What People Really Feel About Programming Languages

December 8, 2021
Our Investigations
Victoriano Izquierdo
Victoriano Izquierdo

15K thousand people participated in a Twitter meme where they were asked to express their relationship with programming languages. We collected and analyzed all the answers.

Each node is a person and their tweet, those who answered similarly get connected - Graphext's dimensionality reduction algorithm calculates a similarity score. At each of the extremes you find developers, like Ryan Florence, with a twisted sense of humour, mentioning the same language for every categories.

Using the Graph, we can see a clear map of web developers on the right (Javascript, PHP, Ruby) and data scientists on the left (R, Python) and C/C++, Java developers in the middle.

Python came up top of the list of most loved programming languages, whilst JavaScript was the most used. Amongst the top 10 most loved languages, there are 2 less common languages but emerging with many fans already; Go and Rust.

Sizing up the ranks of the most hated programming languages and their distribution, it’s clear that almost everybody hates Java no matter what other languages they use the most. Javascript is mostly hated among people that aren't web developers but also by people that use it all the time.

Python wins by far when it comes to recommending a language for beginners - except for web developers that go for Javascript. Within this list, Ruby stands out as it is recommended highly in relation to its relatively small usage.

Basic, Pascal, QBASIC and Visual Basic stand out as the programming languages that were learnt first by the people who participated in the crowdsourced survey meme. But none of these languages are recommended today to learn programming.

The programming languages that give the most headaches are C and C ++ - people tend to opt for Python instead. Many who use Javascript experience trauma with Java. Then, there are many those who freak out with functional programming (Haskell, Lisp) or with declarative (Prolog) or Assembly during their college years.


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