Python, C, Java Dominate July TIOBE Index of Popular Languages

Python might not be developers’ most-loved language, but it dominates the latest update to the TIOBE Index, which attempts to rank the world’s most popular programming languages.

Python, C, Java, C++, and C# topped TIOBE’s rankings (sequentially) in July. “We don’t foresee any of the relatively new and hot languages such as Rust, Dart, Kotlin, or TypeScript approaching the top 20,” added a note accompanying the data.

To determine its rankings, TIOBE leverages data from a variety of aggregators and search engines, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. For a language to rank, it must be Turing complete, have its own Wikipedia entry, and earn more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” on Google. No, it isn’t the most scientific means of determining programming languages’ respective popularity, but it’s a good way to determine at a glance which languages have “buzz.”

Given that methodology, the most popular languages at the top of TIOBE’s list (such as Python, C, and Java) rarely shift very much in the rankings. The action is all further down, where languages such as Swift, SQL, Objective-C, Go, and Ruby can shift several positions from month to month.

It’s interesting to compare TIOBE’s monthly rankings to the latest Stack Overflow Developer Survey, which asked respondents about their most loved and hated programming languages. Rust, Elixir, Clojure, TypeScript, and Julia topped the “most loved” list (based off data from 71,467 developers), with Python in 6th place and other much-used languages (such as C# and C++) much further down.

Of course, organizations everywhere don’t determine their tech stack solely on developers’ preferences. Java, JavaScript, Python, and all those older, widespread languages will continue to endure for many years to come, thanks in large part to the sheer amount of legacy code out there.

Interested in actually learning Python? Start off by heading to Python.org for its handy beginner’s guide. If you’re a visual learner, Microsoft’s video series, “Python for Beginners,” features dozens of short lessons (most under five minutes in length; none longer than 13 minutes) in the various aspects of Python. From there, consider tutorials from Datacamp (whose Introduction to Python course includes 11 videos and 57 exercises), Udemy (which offers a variety of free introduction courses, including one for “absolute beginners”), and Codecademy.