In the June update of the TIOBE Index, which attempts to rank the world’s programming languages by popularity, not much has shifted: Java, C, C++, Python, and C# remain the most “popular,” while smaller languages fight to climb the lower ranks. TypeScript has broken into the Index’s top 100 languages (arriving in 93rd place), but that’s the only thing the firm saw fit to call out in its note accompanying the data.
In May, TIOBE announced a snafu in its methodology. In order to create its rankings, the firm leverages data from a number of sources, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. But Google recently tweaked its search algorithms, scrambling TIOBE’s list. “We see a lot of… huge ups and downs. This has to do with Google re-indexing, which is quite volatile,” TIOBE stated at the time. “For this we are going to implement compensation functions for the TIOBE Index in the near future because we can’t accept that Google hits are only half of the number in comparison to the previous month.”
For the June update, TIOBE apparently added a “smoothing function” in order to avoid any “strange spikes.” Nonetheless, there’s one oddity: Objective-C has climbed from 18th place to 12th place over the past year, while its successor, Swift, has dropped from 12th place to 15th. This is strange, given how much effort Apple has poured into getting developers to switch from Objective-C to Swift.
Ultimately, though, TIOBE is a gauge of programming-language popularity, and as such, the languages in its top ranks rarely (if ever) shift. For developers and other tech pros, these rankings are a monthly reminder that, no matter how “cool” a new language or platform might seem, it’s well-established languages such as Java and Python that continue to drive much of the tech world’s progress.