C programming language beats Java for the first time in 5 years popularity in the Tiobe Index


The grand old daddy of programming language C makes it to top of popularity charts in Tiobe Index ahead of Java after five years

If you are C programming language lover, you will love this news. The grand old daddy of computer programming languages C made its entry into the popularity Index of Tiobe. C programming had lost its luster after C++, C# and Java had emerged as the top choices of programmers. It took a long five years and perhaps the Coronavirus pandemic to bring back the C programming language to the top of the charts in Tiobe Index for May 2020.

For the first time since March 2015, the C programming language this month replaced Java as the most popular programming language in the Tiobe Index of programming language popularity. The people behind the Tiobe Index say it is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the list of most popular programming languages for May 2020 according to Tiobe Index:

As you can see from the above image, C programming language is ahead of Java by a clear .80 basis percent. Tiobe says that the popularity in C language is due to the doctors using C programming for Coronavirus related software. Tiobe Index CEO, Paul Jansen thinks that C programming language will remain above Java in the popularity charts for at least 6 months as Java is currently witnessing a downtrend.

What is C Programming Language?

C programming language was developed at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie for the Unix Operating System in the early 1970s. It is a general-purpose programming language that is mostly used in firmware or portable applications. Originally intended for writing system software, C gave away that space to its sibling C++

Even now most computer systems have a compiler based on C programming language that can generate machine code/native code. Many operating systems, including Linux and UNIX, are programmed using this language. The language itself has very few keywords, and most programming is done using libraries.

As computer programming gained popularity, C programming gained the status of the grand old daddy of programming languages. It itself became less popular but lent many programming languages some of its key syntax/features. Syntax of Java, PHP, JavaScript, and many other languages are mainly based on C language. C++ is nearly a superset of C language.

The popularity of other computer programming languages

As can be seen from the Tiobe Index May 2020 listing, Java is having quite a bad time. Three languages, R, Swift and Go are making huge leaps in popularity currently at 10, 11, and 12 respectively. They have jumped nearly 10 points from the earlier month. Python and R have retained their popularity. Tiobe believes it is due to the fact that both are used in the data sciences area because everybody is searching for an antidote for the Coronavirus. Rust is another programming language that is closing in on the top 20 programming languages.

Tiobe uses search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo to estimate the number of skilled engineers, courses, and third-party vendors using the programming language to gauge its popularity.

Tiobe rival Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index has a different set of popularity ratings.

Top programming languages as per Pypl Index

In the Pypl Index, Python retains its numero uno position in May 2020 while Java programming comes second in popularity. One thing to note is that both Tiobe and Pypl show Java programming in a downtrend. In Pyple Index, Kotlin makes a surprise entry at No.12 and Dart at No.20.

Do note that unlike Tiobe Index, Pypl Index uses Google Trends to rank the programming languages as per their popularity


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