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TIOBE Index for September 2023

September Headline: Kotlin reenters the TIOBE index top 20

Last month Julia hit the TIOBE Index top 20 for the first time in history. This month Julia is out again, being replaced by Kotlin. Kotlin is yet another promising language. It all started in 2016 with the first official release of the Kotlin language by company JetBrains. The big breakthrough came quickly: in 2017, one year after the first release, Google announced to have first-class support for Kotlin for Android. Since Java (the traditional language for Android) was considered to be too verbose, Kotlin's popularity rose to 1% and a TIOBE Index top 20 position at that time. After this first hype, Kotlin had to build up a steady community. This took about 5 years, after which it now reached its second peak. The current uprise is more serious because of Kotlin's much larger fanbase nowadays. Kotlin's reason for existence is being a fierce competitor of Java. It beats Java on almost all fronts. The main argument against Kotlin is that Java is a more established language thus having more programmers, books, training courses, libraries, etc. Let's see whether Kotlin can keep its top 20 position the next few months. -- Paul Jansen CEO TIOBE Software

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system. The definition of the TIOBE index can be found here.

Sep 2023 Sep 2022 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
11Python pagePython14.16%-1.58%
22C pageC11.27%-2.70%
34changeC++ pageC++10.65%+0.90%
43changeJava pageJava9.49%-2.23%
55C# pageC#7.31%+2.42%
67changeJavaScript pageJavaScript3.30%+0.48%
76changeVisual Basic pageVisual Basic2.22%-2.18%
810changePHP pagePHP1.55%-0.13%
98changeAssembly language pageAssembly language1.53%-0.96%
109changeSQL pageSQL1.44%-0.57%
1115changeFortran pageFortran1.28%+0.26%
1212Go pageGo1.19%+0.03%
1314changeMATLAB pageMATLAB1.19%+0.13%
1422changeScratch pageScratch1.08%+0.51%
1513changeDelphi/Object Pascal pageDelphi/Object Pascal1.02%-0.07%
1616Swift pageSwift1.00%+0.02%
1726changeRust pageRust0.97%+0.47%
1818R pageR0.97%+0.02%
1920changeRuby pageRuby0.95%+0.30%
2034changeKotlin pageKotlin0.90%+0.59%

Other programming languages

The complete top 50 of programming languages is listed below. This overview is published unofficially, because it could be the case that we missed a language. If you have the impression there is a programming language lacking, please notify us at tpci@tiobe.com. Please also check the overview of all programming languages that we monitor.

PositionProgramming LanguageRatings
23Classic Visual Basic0.82%
27(Visual) FoxPro0.69%

The Next 50 Programming Languages

The following list of languages denotes #51 to #100. Since the differences are relatively small, the programming languages are only listed (in alphabetical order).

  • 4th Dimension/4D, ABC, ActionScript, Algol, Alice, Apex, APL, Bash, bc, Boo, Bourne shell, Carbon, CHILL, CL (OS/400), CLIPS, Clojure, Crystal, Eiffel, Elixir, Elm, Erlang, Groovy, Hack, Inform, Io, J, J#, LabVIEW, Ladder Logic, Maple, Modula-2, Monkey, MQL5, NATURAL, Nim, OCaml, OpenEdge ABL, Pure Data, Q, Racket, Raku, RPG, Scheme, Smalltalk, Solidity, SPARK, TOM, TypeScript, VHDL, Wolfram

Very Long Term History

To see the bigger picture, please find below the positions of the top 10 programming languages of many years back. Please note that these are average positions for a period of 12 months.

Programming Language20232018201320082003199819931988
Visual Basic617------
Assembly language1012------
(Visual) Basic--735357

There are 2 important remarks here:

  • There is a difference between "Visual Basic" and "(Visual) Basic" in the table above. Until 2010, "(Visual) Basic" referred to all possible dialects of Basic, including Visual Basic. After some discussion, it has been decided to split "(Visual) Basic" into all its dialects such as Visual Basic .NET, Classic Visual Basic, PureBasic, and Small Basic, just to name a few. Since Visual Basic .NET has become the major implementation of Visual Basic, it is now called "Visual Basic".
  • The programming language SQL was added to the TIOBE index in 2018 after somebody pointed out that SQL is Turing Complete. So although this language is very old, it has only a short history in the index.

Programming Language Hall of Fame

The hall of fame listing all "Programming Language of the Year" award winners is shown below. The award is given to the programming language that has the highest rise in ratings in a year.

2022medal C++
2021medal Python
2020medal Python
2019medal C
2018medal Python
2017medal C
2016medal Go
2015medal Java
2014medal JavaScript
2013medal Transact-SQL
2012medal Objective-C
2011medal Objective-C
2010medal Python
2009medal Go
2008medal C
2007medal Python
2006medal Ruby
2005medal Java
2004medal PHP
2003medal C++

Bugs & Change Requests

This is the top 5 of most requested changes and bugs. If you have any suggestions how to improve the index don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

  1. Apart from “<language> programming”, also other queries such as “programming with <language>”, “<language> development” and “<language> coding” should be tried out.
  2. Add queries for other natural languages (apart from English). The idea is to start with the Chinese search engine Baidu. This has been implemented partially and will be completed the next few months.
  3. Add a list of all search term requests that have been rejected. This is to minimize the number of recurring mails about Rails, JQuery, JSP, etc.
  4. Start a TIOBE index for databases, software configuration management systems and application frameworks.
  5. Some search engines allow to query pages that have been added last year. The TIOBE index should only track those recently added pages.

Yes, the only condition is to refer to its original source “www.tiobe.com”.

If a language meets the criteria of being listed (i.e. it is Turing complete and has an own Wikipedia entry that indicates that it concerns a programming language) and it is sufficiently popular (more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” for Google), then please write an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

We spent a lot of effort to obtain all the data and keep the TIOBE index up to date. In order to compensate a bit for this, we ask a fee of 5,000 US$ for the complete data set. The data set runs from June 2001 till today. It started with 25 languages back in 2001, and now measures more than 150 languages once a month. The data are available in comma separated format. Please contact sales@tiobe.com for more information.

Well, you can do it either way and both are wrong. If you take the sum, then you get the intersection twice. If you take the max, then you miss the difference. Which one to choose? Suppose somebody comes up with a new search term that is 10% of the original. If you take the max, nothing changes. If you take the sum then the ratings will rise 10%. So taking the sum will be an incentive for some to come up with all kinds of obscure terms for a language. That’s why we decided to take the max.

The proper way to solve this is is of course to take the sum and subtract the intersection. This will give rise to an explosion of extra queries that must be performed. Suppose a language has a grouping of 15 terms, then you have to perform 32,768 queries (all combinations of intersections). So this seems not possible either… If somebody has a solution for this, please let us know.

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