The top programming languages

After nearly 30 years of Java, you might expect the language to be showing some signs of wear and tear, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In 2022, developers used almost 500 primary languages to build software on GitHub.

The changes in what languages developers are using underscore key shifts in how software is being built—and what kinds of software are being developed.

  • JavaScript stays as the #1 most used language
  • IaC gains with languages like HCL growing most
  • Python grows with a 22.5% increase
  • PHP slows with declining use in 2022

Top languages used in 2022

JavaScript continues to reign supreme and Python held steady in the second place position over the past year in large part due to its versatility in everything from development to education to machine learning and data science.

TypeScript also held firm in fourth place year-over-year. Notably, PHP dropped from sixth to seventh place in 2022.

2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 JavaScript Python Java Typescript C# C++ PHP Shell C Ruby
2014 2020 2022 2016 2018 5 6 7 8 9 10 JavaScript Python Java Typescript C# C++ PHP Shell C Ruby 1 2 3 4

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The fastest growing languages

The Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL) saw significant growth in usage over the past year. This was driven by the growth in the popularity of the Terraform tool and IaC practices to increasingly automate deployments (notably, Go and Shell also saw big increases).

Additionally, Rust saw a more than 50% increase in its community, driven in part by its security and reliability. And Python continued to see gains in its usage across GitHub with a 22.5% year-over-year increase driven, in part, by its utility in data science and machine learning.

10 Python 22.5% 01 HCL 02 Rust 03 TypeScript 04 Lua 05 Go 06 Shell 07 Makefile 08 C 09 Kotlin 56.1% 50.5%37.8%34.2%28.3% 27.7% 23.7%23.5% 22.9% GROWTH IN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES 2021-2022

Key takeaways

Application development continues to lead.

Known for its utility in game development, Lua is used heavily in application domains and game development.

Notably, it’s also used as a simple scripting language in scenarios varying from games to application development to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Python, which is also suited to IoT work, continues to dominate among the top languages year-over-year.

Faster languages popular for scripting and cloud-based work.

Go has been on the scene for more than a decade now and has steadily grown in popularity as a top language choice among developers of projects, like Docker and Kubernetes.

This past year, it saw a sharp increase in use among developers—and that’s likely due to its ease of use and powerful functionalities in the cloud development, scripting spaces, and interoperability (it’s often compared to Python for some good reasons, after all).

Mobile development continues to dominate.

Whether you’re talking about Kotlin and Android or Dart and Flutter, developers are increasingly using programming languages designed to make mobile application development simpler.

This has been a large-scale trend over the past few years, and it isn’t slowing down yet—especially now that Android mobile applications run on Windows 11.

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