C# Named 2023 Programming Language of the Year by TIOBE

For the first time since 2001, when TIOBE Software began publishing the results of its monthly search for the languages in which the most lines of code were written, C# has earned the company's programming language of the year award. C# was the language with the largest usage uptick in one year (+1.43%), the company said. The runners up were Scratch (+0.83%), a visual programming language that allows students to create interactive stories, games, and animations; and Fortran (+0.64%), the venerable a high-level language used especially for scientific computation.

"C# is eating market share from Java and is getting more and more popular in domains such as web application back ends and games (thanks to Unity)," TIOBE Software CEO Paul Jansen wrote in a blog post. "C# can be used free of charge and evolves in a steady pace, making the language more expressive every new release. C# is here to stay and might even surpass Java soon."

The Unity uses implementations of the .NET runtime, making C# the most popular game development language. The engine compiles C# code for each target device, so the developer can deploy to desktop, mobile, consoles, AR, and VR platforms.

Among the trends emerging last year noted in the TIOBE report: Fortran and Kotlin became permanent top 20 players replacing R and Perl. " Fortran is very fit to crunch numbers with good libraries and remains a university favorite in lots of domains. Kotlin is the easy to learn/write competitor of Java," the company noted.

Jansen took a stab at answering the question, "What languages will enter the TIOBE index top 20 in 2024?"

"This is very hard to predict," he wrote. "Julia touched the TIOBE index briefly in 2023, but couldn't keep that position. Maturity of the Julia language and community is needed to get a second chance. I would put my bets on Dart (with Flutter) and TypeScript. The latter is already heavily used in industry, but for some reason it is not breaking through in the TIOBE index yet. Let's see what 2024 has in store."

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages, the company emphasizes. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third-party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings.

"It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written," Jansen added.


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].