Top 20 Most Popular Programming Languages of 2017

15 Mar 2017
10 min
author avatar
Vitaly K.

Year after year coding tendencies and needs are changing. Languages that were little-known just a while ago may easily hit the top of the most popular programming languages. IT industry dictates its own rules and developers have to keep up with them. 

Thus, coders all over the world from time to time wonder what new programming languages will come to light and what happened to existing ones. In this article, we have conducted some research and found out the top 20 languages that will shape 2017.

Top 20 Programming Languages of 2017

Modern programming languages trends

Demand for mobile development is growing annually. This fact brings some changes to the usage of already popular programming languages.

The world of Web development is also not standing still. In recent years, functional languages like Scala, Clojure, and Haskell have gained a certain popularity. However, other languages are not far behind.

Before we get to statistics, let's consider some popular languages for developing digital products.

Java. It is the most used programming language when it comes to native Android apps' development. Probably the biggest advantage of this language is its compatibility with all operation systems. So that applications written for Mac may work on Windows as well. One of the biggest events for this language in 2017 is the release of its 9th version. Java also allows developing of scalable web apps.

C#. It is a multifunctional language allowing developers to create almost anything, ranging from server apps to the mobile development. It is also widely used within game niche due to the support of Unity 3D. Later this year will be released C# 7.0.

C++. It is a perfect choice for applications demanding lots of resources to work correctly. This language is applied for multiple purposes including OS building as well as development for mobile platforms, server sides, and game creation.

C. It is one of the oldest languages that served as a basis for the creation of such trending programming languages as Java and C#. Despite its age, C language is still popular due to its simple syntax. This language was used for the development of such resources as Google and YouTube. 

Top programming languages: facts about C family languages

Peculiarities of languages

The JavaScript and HTML5 combination allow you to create hybrid mobile apps. Due to the increase in popularity of React Native, it is also used for cross-platform development. Moreover, this programming language popularity has touched game development as well.


Are you looking for a JavaScript framework? Check out our related research

JS is also used for front-end development of the majority of websites. However, it may also be used for the creation of back-end. Its newest version ES2017 will be launched at the end of 2017.

Famous projects using JavaScript: Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, WordPress

Objective-C. It is an iOS app programming language. However, it is also used in software development for Mac OS.

Swift. Another one of Apple's languages is Swift. This language is applied within the development for Mac OS and iOS. Even the fact it is a relatively new language did not stop it from having a greater gain in popularity than Objective-C.

Python. It is a good language if you need to write a script and join it to already existing components. Also, such peculiarities of this language such as the expansion of structure and dynamic semantics contribute to rapid app development. However, it has disadvantages like low speed and rare applications within the mobile sphere.

Python is used in web development as well. It is aimed at increasing a coder's productivity due to the quite plain syntax and big scope of useful features.

Famous projects using Python: Instagram, Google, Facebook, YouTube


Be aware of the latest changes! Read our article that talks about 9 Growing iOS Development Trends of 2017

Ruby. This language is intended to provide the fastest work with web applications and sites. It is not hard to learn and has powerful opportunities.

Famous projects using Ruby: Hulu, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GitHub, Dribbble

PHP. It is one of most frequently used website coding languages. Its syntax is similar to C language.

Famous projects using PHP: Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, WordPress

Facts about top programming languages

Peculiarities of languages

Perl is an acknowledged web development language. It is an interpreted scripting language that is compatible with Bytecode platform.

SQL. Using this language you may easily seek and receive a huge scope of data from big and complicated databases.

R. Also used for analyzing of bigger data scopes. Also, it is often used as static software.

Rust. This language was launched by Mozilla in 2014. Being developed as an update for C and C++, Rust processes the same programming tasks as C. Mozilla has placed emphasis on security and it is almost impossible to run insecure code written on Rust. So, it is a very good programming language when it comes to security.

Famous projects using Rust: Dropbox, Coursera

Go was developed by Google's engineers as a replacement for large-scale system development. Its language has a quite simple syntax and a big standard library with a variety of features.

