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CircleCI Reveals the 25 Most Popular Programming Languages for Developers

Findings show that high-performing DevOps teams gravitate toward tools that encourage collaboration, repeatability, and productivity

CircleCI, the leading continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, released data that reveals the 25 most popular programming languages and other language trends.

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“Infrastructure-as-Code is increasing the speed with which IT can respond to changing business needs”

Software delivery has never been more critical to the success of business in every industry. It’s also never been more complex. With the growing challenges of complexity, CircleCI aims to help software teams manage these complexities to allow for faster innovation and business growth.

Sourced from CircleCI’s 2022 State of Software Delivery report, which examines two years of data from more than a quarter billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world on the CircleCI platform, the research provides insight for engineering teams to understand how they can better succeed.

“Our findings show that elite software delivery teams are adopting developer-friendly tools and practices that allow them to automate, scale, and successfully embrace change when necessary. The ability to move quickly is crucial in today’s competitive ecosystem, but just as important is an organization’s ability to attract and retain talent, and eliminate obstacles for team success,” said Michael Stahnke, Vice President of Platform, CircleCI. “From development languages to testing frameworks to deployment scenarios, high performers are gravitating toward tools that encourage collaboration, repeatability, and productivity.”

Three key findings include

TypeScript surpassed JavaScript as the most popular DevOps language

TypeScript overtakes JavaScript as the most popular language due to its developer-friendly features.

TypeScript projects built on CircleCI rank higher than JavaScript projects in success rate and throughput, suggesting that TypeScript helps developers catch smaller errors locally, allowing them to commit working code more frequently and reliably than JavaScript developers.

Productivity and confidence-boosting benefits are a key driver of TypeScript’s adoption at the enterprise level and are a natural complement to the developer experience improvements that continuous integration provides.

HashiCorp configuration language jumps into the top 10

Usage of HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) on CircleCI has grown steadily over the past several years, climbing three spots since 2019 to become the ninth-most popular language used on the platform.

HCL also appeared on the list of fastest-growing languages in GitHub’s 2018 and 2019 State of the Octoverse reports suggesting that infrastructure as code (IaC) has crossed the chasm from individual practitioners to widespread adoption among organizations delivering software at scale.

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“Infrastructure-as-Code is increasing the speed with which IT can respond to changing business needs,” said Rob Zuber, CTO, CircleCI. “Engineering teams that leverage programming languages like HCL when deploying IaC are able to make the DevOps process more legible by recording manual processes in a clear and precise way, resulting in shorter lead times for developing features and bug fixes, as well as greater agility concerning changes in development priorities.”

Gherkin brings behavior-driven development into the top 20

Gherkin projects had the fastest mean time to recovery of all languages measured in CircleCI’s report, implying that Cucumber’s detailed error reporting gives developers highly actionable information on which to focus their debugging efforts.

CircleCI’s 2022 State of Software Delivery Report also shows that the most successful engineering teams routinely meet four key benchmarks. By hitting these benchmarks, high-achieving teams are getting the maximum value from their software delivery pipelines:

  • Workflow durations are between five to ten minutes on average
  • Recovery from any failed run is fixed or reverted in under an hour
  • Success Rates are above 90% for the default branch of their application
  • They deploy as often as their business requires and at least 1+ times per day

Methodology: The 2022 State of Software Delivery Report explores data from more than 250 million workflows from nearly 50,000 organizations in 100 countries. The data analyzed was collected between December 1, 2019, and September 30, 2021. To determine the top 25 languages, a language needed to be used in over 150,000 workflow runs. To reach the top 10 required millions.

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