GitHub’s Most Popular Programming Languages

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Lots of developers and programmers rely on GitHub as a repository for code. But which languages do those developers like to code in?

GitHub recently provided a breakdown of the 15 most popular languages on the platform, sorting by opened Pull request and percentage change from the previous period. In descending order, those languages are:

  • JavaScript (97 percent up)
  • Java (63 percent)
  • Python (54 percent)
  • Ruby (66 percent)
  • PHP (43 percent)
  • C++ (43 percent)
  • CSS (36 percent)
  • C# (88 percent)
  • C (47 percent)
  • Go (93 percent)
  • Shell (76 percent)
  • Objective-C (37 percent)
  • Scala (54 percent)
  • Swift (262 percent)
  • Typescript (250 percent)

GitHub hosted more than 5.8 million active users in its public repositories, along with 331,000 active organizations. Collectively, those people and groups generated 19.4 million active repositories with 10.7 million active issues.

Countries with the biggest increase in new user signups included China (97 percent increase year-over-year), Indonesia (90 percent year-over-year), India (76 percent year-over-year), and Russia (74 percent year-over-year). Overall, some 815,000 users made their first-ever pull request in 2016.

GitHub’s list aligns closely with that of other organizations that routinely produce breakdowns of the most popular programming languages. In August, for example, IEEE Spectrum produced a ranking (based on data from 10 different sources, including job postings and open-source code production) that included C, Java, Python, C++, and JavaScript in its top five.

Similarly, the TIOBE Index, updated monthly, lists Java, C, C++, C#, Python, JavaScript, and PHP in its current top seven. The TIOBE Index is based off search-engine data.

It’s perhaps interesting to note that the fastest gainer on GitHub’s list is Swift, Apple’s replacement for its long-running Objective-C language. According to Dice’s data, Swift has also gained with regard to new job postings, perhaps at Objective-C’s expense.

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