A career in software engineering means your learning never ends. Programming languages come and go, and what was popular in the 80s – COBOL, for example – isn’t necessarily in demand today. As such, it is vital for developers to be proactive when it comes keeping their skill set relevant to employers in the modern business world.
With a long and rewarding career as a software engineer in mind, here are three programming languages with the greatest popularity. If they aren’t already used in your daily work, be sure to add them to your toolkit as soon as possible!
The IEEE Spectrum Programming Language Ranking Criteria
The engineering professional association, IEEE, annually ranks the most popular programming languages using its own unique criteria. Starting with a list of the 300 most widely referenced languages on GitHub, they leverage both Google Search and Google Trends, in addition to other sources like Twitter and Reddit, to gauge overall internet popularity. Afterwards, data from the programmer-specific forum, Stack Overflow, usage statistics from GitHub, and overall job demand metrics from the websites, CareerBuilder and Dice, all contribute to the final rankings.
These final results are classified by language type – mobile, embedded, web and enterprise. The IEEE’s Nick Diakopoulos mentioned that even if it’s possible to write an application with a programming language not normally used for that purpose – for example, building an entire website from scratch in C – languages are categorized by their typical usage.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to look at the overall rankings, irrespective of category.
The Venerable C Still Tops the List
Even though it is the oldest example in the IEEE top 10, C still ranks as the most popular programming language. Wide use in embedded systems and the videogame industry accounts for its continued popularity. When applications require Assembly-level speed with the convenience of structured and readable code, C remains the best choice for many developers.
Java holds the number two position. Web applications, enterprise business software, as well as mobile apps on the Android platform justify its high ranking. Most current software developers benefit from having significant Java experience on their résumé.
Ranking third on the IEEE list is Python. A dynamic and flexible language suitable for many applications, Python supports different programming styles from object-oriented to functional. Readable code and a robust user community are two of the main reasons it continues to grow in popularity.
When you want to take your software engineering career to a higher level, talk to the knowledgeable recruiters at MindFinders. One of the top IT staffing agencies in the Metro DC area, we can help place you at the most innovative companies in the business. Connect with us soon!
Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.