One common question that members ask us is which language is most popular? While there is no definitive answer to this question, it all depends on which statistics and rankings you are looking at and how you interpret the results. There are several organizations that publishes regular reports or tools that provides trends to measure popularity of a programming language. In this post, we take a look at some of these reports and tools along with the metrics they use.
The TIOBE Programming Community index gives a monthly indication of the popularity of programming language based several factors – the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. The popular search engines Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and YouTube are used also to calculate the ratings.
LangPop uses some metrics similar to TIOBE, but also takes into consideration some other channels like Craiglist, Amazon’s books index, del.icio.us and open source project hosting site like Google Code and Freshmeat. It also aggregates data based on what people are talking about on IRC, Reddit and Slahsot.
Ohloh is a project hosting site for open source projects and has a strong community of developers. Their monthly language comparison is calculated based on the number of commits made by source code developers for that particular month, A commit is a change done to the code and Ohloh requires at least one line change for that language.
BlackDuck publishes regular analysis of language usage used in open source projects. It determines this by counting lines of source code across all open source projects. Black Duck Software gathers information by continuously spidering the Internet collecting open source code and binary files into its database from over 200,000 projects.
Google Trends is a powerful tool to see how often a particular search-term is used relative to the total search-volume. The best thing about Google Trends is that results are in real time and you can group any programming language of your choice to be included in the result.
Indeed is a search engine that aggregates job listings from the web. It provides a trend tool to compare jobs with particular term. You can use it to search job trends based on the different programming language.
O’Reilly publishes regular posts on their blog about programming lanaguage trends based on computer book sales. These statistics rough ballparks and are based on O’Reilly published books only but they still provides a relative demand of each language.