Top programming languages list of 2013 throws up surprise winner

Lucy Carey

Relatively stable year makes Transact-SQL TIOBE programming language award winner.

With 2013 done and dusted, one clear winner for the
biggest mover out of all the programming languages on the TIOBE
index has emerged. And it’s… Transact-SQL.
Of course! What, were you thinking it would be something like
JavaScript, Java, or Python – which placed first, second, and
third, respectively on the annual
Twitter programming languages
survey (#Code2013) – you know,
something you might have actually talked about within the last
couple of months?

#Code2013 : the results. Can
you spot Transact-SQL?

Compiling a top ranking of programming language
adoption is a contentious issue. The TIOBE Programming Community
Index, which measures the number of search engine results including
Google, Bing, Youtube and Wikipedia, is perhaps most well known
index, but is also often criticized for being inherently flawed.
For example, a Chinese bot attack sent Groovy hurtling up the
rankings last fall, only to see it crash back equally rapidly when
the foul play was uncovered.

Nonetheless, indexes such as TIOBE do represent a
handy barometer for how much interest a language is generating, and
at least an indication of the number of skilled engineers, courses
and jobs worldwide utilising any given language variant. In the
case of Transact-SQL, it comes out on top by virtue of the fact
that, “actually not much happened in 2013”.

Having gained almost one percent popularity over the
past 12 months (a boost of 0.98%), it’s followed in the index by
Objective-C (up 0.81%) and F# (up a relatively pithy 0.53 percent).
As the compilers point out, it’s a bit incongruous that
Transact-SQL should have risen in the tables at all, as Microsoft
database engine, SQLServer, is actually falling in popularity.

Mobile app development and web remained key trends in
the past year, and as a result, Java has been hugely boosted by
Android development, as has Objective-C, driven by iOS development.
In spite of JavaScript’s popularity over in the Twittersphere, it
remains stable at number nine on the index.

Here’s a snapshot of the top twenty, demonstrating the
relatively dramatic upward trajectory of Transact-SQL against other

In spite of all the hype around newer languages at the
most recent
event, there hasn’t been any dramatic shift for
(currently at 124) or TypeScript (standing in 205th place)
on the TIOBE league. It’ll be interesting to see if these
interlopers continue to stagnate in the lower echelons of the
leagues tables in 2014 – we’re certainly holding out for another
surprise come January 2014.

Image by Pasukaru

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