Main image of article What Are the Top Languages of 2015?

What are the most popular programming languages of 2015 (so far)? A few weeks ago, IEEE Spectrum combined data from a variety of sources—including GitHub and its own digital library—in order to rank the popularity of 48 different languages. Here’s their top 10:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Python
  5. C#
  6. R
  7. PHP
  8. JavaScript
  9. Ruby
  10. MATLAB

As with other programming-language surveys, the biggest movement from year to year occurred not at the top of IEEE’s list, but in the middle and bottom tiers, where up-and-coming languages such as Apple’s Swift and Google’s Go duke it out with older languages on the decline. The IEEE’s list bears strong similarities to rankings produced by analyst firms, as well as Google’s recent compendium of the most-searched programming languages. This isn’t a shocker, considering the ubiquity of Java, Python, and C. What’s notable is how closely all these 2015 lists mirror their predecessors from 2014. Although pundits and analysts like to proclaim that technology is a fast-moving industry—and in many ways, they’re right—the top contenders on lists of the most popular programming languages don’t seem to shift all that much from year to year. For tech pros, that’s a good thing: If you spend a lot of time learning something like Java, you want to be sure its utility will remain strong for years to come. The bigger question is which of the midlevel languages, such as Swift, will become more prevalent in the next few years.