Which Programming Language Lead the Pack in 2024

The new SlashData report, grouped by programming language community size, provides insights into global developer ecosystems and their preferences.

SlashData, a leading developer research company, has released the initial findings from its 26th Developer Nation survey, which gathered responses from over 10,000 developers across 135 countries.

The results shed light on the latest trends in the developer community, particularly in programming languages and their growing communities.

JavaScript Continues to Lead

According to the report, JavaScript remains the most popular programming language, with an active community of 25.2 million developers worldwide. This number represents a significant growth of 4 million developers over the past year.

Size of programming language communities in Q1 2024.
Size of programming language communities in Q1 2024.

Notably, JavaScript’s adoption is particularly strong among more experienced developers, suggesting that its growth is sustained by those adding the language to their skillset rather than newcomers to the field.

Python Edges Out Java for the Silver Medal

Python has taken the second spot from Java this year, boasting 18.2 million developers compared to Java’s 17.7 million.

Python’s growth, which includes an addition of over 2.1 million developers in the last 12 months, has been fueled by the increasing interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence, where Python excels thanks to robust libraries and a supportive community.

At the same time, while still growing, Java has seen a more modest increase and is finding strong footing in backend and web development but is losing ground in the desktop and mobile sectors.

Emerging Languages Show Rapid Growth

Rust and Go are two languages highlighted for their rapid growth. Rust has nearly doubled its user base in the past two years, reaching 4 million developers by early 2024. Its adoption is driven by its performance and memory safety features, which are increasingly important in cybersecurity.

Go, meanwhile, now supports 4.7 million developers and is significantly used in backend services due to its simplified concurrency handling and comprehensive standard library.

Challenges for Emerging Developers

The survey also noted a lower adoption of JavaScript among early-career developers, with only 52% using the language, compared to over 62% among more experienced peers. This trend suggests a maturation path where developers pick up JavaScript as they gain more experience and work on existing projects that use the language.

Conversely, languages like PHP and C# are less popular among newer developers, indicating a possible shift in educational focus or initial career paths that might not include these once-dominant languages.

Ranking of programming languages over the last two years.
Ranking of programming languages over the last two years.

Methodology Behind the Survey

The Developer Nation survey, conducted online from November 2023 to February 2024, aims to capture a truly global and representative sample of the developer community. The survey’s methodology involves careful weighting to correct regional and sampling biases, providing a balanced view of the developer landscape.

For further details, check out SlahData’s blog post or review the complete data directly here.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

Think You're an Ubuntu Expert? Let's Find Out!

Put your knowledge to the test in our lightning-fast Ubuntu quiz!
Ten questions to challenge yourself to see if you're a Linux legend or just a penguin in the making.

1 / 10

Ubuntu is an ancient African word that means:

2 / 10

Who is the Ubuntu's founder?

3 / 10

What year was the first official Ubuntu release?

4 / 10

What does the Ubuntu logo symbolize?

5 / 10

What package format does Ubuntu use for installing software?

6 / 10

When are Ubuntu's LTS versions released?

7 / 10

What is Unity?

8 / 10

What are Ubuntu versions named after?

9 / 10

What's Ubuntu Core?

10 / 10

Which Ubuntu version is Snap introduced?

The average score is 68%