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What’s Going On With Language Rankings? – Alt + E S V

What’s Going On With Language Rankings? – Alt + E S V

2023-12-14 11:15:27

Because the inbound DMs and emails attest, a minimum of just a few of you on the market having been ready for RedMonk to drop our newest model of the programming language rankings. Our apologies in regards to the delay: right here’s our replace on the method.

Usually we run these rankings twice a 12 months, with the purpose of utilizing publicly out there information units to trace if there are any significant adjustments in how individuals are utilizing programming languages. We correlate cumulative language utilization as seen by means of non-forked PRs on public GitHub repos towards questions requested on Stack Overflow.

These metrics have all the time advised an incomplete story at greatest. There are languages that had been under- or over-represented through the use of public GitHub repos; there are communities that had been under- or over-represented by discussions taking place in Stack Overflow. These metrics weren’t excellent by any means, however the two giant, publicly dealing with datasets created an attention-grabbing decade plus lengthy development for RedMonk to trace over time.

Our final set of queries, nevertheless, supplied us with information that required additional investigation.

Stack Overflow

We’ve been internally discussing how we’re going to handle the influence of AI-based code assistants on our language rankings since GitHub launched Copilot in October 2021. Nevertheless, it was when ChatGPT hit the market on November 30, 2022 and went from 0 to 100M users in two months that we began seeing plain impacts on our supply information.

We’d already seen questions requested falling off from their peak. Nevertheless, once we pulled information for our June 2023 rankings the collective decline was notable.

The under chart takes questions requested on Stack Overflow in regards to the prime 20 programming languages (as decided from RedMonk’s analysis dated January 2023) and look backed at historic semi-annual developments.

Bar chart showing number of questions tagged on Stack Overflow for our top 20 languages. Questions peak in 2016-17 and begin to fall sharply in last year

As you may see, the variety of questions requested utilizing these 20 Stack Overflow tags* declined nearly 20% from the prior interval. And that is simply our first full interval working these numbers post-ChatGPT. A cursory question about YTD signifies an much more stark change.

It’s plain that developer’s means to instantaneously ask questions of a non-judgmental AI assistant that may give solutions in context goes to have a marked adverse influence on the usefulness of the general public datasets supplied by Stack Overflow.


Whereas we anticipated a change in Stack Overflow, we weren’t anticipating vital anomalies in our information from GitHub (and to the extent that we had been anticipating adjustments, we anticipated them to be upwards. The narrative about AI code assistants aiding growth velocity and benefitting tinkerers has been prevalent.)

Nevertheless, the info we noticed from GitHub Archive really confirmed a roughly 25% decline in pull requests in 1H2023 as in comparison with 2H2022 PRs that we weren’t anticipating.

The dataset we use is a public dataset on BigQuery, and so we requested questions of each Google when it comes to how the info was pulled in and of the GitHub crew to see if they’d seen comparable adjustments on of their inner information.

In the long run, the change seems to not be an error within the out there information and is basically missing a proof. The most effective guess to date is that there was an overhang in elevated exercise from the pandemic and this can be a return to anticipated exercise, however we’ve got no approach of confirming whether or not that storyline is correct.

See Also

As of now this isn’t a declining development we anticipate to proceed, however these are numbers we are going to proceed to look at with curiosity.

What Subsequent?

The arrival and rise of AI-based code assistants are already impacting the info that populates RedMonk’s language rankings. As questions and data sharing strikes from public boards to non-public instruments, our means to establish significant developments from mentioned public information can be indefinitely altered.

We are going to proceed to trace these developments and make determinations about how this transformation in pattern dimension will influence our means to carry out the rankings.

As of now, search for our subsequent rankings in January 2024.

* Tags queried primarily based on final High 20: JavaScript, Python, Java, PHP, C#, CSS, TypeScript, C++, Ruby, C, Swift, Shell, R, Go, Scala, Goal-C, Kotlin, PowerShell, Rust, Dart

Disclaimer: GitHub and Google Cloud are RedMonk shoppers. Stack Overflow and OpenAI (ChatGPT) are usually not.

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