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Programming language ranking: Java creates the balance

Twice a year, the IT market research company RedMonk publishes a programming language ranking based on analyzes from GitHub and Stack Overflow. Now the second edition of the year is ready, in which Python and Java compete for second place again – which both win. JavaScript, on the other hand, has been the undisputed first place for years, and little has changed in the remaining top 20 compared to the first ranking of the year.

JavaScript has remained consistently at the top of the RedMonk rankings over the past few years, and nothing has changed this year. Second place, on the other hand, is fiercely contested: While Java once even took first place alternating with JavaScript – most recently in 2014 – the object-oriented programming language in Python has gained a strong competitor. In 2020, Python relegated Java to third place for the first time, and this continued into the first quarter of 2021. In the current ranking, however, Java is catching up again and takes second place together with Python:


Programming language ranking by RedMonk, third quarter 2021: Diagram correlates GitHub pull requests (x-axis) to the rank in Stack Overflow (y-axis)

Programming language ranking by RedMonk, third quarter 2021: Diagram correlates GitHub pull requests (x-axis) to the rank in Stack Overflow (y-axis)

Programming language ranking by RedMonk, third quarter 2021: Diagram correlates GitHub pull requests (x-axis) to the rank in Stack Overflow (y-axis)

(Image: RedMonk)

Year-on-year comparison of the rankings, which RedMonk publishes in the first and third quarter of each year, the head-to-head race can be observed from 2012 to 2021:


Programming language ranking by RedMonk: Top 20 in the course of 2012 to 2021

Programming language ranking by RedMonk: Top 20 in the course of 2012 to 2021

Programming language ranking by RedMonk: Top 20 in the course of 2012 to 2021

(Image: RedMonk)

There was less movement in the lower ranks than in the Q1 ranking in 2021, but RedMonk highlights some notable changes. The programming language Julia, which took the promising 24th place a year ago, has moved further away from the top 20. It lands in 28th place, which RedMonk justifies with its direct competing languages ​​for data analysis, which perform significantly better: Python takes second and R takes twelfth place.

1. JavaScript

11. Swift

2. Python

12. R

2. Java

13. Objective-C

4. PHP

14. Shell

5. CSS

14. Scala

5. C++

16. Go

5. C#

17. PowerShell

8. TypeScript

18. Kotlin

9. Ruby

19. Rust

10. C

20. Dart

The Dart programming language developed by Google has proven to be one of the ascenders in the ranking, as Dart moves into the top 20 and relegates Perl to a lower rank. And not only the second place is occupied several times, because the fifth place is shared by three programming languages ​​with CSS, C ++ and C #.

The ranking carried out by the IT market research company RedMonk is based on GitHub and stack overflow data. RedMonk justifies the analysis of GitHub with the fact that it is currently the largest platform for versioning of software. The developer discussion website, Stack Overflow, is also used because of its popularity. The GitHub data (x-axis) are based on the GitHub archive. There RedMonk considers a programming language if it is the base language of a repository and excludes forks. RedMonk uses the Data Explorer tool available there to determine the rank of a programming language on Stack Overflow based on the number of its tags (y-axis).

With the combination of GitHub and Stack Overflow data, RedMonk tries to do justice to the aspects of code as well as discussion, but does not claim to map the frequency with which the programming languages ​​are used. RedMonk also points out other weaknesses in his own analysis, such as the fact that the meaningfulness of the ranks is fraying downwards and programming languages ​​with communities outside of Stack Overflow, such as Mathematica, are underrepresented here. Nevertheless, the RedMonk ranking is considered more scientifically sound than, for example, the monthly TIOBE index, which positions programming languages ​​based on search queries.

The results of the RedMonk ranking in the third quarter of 2021 can be read in a blog entry.


(May)

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