Famous projects using Go: Netflix, YouTube, Adobe

Top programming languages: facts about GO

Peculiarities of language

The research of programming languages ranking

It is high time to provide you with the results of our research and show the programming languages ranking according to different ratings.

TIOBE rating

This rating is based on the queries analysis of the 25 most popular search engines. Comparing this year's results with 2016, we can say that there are no significant changes in the first 10 positions.

For quite some time the most popular coding language is still Java with 17.278% rating.

Having lost -6.69% in position, the second place was taken by C with a 9.349% rating, while C++ and C# occupy the 3rd and 4th lines respectively with minor changes in rating. Their place ranking did not change from the past year.

Python is a language that gained popularity by search queries in 2015 and is still holding its 5th place.

The 6th line is taken by Visual Basic.Net which has risen one position, increasing its rating by +0.38%.

JavaScript occupied the 7th position with a +0.29% rating.

Significant changes are observed in Perl's programming language ranking. Having +0.91% in rating, it rises from the 11th to the 8th position.

The 9th place is still for Assembly Language with +0.61% in comparison to the last year.

PHP is a language that lost 4 positions but still makes the first 10 of the top programming languages.

You may take a closer look at what happened with other languages on the comparison graph underneath.

Top programming languages according to the TIOBE rating

The comparison graph according to the TIOBE rating

PYPL rating

This rating reflects the number of people who are already studying a certain language or just planning to start learning it.

According to this rating, the first 5 of the top programming languages are Java, Python, PHP, C#, and JavaScript. Basing on the data for February 2017, the most progressing languages are Python (+2.7%), JavaScript (+0.5%), and R (+0.5%).

Despite the fact that this language has lost 0.9%, Java is still the unquestionable leader on the market having 23.1%.

The second position is for Python that added 2.7% to its rating while PHP has moved from the second to the third line and lost 1%.

C# still takes 4th position while C++ has swapped positions with JavaScript and decreased from 5th to 7th place. The 7th and 8th places are for C and Objective-C relatively.

R has moved to the 9th place in coding languages list having displaced Swift to the 10th.

You can see more details on the graph underneath.

Top programming languages according to PYPL rating

The comparison graph according to the PYPL rating

RedMonk rating

The statistics of this rating are based on the frequency of tags related to development languages from StackOverflow and the number of projects using these languages on GitHub.

This rating is updated twice a year and the programming languages list below reflects the situation based on the data for June 2016.

Top programming languages according to the RedMonk rating

Data according to the RedMonk rating 

DB index

This is the rating of database programming languages that forms by means of the frequency of searches in Google.


Are you looking for database technology? Learn why Firebase is the right choice for your next project

In comparison to last year, the first 6 positions stay the same with no significant changes. However, Firebase has moved up 10 positions and added 1.5%.

Database programming language: DB index

The comparison graph according to the DB index

IDE index

Software for developers should always fit current modern languages as well as be convenient and well-thought-out. Thus, the world of Integrated Development Environment has also changed this year. For example, Visual Studio now takes first place with a 22.35% rating while Eclipse has moved down to second place by losing 4.9%.

Android Studio and Vim are holding 3rd and 4th places respectively while Xcode and NetBeans have swapped places because of insignificant changes in rating.

Top software for developers according to IDE index

The comparison graph according to the IDE index

Salary depending on programming language

Analyzing the job market of the UK from November 2016 to February 2017, we have found out the approximate salary depending on the knowledge of popular computer programming languages.

Salary depending on a programming language

Salary rate graph (Source: ITJobsWatch)

TrendySkills has found out the technologies that employers are looking for the most.

In demand programming languages

The most demanded languages among employers

It is worth noting that successful coders know several languages and always keep up with the software development languages trends. Thus, such languages such as Rust, Go or Swift are worth your attention.

Perspectives for 2017

Java is the unquestionable leader and its popularity tends to grow even more in 2017. Also, this year many developers will definitely draw their attention to Go language. Since it is a quite a simple programming language combining high performance, efficiency, and built-in support.

JavaScript will not be less popular this year but rather continue heading towards the top of the web programming languages list.

In case you have any questions - contact us, it is free!

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