What programming language is the most popular for developers? No, it’s not Python


Python, TypeScript, Kotlin, SQL and Go are on the rise, according to the JetBrains State of Developer Ecosystem report. But one programming language still leads the pack.


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In the ever-changing world of software development, the skills, programming languages and technologies required for the job are in constant flux. To understand the day-to-day realities of developer life, JetBrains conducted its annual State of Developer Ecosystem 2021 report, which it just released on Thursday.

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SEE: The best programming languages to learn–and the worst (TechRepublic Premium)

The report, which culls together answers from 31,743 developers from 183 countries and regions, takes an in-depth look at the latest trends for developers—everything from programming languages and frameworks to lifestyle topics. They came from a range of industries—from science to marketing to banking to government—and most were in the IT services. Most (63%) of respondents were fully employed, and most (81%) were developers/programmers/software engineers in senior (41%) positions. Nearly half (48%) were in their 20s. And a whopping 93% were male.

As developers continue to be a highly sought-after group, understanding the realities of their lives and jobs should be of interest to current and potential employers.

SEE: Top IT certifications to increase your salary (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Here are some of the main findings from the State of Developer Ecosystem Report.

Programming languages

Programmers still prefer JavaScript—69% of them say they’ve used it in the past year, and 39% call it their top programming language. 

Python is more popular than Java, in terms of overall use, while Java is preferred as a primary language. But JavaScript is more popular than both of these.

But other programming languages are top contenders, as well—according to the report, in addition to Python, TypeScript, Kotlin, SQL and Go are the fastest-growing programming languages.

On the other hand, Ruby, Objective-C and Scala have dropped in popularity over the last five years.

SEE: Hiring kit: JavaScript developer (TechRepublic Premium)


  • Pre-pandemic, only 31% of developers worked from home; now 83% do.
  • 70% of developers are satisfied with their jobs. 
  • Video games are the most popular hobby, at 59%.
  • 91% of developers turn to YouTube for entertainment and 71% turn to YouTube for information.
  • 47% make their own meals.
  • Over 50% of the respondents contribute to charity.

Other fun workplace facts

  • 46% use a spreadsheet editor to analyze data.
  • The majority of developers (68%) don’t use a specific analytics platform.
  • Jupyter (32%) is the most used big data tool.
  • 36% use internal servers to host data.
  • 91% are concerned about data privacy.
  • MySQL is the No. 1 database for 69% of respondents, followed by PostgreSQL, for 42%.

There is a lot more detail—everything from debugging stored procedures to programming languages by region to programming languages used along with C++ to unit-testing frameworks to which module loaders are used—in the full report.

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