Picking A Programming Language? Python And Java Still Top The Charts

Picking A Programming Language? Python And Java Still Top The Charts

Wondering which programming language you should learn next, or brush up on? According to developer competition site CodeEval, Python and Java remain the most popular choices in submissions to its coding tests.

Python picture from Shutterstock

Python has topped this particular list for three years in a row, and also ranks highly if you want a job with a major tech company. Java takes second place, followed by C++, Ruby and JavaScript.

Knowing popular languages is useful, but you also need to pay attention to market trends. Java’s popularity is dropping, so while it’s still a useful skill, it may not make as much commercial sense as a growing language such as Ruby.

Check out the full infographic below:

Most Popular Programming Languages of 2014 [CodeEval Blog]


  • As a professional developer for over 20 years and the General Manager of an international software development company, I can tell everyone quite definitively that the “marketability” or “job opportunity” if you will of a language has little to do with it’s adoption. For instance, whilst there may be plenty of jobs out there for say, Ruby, you are unlikely to command as much salary as someone who is a C++ developer or to have access to as many different types of industry as say someone who does application development in C#.

    Where you want to work, how you want to work and what you want to work on (including how much you want to get paid for doing it and how far you want to go in whatever work environment you land in) are the factors that one must consider before they “pick” a programming language to master. A little research here can go a long way, even just starting at looking at job posting sites and seeing what jobs/industries are hiring what skill sets and then using some common sense – for instance, a C# developer at a Bank will likely get more pay, benefits and stability than a Ruby developer at a web development studio. A SharePoint (specialized) C# developer will likely demand even more salary and have exceptional contract opportunities at larger businesses, potentially long term. A python developer may be in strong demand on the start-up scene, or as a complementary skill for someone who wants to go into Dev Ops as a career. Friends and colleagues are a wealth of information in this regard and social networking sites liked LinkedIn can also provide opportunities to explore various avenues of future employment.

    Now, I’m sure most programmers or want-to-be programmers, unlike web journalists (sorry had to get that in), are logical enough people to sort this all out for themselves. After all, most of us are predisposed to working out the steps necessary to get from point A to point B by starting at the correct point (ergo, working backwards from point B). But for people who look at silly diagrams like the one above – while it’s certainly “information”, it’s usefulness is fully in question.

  • They don’t specifically cover the data that’s represented there. it’s not from the actual number of jobs available in a field, it’s “based on thousands of data points we’ve collected by processing over 100,000+ coding tests and challenges by over 2,000+ employers.”

    Including the submissions rather than just the challenges into the final tally could skew the results towards languages that have far too more coders than jobs or hobbyist languages, and explain the dominance of python, the unusually high ranking of niche languages (I’d be surprised if 1.2% of coding jobs involved haskell), and the fact microsoft barely registers.

    They’re also drawing from the limited set of languages the site supports. The employers that supply tests are also those who’re using the site because of the supported languages, so the data source is probably fairly self-selecting.

    It’s an interesting graph, but I’d prefer a dataset I could crunch myself. An anonymised spreadsheet that includes the language of each test for each company, and the number of submissions for each of them should do nicely. There’s probably a few statisticians who’d love to get at their database and look at geographical language distributions and such

  • not suprised python is on there. i start a bachelor of IT in a few weeks and the only text i need to buy is a python one

  • how useful and in demand for a person who wants to be a developer, how to choose a programming platform to become a on demand web developer

  • I’m guessing this would only be true because Python, Java, and C++ are the main languages aught in college. No way in hell is Obj. C (now swift) 0.4% when Apple is dominating the smart phone and laptop market

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