What Are the Top Languages of 2015?

IEEE Rankings

What are the most popular programming languages of 2015 (so far)?

A few weeks ago, IEEE Spectrum combined data from a variety of sources—including GitHub and its own digital library—in order to rank the popularity of 48 different languages. Here’s their top 10:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Python
  5. C#
  6. R
  7. PHP
  8. JavaScript
  9. Ruby
  10. MATLAB

As with other programming-language surveys, the biggest movement from year to year occurred not at the top of IEEE’s list, but in the middle and bottom tiers, where up-and-coming languages such as Apple’s Swift and Google’s Go duke it out with older languages on the decline.

The IEEE’s list bears strong similarities to rankings produced by analyst firms, as well as Google’s recent compendium of the most-searched programming languages. This isn’t a shocker, considering the ubiquity of Java, Python, and C.

What’s notable is how closely all these 2015 lists mirror their predecessors from 2014. Although pundits and analysts like to proclaim that technology is a fast-moving industry—and in many ways, they’re right—the top contenders on lists of the most popular programming languages don’t seem to shift all that much from year to year.

For tech pros, that’s a good thing: If you spend a lot of time learning something like Java, you want to be sure its utility will remain strong for years to come. The bigger question is which of the midlevel languages, such as Swift, will become more prevalent in the next few years.

7 Responses to “What Are the Top Languages of 2015?”

  1. 25 years of programming

    Programming is not engineering, it has no certifications, no license, or metrics. Anyone can claim to know a language. This poll is just general information.

  2. Joe COBOL

    Do you want popularity or a job ? If you want a job read the statement below…

    We are surrounded by COBOL: It runs over 70 percent of the world’s business transactions. It makes sense to replenish the supply of COBOL programmers by training new ones.

  3. Given enough power to provide lift, “attitude (angle of attack) determines your
    altitude.” Translation = “employ a whatever it takes attitude and you can stay airborne.”
    Adapt to changing conditions or die! 🙂

  4. LogiRush

    In Dallas and Houston, where most IT jobs are corporate IT and not startup IT, developer job listings are dominated by Java and C#. C, C++ and Python listings are much, much less. My perception from regular job searching (I work short-term contracts) is that C# leads in Texas, but I don’t have stats to back that up. C, C++ and Python may be used in academia and may have a lot of legacy libraries on Github. Also keep in mind that most C# is used in corporate IT which uses Team Foundation source control, not Github, so this artificially lowers C#’s position in this ranking.

    So job seekers and students should not correlate this list to job opportunities. Regularly check the listings in your area to see what your local employers want. Realize that many large and medium-sized corporations like the Microsoft stack or the Java environment, while smaller firms or academia are more likely to use up-and-coming or obscure languages.

  5. Stacy Staples (Habatchii)

    I am a seller of domains. We are currently transitioning in for the new GTLD landrush. My company is emphazing the technology category, namely the .CODES GTLD. We are pushing for new legislation for startups to participate as freelance contractors in a free trade secured paying job with benefits and generally develop the GTLD to be used exclusively for repositories, institutions and corporate training. But one major hurdle is creating the new specifications and other IEEE grade standards to be considered a formidable opt in for investors. Donuts, Inc. (who currently holds the .CODES registrar) has done a great job in securing the GTLD, but marketing is very introverted. Crowdsourcing is a good option for any new .CODES startup. It provides a structured environment for code programmers and those seeking to contribute to a good program. To summarize, it does not matter what language you specialize in, help is on the way. Feel free to leave your crowdsourcing suggestions.