JavaScript Tops Latest Programming Language Popularity Ranking From RedMonk

Industry analyst firm RedMonk published today its latest quarterly programming language popularity ranking. JavaScript came out on top, followed closely by Java, PHP, and Python.

The rankings are based on data collected from the open source project host GitHub and the programming questions and answer site StackOverflow, a measurement invented by Drew Conway and John Myles White in 2010.

As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s difficult to determine the popularity of programming languages, but getting some idea of what developers actually like to use is one of many considerations for companies who need to hire developers.

No ranking system is perfect, but the RedMonk system has a nice advantage in that they draw on two separate sources of data that correlate nicely and map out into multiple tiers. The graph is pretty hard to read, so RedMonk co-founder and analyst Stephen O’Grady broke it down into a list:

  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  3. PHP
  4. Python
  5. Ruby
  6. C#
  7. C++
  8. C
  9. Objective-C
  10. Shell
  11. Perl
  12. Scala
  13. Haskell
  14. ASP
  15. Assembly
  16. ActionScript
  17. R
  18. Visual Basic
  19. CoffeeScript
  20. Groovy

O’Grady notes that Scala, a Java Virtual Machine language used by companies like Twitter and Foursquare, has been slowly muscling its way to the top of the second tier. He also points out that Go, a language developed by Google, has made small but respectable gains in popularity since Conway and Myles first starting compiling this data.