JavaScript Tops Popular Languages, As Swift Rises


Developers assume that Swift, Apple’s newish programming language for iOS and Mac OS X apps, will become extremely popular over the next few years. According to new data from RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, Swift could reach that apex of popularity sooner rather than later.

While the usual stalwarts—including JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, C#, C++, and Ruby—top RedMonk’s list of the most-used languages, Swift has, well, swiftly ascended 46 spots in the six months since the firm’s last update, from 68th to 22nd.

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“When we see dramatic growth from a language it typically has jumped somewhere between 5 and 10 spots, and the closer the language gets to the Top 20 or within it, the more difficult growth is to come by,” RedMonk wrote in an accompanying blog posting. “Given this dramatic ascension, it seems reasonable to expect that the Q3 rankings this year will see Swift as a Top 20 language.”

RedMonk pulls data from GitHub and Stack Overflow to create its rankings, due to those sites’ respective sizes and the public nature of their data. While its top-ranked languages don’t trade positions much between reports, there’s a fair amount of churn at the lower end of the rankings. Among those “smaller” languages, R has enjoyed stable popularity over the past six months, Rust and Julia continue to climb, and Go has exploded upwards—although CoffeeScript, often sited as a language to watch, has seen its support crumble a bit.

Here are RedMonk’s top 20 languages:

1. JavaScript
2. Java
3. PHP
4. Python
5. C#
5. C++
5. Ruby
8. CSS
9. C
10. Objective-C
11. Perl
11. Shell
13. R
14. Scala
15. Haskell
17. Go
17. Visual Basic
19. Clojure
19. Groovy

A more intensive look at RedMonk’s data is available on its blog.

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Image: RedMonk

3 Responses to “JavaScript Tops Popular Languages, As Swift Rises”

    • Joe, you’re right on. But it’s up there. SQL just don’t really cater to a # of projects on Github. Honestly, wouldn’t make sense. SQL is a database language and not all apps will have a data end. But if you look at the SO side, it’s probably right about in the 5-7 range.