Nieke Roos
15 January

Not 2018 winner Python, but, surprisingly, good old C has been named programming language of 2019 by Tiobe. Last year, the popularity of C grew with 2.4 percent. Runners-up C#, Python and Swift showed an increase of 2.1, 1.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Java remained more or less stable on top of the list, followed by C and Python.

Jan 2020 Jan 2019 Language Rating Change
1 1 Java 16.9 % ±0.0 %
2 2 C 15.8 % +2.4 %
3 3 Python 9.7 % +1.4 %
4 4 C++ 5.6 % -2.6 %
5 7 C# 5.3 % +2.1 %
6 5 Visual Basic.Net 5.3 % -1.2 %
7 6 Javascript 2.5 % -0.9 %
8 8 PHP 2.4 % -0.3 %
9 15 Swift 1.8 % +0.6 %
10 9 SQL 1.5 % -0.8 %

The Tiobe Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. Updated once a month, the list is based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses and third-party vendors. The ratings are calculated using popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, Youtube and Baidu.

According to Tiobe, the major drivers behind the popularity of C are the Internet of Things and the vast amount of small intelligent devices that are being released. C excels when it’s applied to small devices that are performance critical. It’s easy to learn and there’s a C compiler available for every processor.

The ten most popular programming languages over the years. Credit: Tiobe.

Other interesting winners of 2019 are Swift (from 15 to 9) and Ruby (from 18 to 11). Swift is a permanent top 10 player now and Ruby is looking to become one soon. Some languages that were supposed to break through in 2019 didn’t: Rust won only three positions (from 33 to 30), Kotlin lost three (from 31 to 35), Julia even lost ten (from 37 to 47) and Typescript gained just one position (from 49 to 48).

Dieco