IEEE lists Python as the top programming language in 2021

IEEE lists Python as the top programming language in 2021

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Spectrum magazine has recently released its annual list of the top programming languages. Seeing it, Stephan Cass who is the special projects editor of this magazine sums up the situation with two words, that is “Learn Python.”   

Cass, in a blog post containing the published list, said that Python continues to dominate the annual list and he asked the developers to take some time in learning Python. He added that you don’t need to become a dyed-in-the-wool Pythonista, you should only need to learn the language enough to use one of the vast numbers of libraries written for it. 

The vast number of libraries makes Python a powerful language with a variety of uses, which ranges from controlling embedded projects to large-scale AI implementations. Cass also reminds us that even though Python is better suited to solving particular problems, such as R (#7), SQL (#15), and Matlab (#12), it has its limits. That is why, C (#3), C++ (#4), Java (#2), and JavaScript (#5) also continue to dominate at the top of the rankings.  

These other languages also continue to do well because of their large bases of existing code as well as individual merits like in the case of assembly code, these are “as close to the metal as possible”.

The magazine list shows Python as first under various headlines of ranks. There is C, Java, Javascript, C++, Go, R, HTML, C#, SQL, Ruby, Dart, Verilog, Swift, Ada, and many more in the list. 

It is very difficult to explain how IEEE Spectrum arrives at its ratings. It gathers data from eight sources, that includes CareerBuilder, Google, Reddit, and Twitter, and combs them for 11 different metrics. The ranks mentioned in this are calculated by the “default” weights that don’t take job openings, language types, or current trends into account. When filtered to account for the aforesaid additional factors, Python remains at the top of every list it’s included in.    

Cass draws attention to a few movers and shakers in the 2021 list, including Cobol, which gained interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason for this surge was that dozens of states still use legacy mainframes to run their unemployment systems, which were overwhelmed during the start of pandemic lockdowns.

We can see that in addition to COBOL’s surprising rise, C# leaped from 25th place in 2020 to seventh place in 2021. Cass noted that this most likely reflects that the 9.0 version of C# was released towards the end of 2020 in the upcoming launch of Windows 11 and continued growing general interest in distributed systems, where the language is designed to enable.