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Python's Simplicity Drives Rise in Programming Language Popularity Index

The TIOBE Index, which tracks programming language popularity based on Web searches, is out with a new report that shows Python reaching new heights, driven by its simplicity that attracts a new wave of software engineers.

We recently reported Python was dueling with C++ in its climb up the rankings. Now, it has surpassed that language while hitting a new high.

With its continuing rise, TIOBE predicts an eventual No. 1 ascension. "If Python can keep this pace, it will probably replace C and Java in 3 to 4 years time, thus becoming the most popular programming language of the world," TIOBE said in its June 2019 post.

"The main reason for this is that software engineering is booming," TIOBE said. "It attracts lots of newcomers to the field. Java's way of programming is too verbose for beginners. In order to fully understand and run a simple program such as 'hello world' in Java you need to have knowledge of classes, static methods and packages. In C this is a bit easier, but then you will be hit in the face with explicit memory management. In Python this is just a one-liner. Enough said."

Careers site Dice also weighed in on the report, noting that its popularity in the data science field might have something to do with the climb of Python, which can pay off with $103,587 salaries, according to its internal data.

Even though the reigning "programming language of the year" is on a seemingly inexorable climb to the top, that position for now still belongs to perennial leader Java. Here's the top 20:
TIOBE Index for June 2019
[Click on image for larger view.] TIOBE Index for June 2019 (source: TIOBE Index)

TIOBE's ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses and third-party vendors, tracked by data from popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu. TIOBE says its index doesn't track the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written. "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," it said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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