Kotlin Climbs RedMonk’s Latest Programming Rankings

RedMonk has released its latest programming-language rankings.

The analyst group builds its list by pulling language rankings from GitHub and Stack Overflow, blending those datasets in order to produce a ranking that reflects “traction” in terms of code (via GitHub) and online chatter (Stack Overflow). “The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage,” read RedMonk’s blog posting accompanying the results, “but rather to correlate language discussion (Stack Overflow) and usage (GitHub) in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.”

With regard to GitHub, RedMonk relies on GitHub Archive, and queries languages via a pull request. It excludes forked repos, bases its definition of a “language” on “base repository language,” and uses aggregated history to determine actual ranking.

“No claims are made here that these rankings are representative of general usage more broadly,” RedMonk added. “They are nothing more or less than an examination of the correlation between two populations we believe to be predictive of future use, hence their value.”

And of course, RedMonk warned, all numerical rankings should be taken “with a grain of salt.” The further down you drop in these rankings, the less data available for ranking purposes. Here’s RedMonk’s latest programming-language graph:

And here’s the group’s list, in descending order:

1. JavaScript
2. Java
3. Python
4. PHP
5. C#
6. C++
7. CSS
8. Ruby
9. C
10. Objective-C
11. Swift
12. Shell
12. Scala
14. R
15. Go
15. Perl
17. TypeScript
18. PowerShell
19. Haskell
20. CoffeeScript
20. Lua
20. Matlab

What can we conclude from this list? It looks remarkably similar to the programming-language rankings produced every month by TIOBE, which usually places Java, C, Python, C++, and JavaScript in the top spots, albeit in different order. Considering how many companies and developers rely on these languages as the foundation of their products, that’s unsurprising.

As with TIOBE, the interesting things on RedMonk’s list take place further down. Kotlin has been one to watch ever since Google named it an official language for Android; while that pronouncement from the search-engine giant came late in RedMonk’s latest reporting period, the group is optimistic about Kotlin’s chances moving forward: “The big question facing Kotlin then isn’t whether it will experience gains based on interest — the language already has jumped nearly twenty spots in a year’s time which is very unusual — but how quickly, and to what degree.”

Ruby, Scala, and Powershell/Rust/Typescript also merited RedMonk’s analysis: check out the full rundowns on their site.

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