Programming languages: JavaScript most used, Python most studied, Go most promising

JavaScript remains the most used programming language among developers, but Python is the most studied — and Go the one that most coders want to switch to.

According to a survey of developers by software company JetBrains, JavaScript was used by 69 percent in the last 12 months, with another five percent intending to adopt it.

HTML/CSS came a close second with 61 percent saying they had used it in the last 12 months, followed by SQL at 56 percent and Java at 50 percent. Although Python was only fifth on the list, used by just under half of developers (49%), it shows significant potential growth: nine percent of respondents said they intended to adopt it or migrate to it.

Python was also ranked as the most studied language: 27 percent of respondents have started or continued to learn Python in the last 12 months. Data analysis, web development, and machine learning were listed as its top three uses by developers.

But according to JetBrains Go is considered the most promising programming language. Currently used by just 18 percent of developers (up from 8% in last year’s survey), almost as many again — 13 percent — identified it as a language they would like to adopt or migrate to.

In the survey, 40 percent of coders said that JavaScript was their primary programming language, followed by Java and Python. But Java was ranked the leading ‘solo’ language: 44 percent of its users said they use only Java or use Java first, compared to second-placed JavaScript, the sole choice of 17 percent.

JetBrains noted that there is a group of ‘secondary’ languages — used mainly as an additional language — which include HTML, SQL, and Shell scripting: “A lot of software developers have some practice with these secondary languages, but very few work with them as their major language.” JetBrains surveyed 6,993 developers: 69 percent were employed full time, 15 percent were students and 12 percent were self employed or freelance.

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