How developers change programming languages over time

How developers change programming languages over time
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Isn’t it fascinating to discover how programmers change their preferences? Exactly like grown-ups find new horizons and prospects. So here comes and interesting material on how developers change programming languages over time. Maybe you’ll find there your migration way.

To start with, we’d like to say that the further graphs and information are the summary of investigation on how the popularity of languages changes among GitHub users. In a few figures, it is: 4.5 Million GitHub users, 393 different languages and 10 TB of source code in total.

Information were collected over the last 16 years and transformed into matrix with the help of Erik Bernhardsson from Google. You can read more about how this all became possible in the article about language migration by Waren Long.

How programmers change languages. Syndicode source{d}’s flow transition matrix

With this represented graph you can calculate the most popular languages. Indeed, these measures convey the relative popularity of languages in the sense of how likely people coding in one language would switch to another.
No matter how popular the languages are at the present time, the hypothetical future stationary state stays the same. Here is the popularity ranking of our 10 languages used on GitHub:

  1. Python
  2. Java
  3. C
  4. C++
  5. PHP
  6. Ruby
  7. C#
  8. Objective-C
  9. Go
  10. Swift

Although there are ten times more lines of code on GitHub in PHP than in Ruby, they have the same stationary distribution. Well, some reasons for that you can find in Ruby on Rails advantages for web development article.

Take a look on independently sorted matrix:

How programmers change languages on GitHub. Syndicode Independently sorted matrix

Here the most popular languages are clearly visible.
After re-run of the analysis year-by-year Waren Long claims that nothing really changed; Ruby and C++ exchanged the position, but their ranks are really close to each other. The final history plot looks exactly the same.

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