Programming languages: Python is on the verge of another big step forward

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ZDNet 13 September, 2021 - 05:26am 7 views

Top programming languages: C's days at the top are numbered as Python comes for the crown

TechRepublic 13 September, 2021 - 11:19am

Each month, TIOBE releases an index detailing the top programming languages and these regular updates highlight granular shifts in this ever-evolving landscape. As TechRepublic previously reported, last month's index showcased "booming" AI and data mining programming languages and TIOBE's latest September roundup features a competitive logjam at the top, as a longtime challenger comes for the crown.

The tight three-language horserace between C, Python and Java remains close in TIOBE's September index. Overall, C tops the latest rankings with an 11.83% rating, representing a year-over-year decrease of 4.12%. Despite this marked decline, C was still able to edge out runner-up Python with the No. 2 touting an 11.67% and a year-over-year increase of 1.20%.

"Python has never been so close to the number 1 position of the TIOBE index. It only needs to bridge 0.16% to surpass C. This might happen any time now," said Paul Jansen, CEO TIOBE Software, in a blog post about the latest index. "If Python becomes number 1, a new milestone has been reached in the TIOBE index. Only 2 other languages have ever been leading the pack so far, i.e. C and Java. Let's see what happens next month."

Compared to September 2020, the fourth through seventh positions remain unchanged, featuring C++, C#, Visual Basic and JavaScript, in order. Since last September, No. 8 Assembly Language has surged six spots (1.12%), now boasting a 2.42% rating and No.9 PHP has dropped a spot during this time period with a 1.85% rating. Next, SQL rounds out the top 10 with a 1.80% rating, the same position the programming language held in TIOBE's September 2020 rankings.

Over the last year, Classic Visual Basic has surged 0.77% (11 spots) and now holds the No. 11 position with a 1.52% rating just ahead of No. 12 Groovy (1.46%). It's important to note that Groovy's rating has increased 0.48% over the last year; one of the largest year-over-year surges in the top 20 after Python, C#, Visual Basic, Classic Visual Basic and Fortran. (More on Fortran's ascent in a bit.)

In order, Ruby, Go and Swift hold positions 13 through 15, similar to the same positions these languages held in September 2020. In the latest index, No. 16 MATLAB carries a 1.02% rating, just enough to outlast surging Fortran in the 17th position; year-over-year Fortran has leap-frogged 20 spots with a 0.65% rating increase over this time period. No. 18 R and No. 19 Perl have both recorded marked year-over-year declines, dropping 9 and 6 positions, respectively. Delphi/Object Pascal rounds out the top 20 with a 0.77% rating, up 9 positions and 0.24% since last September.

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R. Dallon Adams is a journalist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. His previous work includes a wide spectrum of beats and formats ranging from tech-savvy urban planning initiatives to hands-on gadget reviews.

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