Software

Why Java and JavaScript are still way more popular than any other language in business

According to research from Cloud Foundry Foundation, many new school programming languages are only used marginally in the enterprise.

Despite the explosive growth of programming languages like R and Python, Java and JavaScript remain dominant in the enterprise, according to research from Cloud Foundry Foundation.

According to Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO Chip Childers, most companies are using a mix of multiple languages, thanks to the shift to more agile and flexible technologies. However Java and JavaScript always seem to end up at the top of the list.

"Cloud-native practices enable developers within large companies to pick the language that best supports their functional needs—and our research shows that the most commonly chosen languages for cloud-native application development are Java and JavaScript," Childers said in a press email.

SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)

According to the research, Java is used in 58% of the organizations represented by the 601 respondents, and JavaScript is used in 57%. C++ is used in 46% of organizations. All three of these languages experienced growth from November 2017 to March 2018.

In fourth place was C#, with 26%. Python rounded out the top five languages with 25%, but both C# and Python fell in popularity during the aforementioned timeframe.

More than 25 total languages were mentioned by the IT decision makers surveyed, but many fell in the single-digit percentage for use. Larger companies tended to use more languages overall, but Java stood out in North America, Europe, and Asia, the report found.

With a large percentage of development work focused on a few languages, it's possible that consolidation is coming into play, the report noted. And accelerated moves to the cloud are also playing into the continued growth of Java and JavaScript.

"Upon closer examination of the data, it's evident that both Java and JavaScript are nearly identical in terms of usage across development teams either already using or planning to use cloud-native architecture," the report said. "The data shows these two languages are the preferred choices for companies developing cloud-native applications."

Java and JavaScript have been business stalwarts for a long time, so would-be developers would do well to learn them. However, languages like R, Swift, and Go are exploding and could be good complementary languages to learn as well.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Java and JavaScript remain the most popular programming languages in the enterprise, and cloud growth is keeping them relevant. — Cloud Foundry Foundation, 2018
  • More enterprises are working with multiple languages as the move to more agile technologies requires a new approach to programming. — Cloud Foundry Foundation, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/puhhha

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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