C++ just overtook Java as the world's most popular programming language

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New figures have claimed C++ is among the top three most popular programming languages used by developers today. 

The TIOBE Index, which promises to check more than one billion lines of code every day in an effort to keep on top of usage, noted that Python remains the most popular coding language, affording a 16.66% rating, just a touch ahead of C in second place, which ranks at 16.56%. 

Percentages are calculated not on market share, but are instead “based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses, and third party vendors.” Being found in the top three grants each programming language the ultimate accolade, representing growth, trust, and even its commitment to development. 

Top three programming languages

While these remain changed year-on-year, December 2021’s third place prize to Java has been challenged in the latest round of figures, as it dropped in ratings by 1.7% to fourth place. Toppling Java off its podium, C++ witnessed a substantial 4.21% growth, but in reality, at 11.94% and 11.82%, both programming languages remain incredibly tight as they continue to be favored by developers worldwide.

This could be an important step in the development of C++, with TIOBE Software CEO, Paul Jansen, highlighting that this is the “first time in the history of the TIOBE index” that it has passed Java.

Rounding up the top five was C# at 4.92%, with JavaScript coming in at 7th place, PHP in 12th, and Apple’s Swift coding language in 15th, down from 10th this time last year.

What defines a successful programming language varies within the industry, and TIOBE’s metrics are just one way of measuring. Earlier this year, the CirlceCI’s 2022 State of Software Delivery report  found a different set of favored programming languages, comprising TypeScript, JavaScript, and Ruby. Python came in at 4th place, with C and C++ not even making it into the top 10. 

Regardless, what we can draw from TIOBE’s latest figures is that there is a very clear quartet of preferred programming languages that are likely to continue battling it out for top place alone unless another language experiences a significant surge in popularity.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!