Java Keeps TIOBE’s Top-Language Spot

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Java remained at the top of the TIOBE Index’s February rankings of the most popular programming languages, followed (in order) by C, C++, C#, and Python.

TIOBE updates its rankings once a month; the order is based on search-engine data. In addition to having an entry on Wikipedia, each featured language must be Turing complete and earn at least 10,000 hits for +“<language> programming” on Google.

Despite that top ranking, TIOBE sees a potential slowdown ahead for Java. “The ratings of the Java programming language started to climb at the end of 2014 and continued until last month,” read the group’s note accompanying the data. “The TIOBE programming language of the year 2015 clearly has some struggles to continue its rise in 2016. This is unlike other programming languages such as Python and C++ that appear to grow in the short term.”

Whether or not Java tumbles to second (or even third) spot in coming months is uncertain, although the language is unlikely to lose much of its popularity in the short term, given its ubiquity in Web development and other areas. The real action is further down the TIOBE list, where lesser-used languages can experience rapid rises (or tumbles) in rankings.

For example, Objective-C, Apple’s old language for programming iOS and Mac apps, has tumbled ten ranks over the past year, to fourteenth place; its replacement, Swift, leapt from twenty-seventh to sixteenth place during the same period. Perl, JavaScript, Ruby, and Assembly Language have likewise seen substantial swings in fortune.

According to the latest Dice Salary Survey, specializing in Java/J2EE can pay roughly $109,245 (up 6.2 percent in 2015). Although that’s not the top of the salary rankings, it’s a reflection of the language’s importance to the modern Web.

Image Credit: Gajus/Shutterstock.com

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