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Python surges past Java in Tiobe language index

Python surges past Java in Tiobe language index

Python ranks as the second most popular programming language in the November index, with C first and Java slipping to third place

Credit: Dreamstime

Marking a first, Python has displaced Java to take the number two ranking in the November 2020 edition of the Tiobe Index of programming language popularity. C held on to the top spot.

The nearly 20-year-old index, which gauges language popularity based on search engine activity, has always ranked C and Java in the top two, with the languages switching places from time to time. Now Python has surged past Java, which slipped to third.

While some might cite Python’s use in fields such as data mining, AI, and numerical computing as reasons for its rising fortunes, software quality services vendor Tiobe believes that Python’s growth has to do with the general demand for software development.

Whereas programming activities were performed almost exclusively by software engineers in the past, programming skills are needed everywhere today.

Thus a simpler programming language was needed that could be used by non-engineers, one that was easy to learn with fast edit cycles and smooth deployment. “Python meets all these needs,” Tiobe wrote.

The formula behind the rankings of the index involves assessing the number of software engineers, courses, and third-party vendors behind each language, worldwide, using search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The Tiobe Index top 10 for November 2020:

  1. C, with a rating of 16.21 per cent
  2. Python: 12.12 per cent
  3. Java: 11.68 per cent
  4. C++: 7.6 per cent
  5. C#: 4.67 per cent
  6. Visual Basic: 4.01 per cent
  7. JavaScript: 2.03 per cent
  8. PHP: 1.79 per cent
  9. R: 1.64 per cent
  10. SQL: 1.54 per cent

The alternative PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language) index, which analyses how often language tutorials are searched in Google, already ranks Python as the top language.

The PYPL index top 10 for November 2020:

  1. Python, with a share of 30.8 per cent
  2. Java: 16.79 per cent
  3. JavaScript: 8.37 per cent
  4. C#: 6.42 per cent
  5. PHP: 5.92 per cent
  6. C/C++: 5.78 per cent
  7. R: 4.16 per cent
  8. Objective-C: 3.57 per cent
  9. Swift: 2.29 per cent
  10. TypeScript: 1.84 per cent

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