Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Poll: What is your primary programming language?
54 points by johnyzee on June 26, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 94 comments
Interested in how it breaks down on HN. Add/upvote missing choices in the comments. I added Ruby-on-Rails as a separate item to compare it with non-ROR Ruby.
233 points
JavaScript / JavaScript framework
188 points
107 points
95 points
84 points
80 points
66 points
58 points
Ruby (without Rails)
47 points
33 points
30 points
29 points
29 points
25 points
22 points
Other (add in comments)
21 points
Lisp / Lisp dialect
16 points
8 points
Visual Basic
4 points
1 point
0 points

Hard for me to vote for a single language here. Recently I've been flipping between Go, C and Lua in fairly equal measures. My 'primary' language only exists for some short sample period as by necessity I'm flipping between languages as needed by projects.

I voted for more than one.

Fully agree.

The customers from our consulting projects dictate what languages get used, not me. So each new project usually means complete context change in terms of OS and Languages, in regard to the previous one.

Additionally all projects tend to be polyglot to a certain extent.

Kind of the same problem here. At work everyone splits their time between several projects, and my work is distributed as:

- 45% python (1 project)

- 45% C# (1 project)

- 5% R

- 5% JS (1 very small project - data visualization using dc.js)

What is your favorite programming language: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3746692

Python won by quite a large margin, with 77% more votes than #2 Ruby!!!

Hopefully your primary and favorite programming language coincide -- mine definitely do after more than 10 years (Python). One of the good things about the job market these days is that you are less likely to be stuck working with some technology or language that you dislike.

I wonder what the results would be like if you weighted votes with people's distribution of actual usage, e.g people who vote for python but have ONLY used python, their vote wouldn't carry much weight, but someone who had used python, c++, javascript, and ruby, their vote would carry much more weight.

I've spent the last five years in Rails, but finally got the whole "the browser handles the MV* framework" thing with Node.js, and now I've converted myself totally to javascript.

Write backend and frontend code in the same language? Yes please. Longing for that fantastically delicious Ruby syntax? Do everything in coffeescript.

"Write backend and frontend code in the same language? Yes please."

It's an awesome goal. I just wish that language wasn't Javascript...

CoffeeScript alleviates the issue. Seriously. I don't really like Ruby/Python (which CS seems to be heavily inspired on) but it's WAAAY better than JS.

It's seamlessly integrated with Node.js. I don't even notice I'm doing coffee, even my files are auto-compiled and minified to JS via express-coffee-script without me or the user noticing.

Or try one of the many alternatives: LiveScript, Coco...

CoffeeScript still suffers from many of the same problems that JavaScript does, as it's basically a very thin syntactic veneer over JavaScript.

Like CoffeeScript's homepage current states, 'The golden rule of CoffeeScript is: "It's just JavaScript".'

The problems with JavaScript are very inherent and at its very core. They aren't the kind of things that are fixed by changing the syntax. While languages like Dart and TypeScript go far beyond where CoffeeScript does, the mere presence of JavaScript underneath still causes problems and forces in limitations.

Which are the problems in your opinion? You mention Dart and TypeScrypt. Does that mean that typing is an issue for you? I actually like dynamic languages, that's why Coffee solved my problem.

(Smart)GWT makes this possible with Java. I like my languages for big projects strict and unforgiving ;)

I love GWT for this reason. Working with the same classes and objects in server and client-side code transparently is such a treat.

Histogram of Poll standings at the moment:


I would be very interested in getting in touch with people using Common Lisp as a primary programming language (as in, "job programming language").

I voted C++, but regretfully the truth is probably closer to LaTeX :/

Writing good docs is not a bad thing :) Are you actually writing packages or the usual text plus macros plus package list?

Wow, lots of python. I use it quite a bit too but mainly for scripting. What are you guys using it for?

Currently I don't do much 'proper' programming and use it mainly for GIS and data analysis and numerical modelling, and occasionally using it for chucking up a simple web front-end to either run or view the results. I have however in the past used it for writing non-trivial desktop GUI applications and web services.


Linguistics and machine learning. I just finished implementing a swipe trajectory recognition for a Swype-like keyboard. It's my thesis.

Nice, hope you'll post a link to your thesis/code when you're done (for Science!)

Interesting! Thanks. Can't wait for code too :D

Sure! It's due on friday. I'll update this post with a link.

Somehow i always suspected there would be far more Ruby developers in the HN community. I'm not a ruby developer myself.

So: Did developers switch from Ruby to something else? I'm curious to which language.

