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The TIOBE Index has named C++ its “programming language of the year” for 2022.

Every month, TIOBE attempts to track the popularity of the world’s largest programming languages. Why did C++ take the top spot? The reason is simple, according to the note accompanying the rankings: “Its excellent performance while being a high level object-oriented language. Because of this, it is possible to develop fast and vast software systems (over millions of lines of code) in C++ without necessarily ending up in a maintenance nightmare.”

C++ beat out C, Python, and Java for the top spot. “What else happened in 2022?” the note added. “Performance seemed to be important. C++ competitor Rust entered the top 20 again (being at position #26 one year ago), but this time it seems to be for real. Lua, which is known for its easy interfacing with C, jumped from position #30 to #24. F# is another language that made an interesting move: from position #74 to position #33 in one years' time.”

To create its rankings every month, TIOBE leverages data from a variety of aggregators and search engines, including Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. For a language to rank, it must be Turing complete, have its own Wikipedia entry, and earn more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” on Google. While that isn’t the most scientific means of determining programming languages’ respective popularity, it’s a good way to determine at a glance which languages have “buzz.”

Other promising languages cited by TIOBE include Kotlin, Julia, and Dart, all of which climbed the rankings over the past 12 months.

If you’re interested in learning C++, there are lots of tutorials and documentation online, much of it free. For example, w3schools has an extensive C++ tutorial; online learning hubs such as Codecademy and freecodecamp are also potential places to start. Whatever pathway you choose, keep in mind that many organizations will test your skills before they hire you—make sure you’ve mastered C++ basics before applying for jobs.