What programming language gained the most popularity in 2016? According to the latest update of the TIOBE Index, Google’s Go language earned that particular distinction, rising 2.16 percent in its ratings over 12 months. Runner-ups included Dart (which gained 0.95 percent) and Perl (0.91 percent).
Go’s 2.16 percent increase translated into a rankings jump from 54th to 13th place between January 2016 and today. TIOBE bases its popularity ratings on data from a number of aggregators and search engines, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. In order for a language to qualify for the list, it must be Turning complete, have its own Wikipedia entry, and earn more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” on Google. Check out TIOBE’s visualization of Go’s progression over the past seven years:
Why have more developers explored Go over the past year? According to TIOBE, its rising popularity is due at least in part to “its ease of learning and pragmatic nature.” The company’s customers are also “adopting Go in an industrial setting,” which is apparently a solid indicator of longer-term popularity. And let’s not forget the language’s support for concurrency programming.
Popular services such as Dropbox and Docker rely on Go for everything from metadata storage to containers, which is likely one of the reasons that the language has more than 267,000 repos (and climbing) on GitHub. What the open-source community deems popular, companies and developers are sure to follow.
Go began life as one of Google’s “20 percent” projects back in 2007, and subsequently became more of a robust open-source language as more developers contributed to it. By October 2016, Dice’s own data saw a fivefold increase in Go-related job postings since the beginning of January; there are signs that supply is outpacing demand, creating a competitive market. If you’re interested in exploring the language, check out its dedicated page, complete with documentation and various packages.