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Is Programming Getting Less Popular? (google.com)
10 points by irishman_irl on May 11, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments

Those numbers are relative. I think its more that non-programming queries have grown faster than programming queries.

Which is compounded by the fact that programmers are the early adopters of the internet, google etc.

Is Programming Getting Less Popular?

Only among the posers.

They're the ones who jump into the latest/coolest/most promising thing and bail when they realize how much work it really is.

Those of us who were here before them and will be here long after they're gone say "71 79 79 68 32 82 73 68 68 65 78 67 69".

[EDIT: Added the 32. tome wins]

Did you deliberately omit the 32 to make it obvious that you did the asciification in your head? (At least, I'm guessing you did it in your head, because the obvious ways to do it by computer would automatically include the space.)

I was trying to make a subtle point that callahad kinda outed.

It's a fine line between helping each other and speaking a language that posers don't understand. So I just did ascii, thinking that any real programmer would immediately understand. I forgot the code for "space", so I skipped it, wondering if anyone would notice. tome did.

Just having a little fun on an otherwise mundane Tuesday.

You missed a 32

To save everyone the trouble:

  $ python -c 'print("".join(chr(int(x)) for x in "71 79 79 68 32 82 73 68 68 65 78 67 69".split()))'

$ ruby -e '%w{71 79 79 68 32 82 73 68 68 65 78 67 69}.each {|c| print c.to_i.chr}'


You should use Google Insight and not Google Trends, then you can choose categories related to computers only so you don't get useless queries like related to Java island


Even more interesting when you click 'Growth relative to the Programming category', which shows Rails' massive growth, but also if you hover over the current time, it says the programming category is down 53% (since 2004 I assume?)

Well that comparison is a bit flawed. Compare Django/Ruby On Rails and you will see Django surpassed Rails since 2009....


Insights totally agrees. It looks like the search volume has definitely dropped off.

Maybe. But the only thing we can infer from that is that fewer people are searching for specific programming technologies. Maybe you can infer that those products are becoming less popular. But I don't think that's enough to infer that about programming in general.

Here's the stats from Russian search engine Yandex of "java" query. Compare "absolute" version (http://wordstat.yandex.ru/?scmd=abs&cmd=months&text=...) with "relative" one (http://wordstat.yandex.ru/?scmd=rel&cmd=months&text=...).

The "relative" one shows decline, whereas "absolute" stats shows steady state. Google also shows decline (slower, but still).

This might mean that Google Trends' results are just more and more diluted as more and more non-tech people come into the industry.

Perhaps as more languages become popular (i.e. the "market" becomes more diverse), any one traditionally popular language is becoming less popular. If there's exactly 1000 programmers and each searches for a single language per day, then the introduction of a new language will "steal" a search from another language. There's bound to be some languages with increasing or steady trends:


There are programs than can write programs. I don't want to compete with a computer that's smarter than me. Haha. I'll stick with my "right brain" work and hack some open source software when I need it.

Please forgive me, I'm currently reading "A Whole New Mind" http://www.danpink.com/whole-new-mind

The author foretells that programming is becoming less important due to abundance, automation and outsourcing to Asia. India alone produces 350,000 Engineering graduates each year.

Whoah, look at the fractal in the "c++" trend: http://www.google.com/trends?q=c%2B%2B&ctab=0&geo=al...

The strong yearly periodicity must mean interest is heavily associated with students\the school year.

I find it interesting that 5 of the 6 headlines annotated on the graph are for the wrong topic.

I read an article that the number of students enrolling in ICT / Software courses has dropped off a cliff. Obviously this is more anecdotal than hard fact, but thought it was interesting all the same.

I think people used to see IT as a goldmine. Get a degree in "computers" and you were destined to be a millionaire. What they've found out is that there are a lot of people making between $40-70k/yr, and working a lot of hours. While $70k/yr is nothing to turn your nose at, it certainly isn't "rich".

Was it ever different than this? I don't know, I'm young, but I can guess that wages in IT/programming have gone down as the supply of laborers has gone up. One huge problem that comes from this flood of workers is that some of them did it just for the degree, and don't really know what they're doing. It makes it a lot harder for the people who love it and know it and are good at it to stand out.

Maybe people don't search for tutorials and docs, since popular languages no longer are a huge unintuitive mess.

There's nothing "intuitive" about programming langs, any more than there is about written languages in general. The only thing intuitive about them is that they have syntax. Note that in most cases, one has to go to school to learn how to read and write.

Intuitive as used really means, "fits what I already know."

I'd like to see this with all of the languages from tiobe included. I'm too lazy to do it myself, though.

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