A Ranking of the Top Programming Languages (By Growth, Popularity, and Job Demand)

July 14, 2014

6:00 pm

Coding is increasingly becoming one of the most important skill sets to have. Whether simply trying to understand the technical aspects of the conversations in which you engage (whether with the programmers within your own startup or with your more technical friends) or to gain more of a professional edge in the marketplace, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum has ranked the popularity of 49 different programming languages, so you can figure out for yourself where to start (or continue) your coding journey.

According to the chart, the top programming language is Java, followed by C and C++. HTML (which, let's be honest, is what most people start out with or are most familiar with) comes in at number 14 on the IEEE Spectrum's ranking. Python – another language that many beginners choose to pursue – comes it at the number 4 spot. The ranking obviously doesn't yet have Apple's new Swift language, but it would be interesting to see where it would've placed considering the language's nature (supposedly incorporating aspects of languages like Ruby and Objective-C).


The top 15 programming languages according to IEEE Spectrum. See the ranking for all 49 ranked languages. (via IEEE Spectrum)

The interactive chart allows you to sort through the top programming languages. By default, the languages are ranked by IEEE Spectrum's overall rankings, using 12 different metrics from ten sources, including Google Search, Google Trends, Twitter, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, Hacker News, Career Builder, Dice, and IEEE's own Xplore Digital Library (which contains nearly 4 million conference and journal articles covering various scientific and engineering disciplines). Users can also sort the rankings by what's trending or growing rapidly in popularity, which ones are in the most demand by employers, what's popular on social media or on open source hubs like GitHub, or sort by some other way. You also have the option to sort specifically by language type (Web, mobile, enterprise, or embedded).

You can sort through the rest of the rankings yourself: IEEE Spectrum Interactive on Top Programming Languages.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.