Python slinks past C, Java and C++ to top IEEE 2017 language list

Python has topped the charts as the top programming language of 2017, according to the latest ranking from IEEE Spectrum.

The language, which continues to grow in popularity having been one of the highest risers in the most recent Stack Overflow survey, got the benchmark score of 100, with C (99.7), Java (99.5) and C++ (97.1) trailing close behind. C#, R, JavaScript, PHP, Go, and Swift completed the top 10.

No new languages appeared in the full list of 48 for the second year running, with Stephen Cass, senior editor at IEEE Spectrum, arguing it emphasises a continuing trend. “We seem to have entered a period of consolidation in coding as programmers digest the tools created to cater to the explosion of cloud, mobile, and big data applications,” he wrote.

The languages were ranked for web, mobile, enterprise, and embedded, and each permutation in between. For web only, Python came out on top ahead of Java and C#, for mobile C came out on top ahead of Java and C++, and for enterprise Python scored best ahead of C and Java.

The study also explored the most popular languages in terms of employer demand. Java came out on top overall, ahead of C and Python, with Java, Python and JavaScript the top three web languages and Java, C, and C++ taking gold, silver and bronze for mobile.

According to the most recent TIOBE Index, Go entered the top 10 for the first time, rising 55 places from this time last year. TIOBE said it was an “important landmark” for the Go programming language, with Java, C, and C++ taking the top three positions respectively.

The study was put together by Cass and data journalist Nick Diakopoulos, by combining 12 metrics with 10 different online sources.


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