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C and Java share the top 2 spots in IEEE's latest survey

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July 28, 2016

In today's market, C and Java share the top two spots in IEEE's latest language survey, but R at number 5 comes in as a small surprise to some people.

July's overall raking from TIOBE places Java at number one and C at number two, while the IEEE reverses those two, and the IEEE doesn't rank assembly as a top-ten language like TIOBE does. That's interesting.

But it's worth noting that IEEE's sources are extremely diverse-- the index comprises search results from Google, Twitter, GitHub, StackOverflow, Reddit, Hacker News, CareerBuilder, Dice, and the institute's own eXplore Digital Library. That could explain the discrepancy some say.

But even then, there are still some oddities in the forty-eight programming environments assessed. Several commenters to the index have already remarked that Arduino shouldn't be considered a language, because code for the small breadboard is written in C or C++.

The IEEE says that the big movers from 2015 to 2016 are:

  • Go – Google's language hopped from position 13 to crash the top-10;
  • Swift – rose even further than Go, from 16th to 11th;
  • Arduino (it's not a language) – could be described as a popular environment, since it also climbed from 17th to 12th.
  • Overall, shell script programming (mostly in Perl) lost a lot of adherents, falling eight places to be even less popular than assembly programming.

    The IEEE notes that in a world where system admins have to write scripts for tens, hundreds, or thousands of data centre servers, running a Bash script probably isn't as useful as automating the scripts in orchestrators. But not everybody might agree on that either.

    Also on the slope down were Matlab and Visual Basic. The IEEE also picks out Ladder Logic as interesting while it's way down in the 30s. Its own status is a quick reminder that industrial programming is a pretty significant niche.

    Source: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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