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Most popular programming languages (2014)

Programming Languages Popularity Ratings (re: Aug-18-2014)
Programming Languages Popularity Ratings (re: Aug-18-2014)
Alexander Bell

The poll was conducted by [1], a 10+ million strong online software developers community, asking its members to rate their favorite programming languages. The polling question is, indeed, of high importance: it provides the opportunity to look at the issue through the eyes of many professional developers (4,382 votes were posted), reflecting their "collective wisdom" based on the first-hand experience. The results [1] normalized on the 0...100% scale are presented in the following Table 1 and attached infographic.

Table 1. Programming languages popularity ratings (Aug 2014)

Language (% votes)

  1. C# (45.7%)
  2. BASIC (14.4%)
  3. C++ (13.5%)
  4. Java (6.3%)
  5. C (5.2%)
  6. PHP (3.0%)
  7. Javascript (2.9%)
  8. Python (2.6%)
  9. COBOL (0.6%)
  10. FORTRAN (0.6%)
  11. Ruby (0.6%)
  12. Swift (0.4%)
  13. Objective C (0.3%)
  14. F# (0.2%)
  15. Other (4.0%)

Quick Comments

The poll [1] outcomes clearly indicates the overwhelming popularity of the C# programming language [2] scored 45.7% of votes, followed by BASIC ('Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code' [3]) scored 14.4% and C++ [4] with 13.5% correspondingly. These Top-3 most popular (or favourable: the original spelling "Favourite" is kinda French-styled, which is kinda understandable - folks are headquartered in Canada :-)) programming languages account for almost 74% of all votes. The fourth one, JAVA [5] accounts for 6.3% followed by "plain-vanilla" C programming language [6] scoring about 5.2%.

50s anniversary of BASIC

BASIC, designed by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz, and introduced in 1964 is an absolute veteran in this Top-5 crowd. 50 years of hard working and still shines (w/honorable 2nd place)! On the other end of the timeline, C# is the youngest arrival to the crowd (dated back to 2000), which quickly gained enormous popularity within software dev community.

SQL, aka Structured Query Language

Though not included in this poll, SQL is utmost important and equally popular language. Even though it formally, by the very definition, does not fall exactly into the category of programming languages (it's a query language used in most popular relational databases), but a great deal of business logic can be completed in SQL. Its detailed discussion goes far beyond the intended boundaries of this article: SQL deserves the one of its own.

What's next?

Keeping an eye on the future: another interesting poll worded "What would you most like to learn next?" was conducted by Codeproject [8] in Jan 2014, providing quantitative estimates of developers' community collective forward-thinking. The results are shown below, normalized on 0...100% scale (participants were allowed to select multiple choices; small rounding errors may apply):

Table 2. Most valuable 'next skills' (Jan 2014)

Skill (%)

  1. Android Development (13.1%)
  2. HTML5/CSS3 (12.9%)
  3. C# (11.0%)
  4. ASP.NET (9.1%)
  5. Javascript (8.9%)
  6. C/C++ / Objective C (7.1%)
  7. node.js (6.8%)
  8. iOS Development (5.7%)
  9. SQL (5.4%)
  10. Java (5.2%)
  11. Python (4.9%)
  12. WinRT Development (3.7%)
  13. PHP (3.6%)
  14. Ruby (2.6%)

Clearly, Android development skills are highly 'future-valued' (13.1% relative popularity), closely tied up with HTML5/CSS3 (12.9%). C# skills came 3rd (11.0%) in this poll; as a reminder, it's been a champion in popularity rating (45.7%) in the most recent poll [1] cited in the previous chapter.

Bottom Line

Finally, "Hello, World!" and happy programming!

Disclosure: Dr. Alexander Bell, the author, is the active member of online software developers community holding a "Legend" status for his contribution to this professional network (in particular, Dr. Bell participated in this poll [1]). Through his tenure as a professional software developer, he was extensively using all of Top-5 programming languages listed above, in addition to many others listed and also not-listed. He was a multiple software apps submission winner in Application Innovation Contest by Intel Corp. (AIC-2012 and AIC-2013 [9]), utilizing primarily C# programming language (SQL should be mentioned as a second notable one).


  1. Codeproject Survey: "What is your favourite programming language?" (Aug 18 2014)
  2. C# Programming Guide (MSDN)
  3. BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)
  4. C++ Programming Language
  5. JAVA Programming Language
  6. C Programming Language
  7. SQL (Structured Query Language)
  8. What would you most like to learn next?
  9. Intel® App Innovation Contest 2013

Disclaimer: all data is provided on 'AS IS' basis.