SlashData’s 21st State of the Developer Nation Report examined global software developer trends across 160 countries during Q3 2021, covering programming languages, tools, APIs, apps and technology segments, as well as attitudes of developers themselves.
The report also looked at developer involvement in 5G and IoT, specifically how programmers were taking advantage of new advances in technology in tools, apps and services.
Python might not be a close second, but its popularity is impressive nonetheless: according to SlashData, the language is now used by some 11.3 million coders, primarily within data science and machine learning, and IoT applications.
The brainchild of Guido van Rossum, Python’s popularity has exploded in recent years, overtaking that of Java, which is currently used by 9.6m developers. Java remains a go-to for mobile and desktop apps, SlashData’s survey found.
According to SlashData, Python added 2.3m developers to its community in the past 12 months. “That’s a 25% growth rate, one of the highest across all the large programming language communities of more than 7M users,” the report noted.
“The rise of data science and machine learning (ML) is a clear factor in Python’s popularity. More than 70% of ML developers and data scientists report using Python. For perspective, only 17% use R, the other language often associated with data science.”
Of course, determining the developer base of any particular programming language is not an exact science. “It can be hard to assess how widely used a programming language is,” noted SlashData. Its figures are based on two pieces of data: the organization’s own estimate of the number of software developers worldwide (which it puts at 26.8 million), as well as its bi-yearly surveys, which SlashData said reach “tens of thousands of developers every six months”. So, there is some margin for error.
Rounding out the top five most popular languages were C/C++ (7.5m developers), PHP (7.3m) and C# (7.1m). Of these, PHP has grown the fastest over the past six months, SlashData reported, acquiring one million new developers between