBE Index and previous months in 2023 (TechRepublic)
Kotlin previously appeared in the top 20 in 2017, when Google announced first-class support for Kotlin for Android, Jansen pointed out.
What else changed in the top 10 programming languages list in September?
So, which programming languages made the top 10 list? It’s business as usual in the top 3: Python, C and C++ didn’t budge. C++ gained 0.90% popularity, according to the index’s ranking system. Java fell in popularity by 2.23%, although not enough to remove it from the number 4 spot it held in August. PHP rose to number 8 from number 10 and switched places with SQL.
What is the TIOBE Programming Community Index?
The TIOBE Programming Community Index is a leaderboard of programming languages ranked by TIOBE’s points system for the popularity of each language. The index is updated once a month. Ratings are determined by the community of engineers, courses and third-party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are also used to calculate the ratings.
TIOBE notes that the index doesn’t measure “the best” programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written — rather, it’s a measure of general popularity and awareness.
TIOBE positions its index as a good tool for checking whether a professional programmer’s skills are still up to date or for making a strategic decision about what programming language one should adopt when building a new software system.
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