HTML, JavaScript Dominate Hackathons


What programming languages dominate at hackathons?

Devpost (formerly known as ChallengePost), which offers tools and infrastructure for organizations hosting hackathons, decided to analyze the project tags from a sample of 13,281 student hackers who took part in 160 hackathons. Tagged technologies included APIs, databases, application frameworks, game engines, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and hardware. (Hat tip to TechCrunch for the original link to Devpost.)

According to that analysis, the top programming and markup languages included:

  2. JavaScript
  3. Python
  4. Java
  5. C/C++
  6. PHP
  7. Objective-C
  8. C#
  9. Swift
  10. JSON

Then there’s preferred hardware, in descending order of popularity:

  1. Arduino
  2. Myo
  3. Pebble
  4. Leap Motion
  5. Oculus Rift
  6. Raspberry Pi
  7. Intel Edison
  8. Kinect
  9. Particle (a.k.a. Spark)
  10. Google Cardboard

“Most of the projects entered by our sample of student hackers include front-end web or mobile development and our language rankings reflect this,” read Devpost’s note on the data. “With only 24–48 hours at most hackathons, student lean toward API driven web & mobile projects.”

While the results are wholly unsurprising—of course HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Python, Java, and C/C++ are in the top five, given their prominence within the tech industry as a whole—it’s interesting that Swift made it into the ninth slot, despite its relative newness. This hints at continuing student and developer interest in developing for iOS.

On the hardware side of things, the dominance of Arduino is likewise no surprise, considering the platform’s popularity with makers who build digital devices. Wearable electronics (Pebble) and virtual reality (Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard) also did well among hackers, and could become even more popular if those respective technologies become ubiquitous in coming years.

The rest of Devpost’s data includes top databases, IDEs, libraries, and much more.