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Programming, scripting and markup languages

The survey clearly shows that the languages, frameworks or platforms used are of central importance to the developers. They are one of the reasons for zeal, satisfaction and job choice (see Part 12). As a result, businesses can capitalize on this factor in strategic planning. Because no matter how good a business idea is - it will only come off the ground if developers want to work with the underlying technology.

-->Relevant data online as Excel

Incidentally, the following platforms are available for international comparison:


-->Stack Overflow


Languages developers use

The survey lists 125 languages ​​(our specifications plus the participant's additions) - an impressive variety. Whether some of the supplemented languages ​​should be considered as a standard or framework can be discussed. But more important is the insight that developers are not simply interchangeable. Even experienced developers need time to learn a new language well.

Something to keep in mind for the following: Most developer's don't consider themselves HTML, CSS, SQL or Shellscript developer in the first place. However, many will identify as Java, C #, JavaScript, Python, etc. developers.

In the top 5 languages ​​used, we find four that are used by most developers in addition to main languages ​​such as Java, C #, or Python.

These include HTML, SQL, CSS, and Bash / Shell scripting. No matter if a developer primarily develops Java, C # or PHP, as soon as the Web comes into play, he will not miss HTML / CSS. The same applies to databases: you can not get around SQL.

What many do not know: developers these days are using the command line or shell a lot more. Especially to automate development processes via shell scripts. Accordingly the high proportion of script writing developer is not surprising. Almost all languages today ​​provide command-line tools and hardly any graphical interfaces for developers - clicking is simply slower.

So far, JavaScript has not been mentioned. On the one hand a language that must be used to provide software in today's leading web environment, the browser. On the other hand, a primary language whose followers use it for both backend and frontend. Interestingly, twice as many developers use JavaScript, as do C # or Python.


Please keep in mind to separate primary and secondory languages in the ranking. If you are thinking primary languages Java is not in the 6th but in the 2nd place, right after JavaScript.

Here are some exciting points:

  • JavaScript is used almost twice as much as other languages ​​except Java
  • Java is a strong force in Switzerland as well as internationally (45.3% of all Stackoverflow survey participants checked Java in 2018, compared to 41.2% in 2019). The next few years will show how and where this is shifting.
  • While Python leads internationally with 41.7% just ahead of Java with 41.1%, this is not reflected locally yet.
  • Although only created in 2012, TypeScript already occupies a high rank. This could be because it acts as a replacement / supplement to JavaScript. The fact that JavaScript is ranked highly in the ranking for languages ​​to be replaced underpins this idea.
  • Although controversial, PHP continues to be at the forefront. Due to a lack of comparison, we cannot yet point out any trends for Switzerland here.
  • Next to TypeScript, as a "substitute language" for JavaScript, other languages ​​come up in similar situations: for example, Kotlin as a Java replacement for Android development or Go which was developed as a C ++ or C alternative, on which Docker and Kubernetes are based. Rust, a newer C ++ alternative, is still a bit weak. Finally Apple's Swift, which has already overtaken Objective-C. Both are primarily used for iOS app development.
  • Also represented are some languages that are often perceived as "expiring" ​​like VBA, Perl, Cobol or Delphi.
  • In addition, there are languages popular ​​in Switzerland that hardly play a role internationally such as Haskell, F #, Delphi, Groovy, Matlab, Abap or Cobol.
HTML 562
SQL 528
CSS 520
JavaScript 502
Bash/Shell 416
Java 397
TypeScript 241
Python 209
C# 197
PHP 137
C++ 91
C 85
Groovy 85
Kotlin 60
Go 45
VBA 42
Swift 41
Ruby 40
Perl 36
Objective-C 29
Matlab 28
Scala 24
Assembly 22
R 20
Abap 12
Cobol 9
WebAssembly 9
Elixir 8
F#* 7
Haskell* 7
Delphi* 6
Elm* 6
Dart 5
Clojure 5
Rust 5

Languages noted with * ​​were not originally listed in our survey, but were specified by participants in the free text field. We corrected and summed up some points. For example PowerShell belongs to shell scripting, which could have led to ambiguity due to our unnecessary addendum of "Bash".

To be fair, it should be mentioned that languages ​​with noted with a * would probably have reached higher numbers if they had already been listed in the pre-selection. We will take this into account in the future. (about 143 out of 746 participants in this question mentioned an additional language).

In the next few weeks we will be try to do some further analysys where we compare the users of different languages. For example 68.8% of Java developers program in their spare time, with Python developers it is 76%.

Languages developers would like to use

Which languages ​​would the developers like to use, but so far could not. Again, a relevant point for companies seeking employees - technology matters!

Here is a strong contrast to effectively used languages: Twice as many developers want to use Go than already use it. For Rust it is almost ten times as many. If these languages ​​come into question for a product, their use could help to attract developers willing to learn.

If we compare the wish list here with the top 10 of the languages ​​used, only Python, Kotlin, TypeScript, C ++ and just JavaScript repeat themselves. This is especially exciting with C ++, as it is one of the older languages ​​and, according to its reputation, one that is hard to master.

At the same time, hardly anyone wants to learn Java. It is in 22nd place - even behind HTML. If there are developers not yet working with HTML yet.

Python 120
Kotlin 119
Go 111
WebAssembly 89
TypeScript 89
Rust 72
Swift 65
C++ 60
Scala 56
JavaScript 48
C# 45
Ruby 43
C 38
R 36
Bash/Shell 28
Elixir 28
SQL 25
Dart 25
Clojure 24
Groovy 22
Java 18
Matlab 17
CSS 16
Assembly 15
PHP 14
Objective-C 14
Haskell* 13
F#* 12
Perl 8
Elm* 7
Cobol 5

Languages noted with * ​​were not originally listed in our survey, but were specified by participants in the free text field.

