Close

The 2015 Top Ten Programming Languages

New languages enter the scene, and big data makes its mark

2 min read
The 2015 Top Ten Programming Languages
Illustration: iStockphoto

What are the most popular programming languages? The only honest answer: It depends. Are you trying to land a job at a hot mobile app startup, model electricity flows across a continent, or create an electronic art project? Languages are tools, and what’s a “must have” in one domain can be a “whatever” in another. So for the second year in a row, IEEE Spectrum has teamed up with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos to give you a popularity ranking that you can adjust to meet your own needs.

Our ranking system is driven by weighting and combining 12 metrics from 10 data sources. We believe these sources—such as the IEEE Xplore digital library, GitHub, and CareerBuilder—are good proxies for the popularity of 48 languages along a number of different dimensions. The weighting of these sources can be adjusted in our interactive Web app to give, say, more importance to languages that have turned up in job ads. Filters can be applied so that you can see only languages relevant to mobile or embedded development, for example. (Access to the Web app is US $0.99.)

We put a number of preset weightings into the app for convenience; the default is the IEEE Spectrum ranking, with weights chosen to broadly represent the interests of IEEE members, and here are this year’s top 10 languages from that weighting. (The column on the left is the 2015 ranking; the column on the right is the 2014 ranking for comparison.)

The big five—Java, C, C++, Python, and C#—remain on top, with their ranking undisturbed, but C has edged to within a whisper of knocking Java off the top spot. The big mover is R, a statistical computing language that’s handy for analyzing and visualizing big data, which comes in at sixth place. Last year it was in ninth place, and its move reflects the growing importance of big data to a number of fields. A significant amount of movement has occurred further down in the rankings, as languages like Go, Perl, and even Assembly jockey for position.

A few languages have dropped off the rankings compared with last year’s. Mostly this is due to an insufficient presence in this year’s data to justify keeping them in. But in one case, an entry was dropped because we agreed with comments on last year’s ranking that said we had made a mistake in categorizing it as a language rather than just a framework. This was ASP.NET, and we had originally included it because of our pragmatic approach to the definition of programming language—a lack of Turing completeness is not an absolute bar, and we make no apologies for including things like HTML—but we were too broad on that one.

A number of languages have entered the rankings for the first time. Swift, Apple’s new language, has already gained enough traction to make a strong appearance despite being released only 13 months ago. Cuda is another interesting entry—it’s a language created by graphics chip company Nvidia that’s designed for general-purpose computing using the company’s powerful but specialized graphics processors, which can be found in many desktop and mobile devices. Seven languages in all are appearing for the first time.

The Conversation (0)

Intel Invests $20 billion in Ohio for Advanced Fabs

First major chip plant in the U.S. midwest slated to begin production in 2025

3 min read
An arial view of large white building surrounded by black parking lots is embedded in a mix of farmland and forest.

A rendering of Intel's Ohio fab site as it might look when complete in 2025.

Intel

Intel has chosen to expand its advanced manufacturing in a U.S. state neither the company nor any other chipmaker has a presence in, Ohio. Intel announced today that it will build two leading edge logic fabs east of Columbus at a cost of $20 billion. Construction is set to start in 2022 and production should begin in 2025, Intel says. The company gave no information about the fabs' capacities in terms of wafers per month. But it said the site, situated on four square kilometers in Licking County, could be expanded over the decade for a total investment of $100 billion.

The new fabs are part of a reset of Intel's manufacturing, a plan called IDM 2.0, that would see Intel regain its ability to make chips at the most advanced nodes and offer foundry services to other companies. It also comes as the United States embarks on an effort to grow advanced chipmaking capacity. Currently, all cutting edge chipmaking is done in Taiwan and South Korea. Both of the latter companies have announced plans for new cutting edge fabs in the United States, and the government plans to incentivize domestic production with $52-billion in incentives. The bill that would supply that money, the CHIPS Act, has passed in the U.S. Senate, but has not yet been taken up in the House of Representatives. "The scope and pace of Intel’s expansion in Ohio... will depend heavily on funding from the CHIPS Act," said Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain and operations in a press release.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

For Better AR Cameras, Swap Plastic Lenses for Silicon Chips

Metalenz adds the power of polarization to its innovative PolarEyes chips

5 min read
Silicon Nanostructures

Metalenz uses standard semiconductor manufacturing processes to build metasurfaces comprising nanostructures that control light, with one chip replacing multiple traditional camera lenses.

Metalenz

This week, startup Metalenz announced that it has created a silicon chip that, paired with an image sensor, can distinguish objects by the way they polarize light. The company says its “PolarEyes” will be able to make facial authentication less vulnerable to spoofing, improve 3D imaging for augmented and virtual reality, aid in telehealth by distinguishing different types of skin cells, and enhance driving safety by spotting black ice and other hard-to-see road hazards.

The company, founded in 2017 and exiting stealth a year ago, previously announced that it was commercializing waveguides composed of silicon nanostructures as an alternative to traditional optics for use in mobile devices.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Learn How to Use a High-Performance Digitizer

Join Teledyne for a three-part webinar series on high-performance data acquisition basics

1 min read

Webinar: High-Performance Digitizer Basics

Part 3: How to Use a High-Performance Digitizer

Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Time: 10 AM PST | 1 PM EST

Keep Reading ↓ Show less