Developer survey shows C# losing ground to JavaScript and others

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C# falls in popularity for cloud apps but is still a major player in gaming

A new developer survey from Slashdata has shown the popularity of C# dropping from third to sixth place in three years. C# is the primary language of Microsoft’s .NET platform.

Despite the drop in popularity, however, overall use of C# is still growing and it is particularly popular in game development.

UK-based Slashdata has a survey corpus of more than 30,000 software developers in over 160 countries. They surveyed over 17,000 developers worldwide for this report, entitled “State of the Developer Nation”.

This marks the 19th year that the research company has conducted such a survey.

The Slashdata report differs from other “popularity” indexes like those from StackOverflow or Redmonk. This is because the Slashdata researchers aim to measure the absolute number of programming language users, rather than just determining the relative popularity of each programming language.

Insights into the state of programming languages

Slashdata’s report lists several major take-aways regarding programming languages.

First, JavaScript is the most popular programming language by a wide margin, with 12.4 million developers globally using it. Python now counts 9M users, after adding 2.2 million net new developers in the past year alone, outranking Java at the beginning 2020.

The researchers also found that Kotlin is one of the fastest growing language communities, having increased more than twofold in size since the end 2017.

They found that only 6.0 million developers were using C#. This represents a major slip for the language, falling from 3rd to 6th place in the survey. Indeed, C# was even eclipsed by PHP, which had 6.1 million users.

The report noted that C# is still gaining in popularity, just not as fast as some of the other languages.

“C# may be sustaining its dominance in the game and AR/VR developer ecosystems,” the report said. In addition, the report noted that C# appeared to be losing its edge in desktop development. This was possibly due to the emergence of cross-platform tools based on web technologies, according to the Slashdata researchers.