What programming language are you?

I’ve gotten very interested in the life cycle of programming language usage. What programming language is “the most popular”, “the most useful”, “best for teaching”, or just “best”?

And in particular, I would like to understand differences based on who or where we are talking about. For example, most popular language used in the enterprise, or for game programmers, or in academia, or in startups, etc.

There is no shortage of studies of this question, and as a start, to tickle my interest, I’ve started a list of those studies. I will continue to update this post as I find out more.

Github is the code repository I know best, but one can be positive that it is not the only one. What we don’t know is how representative it is in general, or of some segment, for example open source. From Githut we can see that JavaScript and Java are the two hottest, and they are both growing. However if you look at Github’s own report, a slightly different picture emerges.

Toibe Software is an outfit that seems to have very comprehensive information, although I’ve not yet seen exactly what their methodology. Looking at their top level report, again I see Java in the number one place. The interesting thing is that here, the older languages like C and C++ show up pretty high.

Another perspective is what language is being used to teach programming. In this paper the claim is made that Python is Now the Most Popular Introductory Teaching Language at Top U.S. Universities. But according to that article, Java is a close number two followed far behind by Matlap and C.

An interesting related question is what programming language is easier or more effective to teach programming. Here I would want to defer to people actually teaching introductory programming. I could find various article espousing different perspectives. Many teachers I have come across believe that Python is a great first language.

… more to come

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