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:
19. Visual Basic
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.
Just for comparison, here’s the TIOBE Index of February’s most popular programming languages, pulled from search-engine data:
7. Visual Basic .NET
10. Delphi/Object Pascal
12. Visual basic
13. Assembly Language
Why does Java continue its spectacular run, more than twenty years after its creation? When the language made its debut in May 1995 (as Java 1.0a2 with the HotJava browser), it’s questionable whether any of its creators at Sun Microsystems thought it would have such a long lifespan ahead of it.
But as with most enduring languages and software platforms, Java had the good luck of becoming the go-to tool for developers building a wide variety of products, including (in Java’s case) everything from Web services to enterprise software products. Given its degree of integration into the modern cloud, it’s likely that Java will endure for many years to come—no matter who’s compiling the rankings.