In the fast-paced world of technology, it's always a smart move for IT pros to continually expand their skills to remain marketable. For C programmers, this advice may be especially relevant in light of recent data gleaned on the Tiobe index. The data also gives insight into a shift in organizations' development priorities.
The index's August data revealed that the popularity of the C programming language fell to its lowest score since the index launched in 2001. The Tiobe Index is updated once a month, based on programming languages that have received at least 5,000 hits on Google when searching for the desired language and the word programming. The ranking is essentially based on the number of hits a search query generates, according to Tiobe's methodology.
C, which maintained its No. 2 rank from a year ago, saw a 3.4% decline over the past year in the number of searches performed by popular search engines tracked by the software assessment company. In August, C accounted for 11.3% of computer programming language searches by the popular search engines, according to the report.
According to Tiobe:
Some of the computer languages gaining lots of attention are Go, which jumped to No. 20 on the Tiobe Index in August from No. 95 a year ago, and Groovy, which soared to No. 16 from No. 37.
Go was launched back in 2009 by Alphabet's Google. The open-source program is targeted toward apps designed for multi-processor systems that aim to deliver extensive scalability. Go is especially gaining traction these days because it is used by enterprise software-maker Docker.
Groovy, created in 2004, can be used as a scripting language or object-oriented programming language for the Java Virtual Machine.
Other movement among the top 20 most popular programming languages on the Tiobe Index included such gainers as:
- PHP moving to No. 6 from No. 7
- Perl rising to No. 9 from No. 10
- Assembly language climbing to No. 10 from No. 12
- Delphi/Object Pascal rising to No. 11 from No. 14
- Ruby edging up to No. 12 from No. 13
- Swift soaring to No. 14 from No. 17
- R advancing to No. 17 from No. 20
Those that saw a loss in ranking include:
- Objective-C plunging to No. 15 from No. 6
- Visual Basic falling to No. 13 from No. 11
- MATLAB dropping to No. 18 from No. 15
Java, meanwhile, still remains ranked as No. 1 on the programming popularity scale, accounting for 19% of searches on popular search engines. Java's ability to "write once, run anywhere" has had strong staying power, among companies and universities.
"The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date, or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system," Tiobe advised.