10 Most Popular Programming Languages on GitHub

GitHub has just released its annual State of the Octoverse, which provides a fascinating breakdown of the open-source developer community. The 56 million developers on GitHub created around 60 million new repositories between October 2019 and September 2020, an incredible mountain of code. And which programming languages did they prefer?

GitHub’s breakdown makes it clear: JavaScript remains the most-utilized language among its developers, followed by Python and Java. TypeScript, an ultra-popular superset of JavaScript (meaning whatever you code in it is transpiled into JavaScript), leapt from seventh to fourth place over the past year—we’ll leave it up to you whether TypeScript should be considered a full programming language, since many technologists don’t think it qualifies. 

Here’s a breakdown of GitHub’s language rankings over the past two years; refer to the report if you’d like to see data going back to 2014 (when JavaScript was still in first place, with Python firmly lodged in second).

If you’re curious about learning JavaScript, take GitHub’s data as assurance that companies and developers everywhere find the language immensely useful. If you don’t know where to start your JavaScript journey, consider hackr.io, which lists a variety of courses and tutorials (and for many other languages, as well). Mozilla also has a resource with a very nice rundown of the language’s basics (comments, operators, variables, and so on). On the fundamentals front, JavaScript.info is another option. 

When applying for a job as a JavaScript developer, keep in mind that many interview questions will focus on your experiences with the language. It also pays to familiarize yourself with the most popular JavaScript frameworks, since you’ll utilize them quite a bit. Mastering JavaScript won’t just make you popular in the context of GitHub’s open-source projects; it’s also the most in-demand skill among freelancers, according to a recent study by Upwork

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