The developer-focused analyst firm releases its rankings, which are based on data from GitHub and Stack Overflow, on a bi-annual basis. The intention isn’t to create a statistically valid representation of each language’s popularity; rather, by analyzing language usage (via GitHub) and discussion (via Stack Overflow), the firm hopes to show how languages are trending.
In keeping with RedMonk’s past lists (and with similar rankings generated by other analyst firms and Websites), a handful of major programming languages hold the top ranks:
“There is no movement, in fact, among languages ranked within our Top 10,” added the blog posting accompanying the rankings. “The positions have solidified, and it’s becoming apparent that it will take a serious push—or crisis—to significantly alter the dynamics of the top tier absent minor and statistically irrelevant drifts from quarter to quarter.”
In other words, once thousands of programmers begin using a certain language for hundreds of thousands of Websites and applications, it’s very difficult to get them to stop.
Further down the rankings, however, there is always more movement. The R programming language has been on a consistent upward trend, climbing from 17th place in 2012 to 12th place today. TypeScript also saw gains. But the most surprising thing might how Swift, Apple’s new-ish language for programming apps in iOS and Mac OS X, has apparently stalled.
“It’s clear that further gains for Swift will not come easily, and will instead be the product of widespread usage across an array of communities,” the blog added. “As discussed in the last iteration of these rankings, Swift has opened up new avenues for growth beyond iOS development via its release as open source software and the embrace of third parties like IBM or Perfect.” Those maneuvers have yet to yield gains, at least in RedMonk’s estimation.