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TIOBE Software has declared C# the programming language of 2023 based on its long-running popularity index. The TIOBE Programming Community Index shows year-over-year trends in programming languages based on search engine volume.

In January 2024, the top three programming languages were Python, C and C++. However, they all lost popularity over 2023 in TIOBE’s proprietary ranking system. Other major changes between January 2023 and January 2024 are as follows:

  • C# had the most growth year-over-year at +1.43%.
  • JavaScript rose from 7th to 6th place.
  • PHP rose from 10th to 7th place.
  • Visual Basic fell from 6th to 8th place.
  • SQL fell from 8th to 9th place.
  • Scratch rose dramatically from 20th place to enter the top 10 at 10th place.

C# wins 2023 programming language of the year

“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 the TIOBE Index post for January. “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.”

Scratch and Fortran gained the second and third most points in 2023, with 0.83% and +0.64%, respectively. Fortran is a very old language that remains a staple for digesting large amounts of data in university research settings.

SEE: Top 10 list of programming languages from TIOBE’s Index for Jan. 2024 and previous months (TechRepublic)

Jansen pointed out that, over the course of 2023, Kotlin became a permanent resident in the top 20 because it is a viable competitor to Java and because it is relatively easy to learn and write.

Keep an eye on Dart and TypeScript in 2024

Jansen pointed out that it’s very difficult to predict what programming languages will rise enough in popularity to reach the top 20. For instance, Julia made it onto the top 20 briefly in August 2023 but did not stay there.

“The Julia language is neither formally nor officially documented, whereas the language is evolving every release,” Jansen said. “This makes it hard for tool vendors to create tools for the language.”

Jansen sees Dart — with its companion app SDK, the Google-built Flutter — and TypeScript as likely contenders for entering the top 20 in 2024.

“The latter is already heavily used in industry, but for some reason it is not breaking through in the TIOBE Index yet,” Jansen wrote.


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