Python overtook JavaScript in popularity among developers

Last week a platform for knowledge exchange “Stack Overflow” proclaimed Python as the most popular language among developers

According to crown-testing platform Global App Testing, this language overtook JavaScript by the number of asked questions, though with the remark that this indicator is summarized from the beginning of the year. Global App Testing counts the amount of questions by tags #javascript and #python.

Since Stack Overflow started its work in 2008, JavaScript was a leader by the number of questions, now their total number consists about 1,76 millions queries. It follows by such groups of languages as Java, PHP, #C and Python, every of this languages accounts from 1 million to 1,5 million tags. Next comes another group of languages as C++, SQL, Objective-C, R, Swift and Ruby, with the number of questions from 200 to 650 thousands.

Global App Testing marketing director Nick Roberts suggests, that a huge number of applications and services that based on it explain leading position of JavaScript. Additionally, many Internet websites work on it.

It is notable that Python is six years older than 23-year old JavaScript, though the latter increased its lead in the significant pace. Nevertheless, as noted Roberts, Python went through bifurcation point in 2012. Dynamics of its growth is partially explained by published in Harvard Business Review Thomas Davenports opinion that occupation of data specialist “is the most sexual profession of 21st century”. However, the only language that was mentioned in that article was Java.

“Since that time Python is one of the most popular languages that operate data bases specialists, and it became more and more spread. It became so common that overtook JavaScript and now is a programming language with the greatest number of asked questions on Stack Overflow”, – said Roberts.

Its popularity is directly linked to the rise of interest to techniques of machine learning, Python code is used in research projects and in other spheres, including finances.

As recently reported Business Insider, British bank corporation Barclays in order to educate traders how to program on Python developed internal blogs and recommendations.

It is considered that these skills will enable company launch own projects in post-trade and quantitative analysis. Barclays initiative is linked with extreme shortage of financial analysts and specialists in quantitative analysis (“quanta”).

Surge of interest to Python can mean one of two things: it either becomes the most popular programming language or attracts a huge number of new programmers that seek for answers on their questions on Stack Overflow. Whatever is the reason, in November 2018 monthly part of questions on issues with Python programming consisted 11,3% that was more than about JavaScript (10,2%). Parts of Java and C# were 7,6% and 5,3% respectively.

javascript/python timeline
Python now draws more questions per month on Stack Overflow than JavaScript | Global App Testing

Popularity of Python is evident not only from Stack Overflow, it is confirmed by such indexes of languages popularity as TIOBE (based on the number of search queries), IEEE Spectrum and PYPL. This trend is also supported by recent report from British analytical company SlachData that counted number of people in the field that use this language. According to calculations, currently 8,2 million of world programmers write codes on Python while on JavaScript – only 7,6 million.

Majority of questions on Python relate to pandas that is a high-level library of data analysis. In 2017 tag, #pandas got the highest number of marks. In addition, many questions focused on web-framework Django.


Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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