Python slithers toward top of language popularity index

Python is inching its way to the top spot in the monthly Tiobe index of language popularity, finishing just 0.16 percentage points behind the leader, the C language, in the September edition of the index.

Software quality services provider Tiobe believes Python could surpass C at any time, which would make it only the third language ever to lead the index in its more than 20 years of existence. Java, ranked third this month, also has led the index.

[ Also on InfoWorld: 11 tips for speeding up Python programs ]

Python has held second place for two months running. It first climbed to the number two spot last November. Tiobe language rankings are based on a formula that assesses searches on languages in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and YouTube. Specifically, the number of skilled engineers, courses, and third party vendors pertinent to a language are assessed.

Python already leads the Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index, which analyzes how often language tutorials are searched in Google. The language was ranked second in the June 2021 RedMonk Language Rankings, just behind JavaScript. The RedMonk rankings, which assess language usage based on a formula that examines Stack Overflow and GitHub, were published August 5.

Elsewhere in the September edition of the Tiobe index, Google's Go language jumped four spots, from 18th last month to 14th this month. Assembly language moved up to eighth place after being in ninth place last month, while Ruby climbed from 15th in August to 13th in September. Tiobe CEO Paul Jansen described these as small moves, adding it was hard to say why they happened.

The Tiobe index top 10 for September 2021:
  1. C, with a rating of 11.83%
  2. Python, 11.67%
  3. Java, 11.12%
  4. C++, 7.13%
  5. C#, 5.78%
  6. Visual Basic, 4.62%
  7. JavaScript, 2.55%
  8. Assembly, 2.42%
  9. PHP, 1.85%
  10. SQL, 1.8%