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Report: Swift Now Top 10 Language, Java Still No. 1

The October edition of the TIOBE index measuring programming language popularity reports that Apple's Swift has made it into the top 10.

Swift jumped up six spots from last year's October ranking to clock in at No. 10 in the new report, but whether it will stay there is an open question.

While the top 10 languages of the report have been fairly stable, several offerings have been vying for that No. 10 spot.

"This month Swift is trying to become a permanent member of the TIOBE index top 10," TIOBE said. "In the recent past Ruby and Perl were fighting for this position but they both seem to have had their best time. There seem to be 3 serious candidates for the top 10 position at the moment: Swift, Go and R, but even these are uncertain. Swift is clearly the number one programming language to develop mobile apps for iOS. But since it is only available for iOS and not for Android, you see developers move to 'write once deploy everywhere' frameworks instead."

Coincidentally, last month's No. 10 position was filled by Objective-C, Apple's other language for iOS development that is being subsumed by Swift.

Other than that, the top 10 spots are filled by the usual cast of characters: Java, C, C++ Python and so on. Here's the new October ranking compared to last year:

2018  2017 Language % Change
11Java +5.37
22C +7.00
33C++ +2.59
45Python +3.35
58Visual Basic .NET +3.15
64C# -0.37
77PHP 0.00
86JavaScript -0.73
9-SQL +2.04
1016Swift -0.17
1113MATLAB -0.56
1220Go -0.10
139Assembly language -1.13
1415R -0.47
1517Objective-C -0.31
1612Perl -0.80
1711Delphi/Object Pascal -1.03
1810Ruby -1.22
1919PL/SQL -0.63
2018Visual Basic -0.77

TIOBE noted that the R language, popular for data analysis and statistics, is getting serious competition. "And for the Go programming language it is unclear what makes it stand out when compared to other programming languages," the report said. "Let's see what is going to happen."

TIOBE's ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third-party vendors, based on popular search engine traffic. "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," the company said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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