JavaScript, Java Dominate RedMonk Ranks

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JavaScript and Java continue to dominate developers’ minds and time, according to a new ranking of programming languages by tech-industry analyst firm RedMonk.

RedMonk calculates its ranks based on GitHub and Stack Overflow. “The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion (Stack Overflow) and usage (GitHub) in an effort to extract insights into future trends,” reads the firm’s explanation of its methodology.

Based on that methodology, RedMonk lists programming languages as follows:

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

In its explanation, RedMonk remains unsurprised by the top rankings of JavaScript and Java: “In many cases, Java and JavaScript are leveraged side-by-side in the same application, depending on its particular needs.” The rest of the top-ten entries on the list are “similarly static,” something the firm views as “the expectation rather than a surprise.” Simply put, the biggest languages can’t grow much more, and their ubiquity also makes it difficult for them to tumble quickly. (The exception is the Objective-C programming language for iOS and Mac OS X development, which has plunged in virtually every ranking since Apple eclipsed it with the newer, shinier Swift.)

Further down the list, languages have the opportunity to rise—and fall—several spots over the course of the year. RedMonk has called out Rust, Elixir, Julia, Typescript, and (of course) Swift as ones to watch. While some of these won’t experience explosive growth over the next few years, they may achieve slow-but-steady gains as more developers use them on projects.

Next: The Reason for Java’s Dominance (click below)