Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

When it comes to programming languages and technologies, developers are an opinionated lot. Mention how much you dislike JavaScript to the wrong person, for example, and prepare for a lengthy (and perhaps emotional) debate. Even the most taciturn developers will talk for hours about which languages they love and hate.

In a new survey, Stack Overflow asked 26,086 people in 157 countries which technologies they loved, dreaded, and wanted. Swift topped the “Most Loved” languages and technologies (cited by 77.6 percent of respondents), followed by C++11 (75.6 percent), Rust (73.8 percent), Go (72.5 percent), and Clojure (71 percent).

The “Most Dreaded” languages and technologies included Salesforce (73.2 percent), Visual Basic (72 percent), WordPress (68.2 percent), MATLAB (65.6 percent), and SharePoint (62.8 percent).

What topped the list of languages and technologies that developers most want to use, but haven’t yet done so? Android came in first with 17.7 percent, followed by JavaScript (15.4 percent), Python (14.8 percent), Node.js (14.6 percent), and Angular.js (13.2 percent).

Arguably the most interesting factoid is the prominence of Swift, given its relative newness. A recent list from RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, ranked Swift 22nd in popularity among programming languages, based on data drawn from GitHub and Stack Overflow. Perhaps developers are increasingly overjoyed at the prospect of building iOS apps with a language other than Objective-C, which Apple has positioned Swift to replace.

Rust and Go are two other languages that, despite their relatively small footprint on the development scene, have enjoyed increased interest from developers over the past year. Given their collective prominence on the “Most Loved” list, they also seem unlikely to go away anytime soon.

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