For my current project, it's looking like 70% Python and 30% Javascript (Node.js). It was originally all Python but the Connection Handler (originally written in Twisted) performed poorly, however performance increased and system usage dropped with the switch to Node.js

Client Agent (Python) > Connection Handler (Node.js) > Worker(s) (Python) > Database

For me, Node.js is the language I loved to hate. I seriously want to hate it because it's Javascript, but its pretty darn good at what it does. #ProgrammerProblems

is Python really so much more popular than Ruby (RoR), or this is HN case? As I regularly check Germany startup jobs and see Python jobs much less than Ruby/ROR ones.

Python is popular outside of web-development, unlike Ruby.

Tons of researchers (biology, physics, etc) use Python. It's not just startup jobs.

If you limit yourself to web development at startups then Ruby is probably more popular. If you look at all fields where code is written to solve problems I'm not at all surprised that Python dominates Ruby. In fact I imagine the difference between the two is much larger than the poll shows if you look outside of the HN sphere

Why is there Ruby on Rails? Rails is not a language

I'm guessing it's a reflection of the perceived notion that a non-trivial number of Ruby developers would be completely lost if asked to write even the most trivial CRUD app without using Rails. Basically capturing people who tread ruby as the DSL that Rails happens to use a scripting language, rather than treading Ruby as a freestanding language.

By "Lisp", is it meant to refer to Common Lisp, or just a generalized term for both Common Lisp, Scheme, Shen etc.?

Clarified as Lisp + dialects (although Clojure has its own entry).

Kinda surprised at the unpopularity of Objective-C (and to a certain extent, Java). Is mobile native app development dying?

No, it's commodity and easy to outsource.

#1 javascript, easily. #2 PHP

I know half a semesters' worth of C++ and I almost got through Coursera's Python game course (couldn't finish the last two weeks because I just didn't have the time to do it properly) but I can still easily see myself getting most of my work done in js/php.

After years of php, javascript, python and different frameworks and others I switch to java.

Where is Bash ;(

(half kidding. only half :P)

Why not? Unless a task is complex enough to take the time to write some Python, I'm doing most of my automation using zsh scripts.

Wait. Take the time to write some python?


My most favorites are Javascript and CSS3. Only reason I consider CSS3 somewhat a programming language is because of it's inheritance capabilities now.

Right now, I'm forced to work on Brightscript.

I am definitely not on the 'making CSS potentially Turing complete' bandwagon. I don't even like that it can do animations.


Is there an alternative for web that includes jquery-like functionality?

Anyone using brython?

C++ for most of my algorithm work and computationally intensive work. C for my system programming work. Java/Python/JavaScript for my web related stuff. No assembly language? :)

Right now my job is in CUDA C/C++ so I voted C, but almost all my personal programming ends up being Haskell (unless I'm doing web stuff which would be Javascript).

Voted for C++. Pretty high points. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in recent "who is hiring" threads. Lets hope for the best in the upcoming one :)

"who is hiring" is a poor metric due to how legacy software works. You'll get a very bad picture of what is actually hot if you only look at what jobs are currently open.

Boo. Syntax inspired by Python. Fast, easily extensible compiler. All the power of .NET / Mono.

(But shitty website, and lots of confused kids on the Unity3D forum.)

Unfortunately, Android has me stuck on Java at the moment. It's not so bad. Eclipse on Win XP is a bit of a .. temperamental tool though.

Interesting that python is winning at the moment. Again, perhaps we need to wait for Silicon Valley to wake up and vote for ruby and rails.

I imagine there is a large correlation between the language you know best, and the language you use most, since they reinforce each other.

Surprised to find more Go programmers than Erlang.


It's PHP but it is not my favorite, by any means. However, i am planning to switch the job to get rid of this plague!

Is lisp meant to be "the lisps", or is common lisp to be assumed and scheme a seperate choise?

Can we get the histogram guy in?

It's probably not really my favorite any more, but Tcl is missing from the list.



R, since I'm developing libraries for that language.

- 80% R - 20% JS

Ruby on Rails 50%, Ruby scripting 35%, JS 10%, c# 5%

Had to vote twice, Clojure and Other (CoffeeScript)

SQL (if one can call it a programming language).

Delphi - I'm all alone

nope, I am still using Delphi 5 and Paradox database for 20+ years old project I maintain (it is like 40% of my working time, rest is Go, Ruby and Objective-C)

Delphi developer here as well! :)

80% c#







60% Ruby, 35% Java, 5% JS

Visual Basic 6.0

C++, Python

Java and JS








js & nodejs

java js python

other : RPGLE




So much for the fervent supporters of Lisp and Haskell around here...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact