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Java is back on top of the TIOBE Index

JAXenter Editorial Team
Medal image via Shutterstock

The editors of the TIOBE Index predicted it in January, so nobody should be surprised to see Java back at the top this month. Java’s ongoing rivalry with C continues.

For years now, Java has been consigned to a gradual decline in the TIOBE Index, with the team behind the poll commenting on the dwindling importance of the language in the enterprise server back-end market.

After a year and a half off the top spot, the ranking now shows some renewed growth in importance of Java, especially with the increased demand for Java programming for Android. The general-purpose programming language can’t feel too secure however, with the entire C programming language family hot on its heels, rounding out the Top 5.


Source: TIOBE Index

How other languages fared

While JavaScript might still be called the “ugly duckling”, it continues its upward pace and sees itself in 6th place. Visual Basic, which was nowhere to be seen in last year’s April rankings, has landed in 9th spot.

The interesting stats however lie outside of the Top 10: Delphi/Object Pascal has jumped 8 places to sit at 11th spot, MATLAB is up 4 to 14th place and ABAP can celebrate a 16-rank jump to occupy No. 15. Even R has had a mighty upsurge of 21 places to be rated 19th overall.

Scala has caused a bit of a surprise, too – the functional and object-oriented language moved up to 25th place after going back and forth for years between ranking 30 and 50 respectively.

The analysts have their critics

The TIOBE Index has been published since 2001 and is calculated monthly. The calculations are made based on the number of search engine results for queries containing the name of the language, which includes searches on Wikipedia and YouTube.

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According to the operators of the index, it’s not about identifying the “best programming language” or the language with the most lines of code. The TIOBE website does claim though that the number of web pages could translate to numbers of skilled engineers, courses and jobs worldwide.

In recent years however, the index has come under criticism due to what is seen as poorly comprehensible rankings. Competition via more sophisticated and transparent rankings systems, such as the PYPL Index and the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, often reveal results that are significantly different to the TIOBE Index.

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