F# Dramatically Gains in Popularity

The Microsoft-backed F# functional programming language is quickly gaining popularity, according to the Tiobe Programming Community Index. Ranked No. 69 on the index a year ago, F# has soared to the No. 12 spot this month and is headed for the top 10.

F# LogoMicrosoft calls F# “simple and pragmatic” and says it has “particular strengths in data-oriented programming, parallel I/O programming, parallel CPU programming, scripting, and algorithmic development.”

Functional-first programming languages are particularly suited to analytical work such as calculation engines, data science programming, ETL pipelines and general data-manipulation, according to Microsoft’s Visual Studio F# team blog. So it’s no wonder that the financial services sector is the language’s leading user, or that the website of the F# Foundation carries testimonials such as one from Credit Suisse, which says the language is well-suited to the rapid development of mathematical models.

The Tiobe rankings are based on the number of skilled engineers, courses and third-party vendors pertinent to a language found on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It doesn’t measure lines of code written in each language.

Visual Basic.Net cracked the top 10 for the first time last month. Overall this month’s top 10 was unchanged from February.

  1. C
  2. Java
  3. Objective-C
  4. C++
  5. C#
  6. PHP
  7. Visual Basic
  8. Python
  9. JavaScript
  10. Visual Basic.Net

The PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index, which tracks how often people search for specific language tutorials, says the popularity of Objective-C has been on the rise since Christmas. Its top 10 looks like this:

  1. Java
  2. PHP
  3. Python
  4. C#
  5. C++
  6. C
  7. JavaScript
  8. Objective-C
  9. Ruby
  10. Visual Basic

One Response to “F# Dramatically Gains in Popularity”

  1. Even though I feel strongly about the long term prospects of F# and I try to help others become familiar with it, I’ve been surprised as I’ve watched F# jump up in the TIOBE rankings over the last several months. I can’t account for the jump and I think it’s likely that the F# rankings will fluctuate significantly in the short-term, but I’m upbeat in general and I am long F#!