Languages developers like

Please note: The focus in this section is on languages ​​that developers like to work with. Again an important point for companies: If a language is liked, it promotes motivation in the workplace.

  • Here Java can recover a little: Although only a few who do not yet use Java, want to do so in the future. But about 70 percent  who use it like it as well.
  • Python and TypeScript are almost as popular as they are used. JavaScript is only half of that. It will be exciting to compare these observations with statements from the "Languages developers do not like" question later.
  • C #, however, is liked by more people than use it. This reveals that the numbers do not relate 1 to 1 to the effective users of a language.
  • Interesting as well: A relatively large number of developers like SQL.
SQL 314
HTML 298
Java 276
CSS 245
JavaScript 225
TypeScript 220
Python 207
C# 201
Bash/Shell 200
C++ 102
PHP 95
Kotlin 88
C 85
Go 72
Swift 64
Ruby 48
Groovy 45
Scala 42
Rust 40
Assembly 32
WebAssembly 29
R 27
Elixir 27
Matlab 26
Clojure 18
Objective-C 18
Perl 17
Haskell* 15
VBA 12
Dart 11
F#* 9
Abap 7
Smalltalk* 5
Elm* 5

Languages ​​developers don't like

In negative association, it is important to distinguish between the hard core of effective users of a language and developers who declare something as "I don't like it". There are emotional pitfalls among coders where developers do not like languages ​​even though they do not work with them. Depending on the language combinations, this is comparable to preferences in football teams - but not always.

  • For example PHP: Out of 196 "I don't like it" -clicks,  only 36 use it effectively. Similarly Java, which is disliked by 124 developers even though only 36 people work with it (funny coincidence in numbers). IT is interesting to note that out of 196 developers  who do not like PHP, 124 developers are developing in Java. Apparently, Java developers seem disproportionately inclined to show their dislike of PHP.
  • For comparison, of 205 people who do not like JavaScript, 128 use it. An insight underpinned by the rapid rise of the alternative / supplementary language TypeScript.
  • Objective-C is more widely rejected than used - perhaps one reason for Swift's rapid rise in developing apps for iOS.
JavaScript 205
PHP 196
Java 124
CSS 113
VBA 113
C++ 89
Bash/Shell 85
C 85
Objective-C 66
C# 62
Python 60
Perl 59
SQL 55
Assembly 55
Ruby 44
Groovy 41
Matlab 38
TypeScript 36
Cobol 36
Abap 34
R 25
Swift 23
Scala 21
Go 19
Clojure 14
Dart 13
Kotlin 12
Rust 11
Elixir 9
WebAssembly 8

Languages ​​developers want to adopt

When asked about newly introduced languages, there is an exciting difference to the languages ​​developers would like to use. This may indicate that coders are clearly differentiating whether they want to try something new, or really want to introduce it to the company or a product.

  • Again, TypeScript and Python are at the top as well as the little-loved JavaScript. The fact that HTML should still be introduced in some places can be explained by the continued existence of desktop applications. The desire to introduce HTML will probably continue to further their disappearance. It will be exciting to see how HTML fares in the next question, where we look at the desire to replace a language.
  • With this list please keep in mind that developers are unlikely to suggest languages ​​that are already in use in their company.
  • Final note: For some reason two developers have stated that Cobol should be introduced.
TypeScript 88
Python 77
Kotlin 69
JavaScript 48
C# 46
Go 42
CSS 38
Java 37
SQL 33
Bash/Shell 32
Swift 30
Rust 30
WebAssembly 27
Scala 23
C++ 20
PHP 16
Ruby 15
R 13
C 12
Groovy 9
Clojure 8
Elixir 9
Assembly 7
Matlab 5
F#* 5
Dart 5

Languages developers want ​​to replace

Now the reverse question: which languages ​​are used, but should be replaced?

  • Again in the forefront are PHP, JavaScript and Java. The numbers seem to indicate that emotions beat faster at replacement than at adoption. People just want to be rid of unpopular languages ​​or those that do not suit them.
  • Historically, languages ​​appear here which are hardly mentioned otherwise. These certainly include VBA, VB.Net, Objective-C, Perl and Cobol. By the same reasinong things like C, C ++ and Assembly could be included. However, these also often appear in the new languages ​​to be adopted section.
  • To answer the question from the previous section: Only half as many developers wish to replace HTML as introduce it.
PHP 122
JavaScript 100
Java 91
VBA 79
Objective-C 56
C 47
Perl 43
C++ 40
Bash/Shell 37
Cobol 42
SQL 32
CSS 30
C# 27
Ruby 22
Assembly 21
Abap 21
Groovy 19
Python 17
Matlab 16
R 14
TypeScript 11
Swift 9
Scala 9
Kotlin 6
Dart 6

Languages ​​developers want to keep

For the sake of completeness, the following languages ​​should be kept by  companies, if they are already in use. The list is amazingly similar to the list of languages ​​already in use.

However, developers who use one language have not consistently said that they want to continue to use it. For example, Python: It seems to be really popular but only about 50% of developers who like it, have chosen it here.

HTML 297
CSS 258
SQL 256
JavaScript 242
Java 203
Bash/Shell 188
TypeScript 144
C# 117
Python 102
C++ 57
PHP 52
C 41
Kotlin 36
Swift 34
Go 30
Groovy 28
Ruby 27
Scala 15
Objective-C 12
Assembly 12
Rust 12
Matlab 8
Perl 7
R 7
Abap 6
Clojure 6
WebAssembly 5
Elixir 5

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