Thousands of programming languages exist, but there are some trusty ones that developers turn to again and again.
GitHub, the startup at the center of open-source software development, tracks these programming trends. After all, it’s a hub for software projects that developers can browse and contribute to with over 3.1 million developers and 2.1 million organizations. Its annual Octoverse report has top insights on the the inner goings-on in the world of software developers.
GitHub is about to be acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion, and it’s quickly growing. There were 8 million new users on the platform this past year – that’s more than in GitHub’s first six years combined. And it’s growing quickly globally, especially in countries like China, India, Singapore, Nigeria, Brazil, and more. Indeed, it’s been compared to Facebook, in the sense that it’s the home to several of the largest communities of programmers.
Here are the top languages they’re using, according to GitHub:
Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language that focuses on simplicity. It's been used to build some of the apps we use each day. Ruby on Rails, a popular web-application framework, is implemented in Ruby. In fact, apps like Twitch, SoundCloud, Hulu, Zendesk, Square and GitHub were built with Ruby on Rails.
C is an old one, but a good one. One of the oldest programming languages, it was invented in the 1970s. Even today, it has become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time.
A shell script is a computer program that's designed to instruct an operating system to run certain commands. Shell scripts can manipulate files, execute programs and more. It's especially popular with systems administrators.
C#, pronounced C Sharp, was developed by Microsoft and used to build enterprise applications and software used by corporate clients. This object-oriented programming language is similar to Java.
C++ dates back to the 1970s and is commonly taught in beginner computer science courses. It's still one of the most widely used languages, as it's the core language in many operating systems, browsers, and games.
PHP is used to make dynamic and interactive Web pages. Large sites like Facebook and Yahoo were made using PHP, but developers have long ridiculed it one of the worst programming languages: It's been called "training wheels without the bike."
Python is a high-level programming language and one of the world's fastest-growing languages. It's an easy language to get started with, but it's often used for higher-level programming like machine learning and data analysis. One of the most popular tutorials for Python is called "Learn Python the Hard Way."
"Python is a legit phenomenon of it's own," O'Grady said. "A lot of it comes down to the fact that it's an incredibly versatile language."
Java is an object-oriented language created by Sun Microsystems, which is now owned by Oracle. It's used for databases, developing Android apps, as a "backend" programming language for the web, desktop applications and more. It's immensely popular, considered one of the most stable and reliable ways to build large systems.