Mitch Pronschinske is the Lead Research Analyst at DZone. Researching and compiling content for DZone's research guides is his primary job. He likes to make his own ringtones, watches cartoons/anime, enjoys card and board games, and plays the accordion. Mitch is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 2578 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Popular Languages of 2009

  • submit to reddit
The TIOBE index for 2009 says that Google's new Go programming language experienced more growth in popularity than any other language in 2009.  The growth is quite remarkable given that the language became available late in the year.  Is it all just hype?  The Google brand certainly carries a lot of power and marketing capability with it.  Based on TIOBE's system, Go and Objective-C had the biggest gains in 2009 with Java taking a slight hit, but remaining at the top.  TIOBE calculates its index based on search engine hits.

Go - Because of it's remarkable growth, Go was named "TIOBE's Programming Language of the Year."  Go has been compared syntactically to Pascal, Python, and C.  Although Go is a new language with its own share of critics, many people are interested in its concurrency capabilities and fast compilation.  Erlang is another concurrent programming language that grew this year from 29 to 24.  One thing's for sure, Google's Go is getting a lot of attention.  

Objective-C - iPhone app development is obviously driving the new growth in Objective-C programming.  The language made a huge jump from being ranked 37th to the number 12 spot.  Objective-C was just 0.01% behind Go in growth this year, but Objective-C had the entire year to gain popularity and Go only had two months.  

Java - Java has remained at the top of TIOBE's index for the past decade with C taking the top rank for a short period in 2004 and 2005 (this might have been due to a Google cleanup).  C could take the top spot again if JVM languages continue to steal interest from pure Java.  The two languages are less than 2% away from each other.  C and Java have kept a pretty good lead (6% this year) over the third ranked language.

PHP - PHP was the only language in the top ten that made a significant jump.  It passed C++ and VB to take the number three spot for the first time.

Ruby - Finally made it to the top ten.  It took the place of Delphi.

Other notable data:

  • JavaFX script - New in 2009.  Made it to the 27th position already.  
  • Scala - Jumped from from 45 to 25 in 2009.  By comparison, it took Ruby 5 years to move 10 spaces.  
  • C# and ActionScript - Scored all time highs in 2009

Object-Oriented Languages still have the majority of the index share with 54.6% while Procedural Languages (41.5%) made a 1.4% jump thanks to Go.  Statically Typed Languages and Dynamically Typed Languages are about a 60/40 split in favor of Statically Typed.

The definition of the TIOBE index can be viewed here.


Armin Ehrenreich replied on Mon, 2010/01/11 - 12:02pm

There is something very dubious with this ranking algorithm. I have never heard that anyone doing anything in Go. And according to the data it should be as widely used as Objective-C? I think this is somehow a parsing error. 'Go' can be found in many strings, how to make sure that the new programming language is meant

Erin Garlock replied on Mon, 2010/01/11 - 2:00pm

And what about "C"?  Would that not be found in far more strings as you are alluding to for "go"?   Anyway, look up the language, you'll find it linked to and referenced all over the web - googling "google go language" will give you enough hits to make your head spin.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Mon, 2010/01/11 - 2:08pm

Dont take to seriously Tiobe, Its flawed and not accurate to the real world statics but It is fun to see sometimes how many hits a language have on the net.

Osvaldo Doederlein replied on Mon, 2010/01/11 - 3:13pm

Well, when you start from 0% (Go was announced in the end of 2009), ANY growth gives you infinitely more  developers than before.

There are other issues too. JVM languages like Scala, JavaFX Script, Clojure and most remarkably Groovy, haveb been available for the full year of 2009 (Scala and Groovy much longer); even the newcomers JavaFX Script and Clojure are certainly MUCH more used than Go - and no, I'm not blind by my admitted pro-JavaFX stance (and as a dynamic-typing hater, I admit that Groovy easily leads the popularity of all alternative JVM languages: its real-world usage, business face [Spring, IBM...] and community seem to have picked up some serious traction over 2009 - kudos to Guillaume and all the Groovy hackers).

Go doesn't have "adoption", "market share", "jobs" or "developers". What Go does have at this time is at best, "thousands of hackers debating it in forums and downloading it to play 15 minutes, just because it's from Google so it's supposedly great and a next-year smashing success". And I'm not saying it's not a good/great/best-ever language - only looked at it superficially (yeah, I'm in the 15-minutes group too), so I won't jump to judgments. Perhaps it will be a serious language in 2010, or more probably in 2011/12+ - when they have great IDE support, mature compiler/libs/toolchain, decent community, serious success cases and other amenities that even successful-in-niche languages (e.g., Lua) have.

Jim LoVerde replied on Mon, 2010/01/11 - 8:38pm

A better indicator is probably Indeed's jobs trends graphs.

Though as other posts have indicated, if you use either "go" or even "google go" as your search criteria you end up with a lot of false positives that invalidate the result graphs. For example, here are and "google go" jobs.

Daniel Perl replied on Thu, 2010/08/26 - 4:57am

One who dont know about it before may get useful information from this post , This one seems to me different type of post......well i wanna say that The way how u tried to explain some posts at here seems to me different JN0-522 there are certainly different posts at here,but i didnt find any post related to projects like 70-630 .if someone have information about it,do tell me!Well any updates related to this post?if yes than do tell me!actually i came here while surfing net to get data related to projects of 70-663 and find this post different one...Is there anyone having information about 642-533 if yes than do tell me!...any updates?if yes than do tell me!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.