Skip to navigationSkip to content

The most popular programming languages are rapidly changing

SQL down, Node.js up.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Technology moves fast, particularly on the software side, as Stack Overflow’s annual survey of developers demonstrates. The popular Q&A site for people who write code released results this week from a poll of more than 25,000 developers, who were queried on everything from their country of origin to their caffeine consumption to the programming languages they use most.

Responses to the latter question show there’s been a pretty rapid shift just since 2013. Javascript has been the most popular for the past two years. But SQL, which used to surpass it, has dropped off substantially, as have many of the C languages. The biggest growers have been Node.js and AngularJS:

One of the reasons things change so fast—on this platform in particular—is that so many developers are self-taught, rather than the product of a four-year degree in computer science. They presumably are comfortable picking up newer, or newly in-demand, programming languages. (Figures in the chart below sum to more than 100% because some respondents checked off multiple options.)

The annual survey (full results can be found here) also provides a forecast of changes to come. Stack Overflow asked users what they have developed with, or for, in the past year, and what they want to do in the future. The gap between the two helps give a view of the languages and technologies people might be seeking to learn and work with going forward:

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.