TIOBE Index for October 2018

Swift jostles itself into the top 10 as TIOBE reshuffles again

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / Dilomski

Although the top 10 list for TIOBE tends to stay the same, there’s been an awful lot of jostling over the #10 spot. This month, Swift regains lost momentum and crests the horizon as Java defends its crown and JavaScript sinks a spot.

Here at JAXenter, we like to keep a finger on the pulse of the tech world. What better way than regularly checking in on the TIOBE Index? The TIOBE Programming Community index charts the popularity of various programming languages, showing what’s still popular among developers.

Here’s the top twenty list for October 2018.

SEE MORE: It’s time to get proficient at Swift

Swift rising

We’ve been watching Swift’s rise and fall on this list for some time. Last March, Swift made it to #10 for the first time; since then, its position has fluctuated significantly. What gives?

Well, as a rule of thumb, the top 9 programming languages on TIOBE tend to stay quite stable. The Index is a lagging indicator, after all. However, spot #10 is something of a tricksy position for any programming language that manages it. Winning is easy; keeping that position is considerably harder.

In the past, languages like Ruby and Perl were prime candidates for the spot. Yet, as we’ve discovered, it’s a short life for scripting languages.

Recently, there are three challengers for the spot: Swift, Go, and R. Each of these three has battled its way up, only to fall behind. The jostling for position is pretty understandable. These three languages represent three very different approaches to developing.

Swift for Android is available now for more than 2 years, with the latest version of Swift supported. Many developers use Swift and might even contribute to a growth in the Swift language.

SEE ALSO: Server-side Swift for Java developers

On the other hand, R is an established language for academia as well as data science. If the Ivory Tower has bothered to learn it, it’s going to be a long time before university professors stop using it. Yet, Python is a serious competitor and popular programming language for all kinds of data science uses.

And finally, although Go is still great, there’s not a lot to differentiate it from other programming languages. How will this fight for #10 go? Only time will tell.

Other happenings on the list are a little less monumental. SQL continues to maintain its position at #9. SQL rejoined the index in February of this year, as it finally made it to Turing complete. Although it may look like the language has grown a considerable amount, this is just a statistical outlier and not to be counted.


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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