javascript, java and python

There are dozens of different programming languages today. But which ones are the most popular for developers? This year, JetBrains released its State of Developer Ecosystem 2019 report where it details, among other things, the quota each language has on the software market.

To start things off, there are no big surprises: Java and JavaScript still rule over most languages. However, the data suggests things are changing, and so there are a few conclusions we can take from the information published by the study.

The report surveyed some 7,000 developers worldwide, who answered questions like “What programming language have you used in the last 12 months?”. The main results were these: while Java remains the most popular primary language, JavaScript is actually the most used overall. Meanwhile, Python is the most studied language, while Go remains the most “promising” programming language. In the usage scale, they sit at 69%, 50%, 49% and 18% respectively.

The rise of Python

Despite Go being named the most promising language (according to the fact that its quota has more than doubled in the last two years), Python’s prospects seem particularly favorable in the immediate future. The language founded in 1991 is set to grow even more than recent years and, if some predictions are to be believed, it will eventually get the first spot in just a few years.

Comparing JetBrains’ report to other recent language analysis, TIOBE found Python had surpassed C++. Like JetBrais, TIOBE now includes Python among the top three languages, with C+++ losing its spot. Likewise, Stack Overflow’s Developer Report encountered that Python was the fastest-growing major language (emphasis on the “major”, as Go is not considered one) and the second most-loved language (JetBrains puts C3 at number 1). Not only that, it also said that among developers, Python is seemingly the most desirable of the main languages.

The company wrote: “For the seventh year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, but Python has risen in the ranks again. This year, Python just edged out Java in overall ranking, much like it surpassed C# last year and PHP the year before.”

Regarding other languages, JetBrains says on its report: “There appears to be a group of ‘secondary’ languages – ones used mainly as an additional language – which include HTML, SQL, and Shell scripting. A lot of software developers have some practice with these secondary languages, but very few work with them as their major language. For example, while 56% practice SQL, only 19% called it their primary language and only 1.5% rank it as their first language. Java, on the other hand, is the leading ‘solo’ language. 44% of its users use only Java or use Java first. The next top solo language is JavaScript, with a ‘mere’ 17%.”

Other interesting facts include OS usage among developers: Windows came on top with 57% saying they used it, while macOS scored 49% and Unix / Linux a close 48%.