The Programming Languages We Use

Many of you reading this probably work primarily in SQL. Even if you are a developer whose main language is something else, you write a lot of SQL. Even if you have an ORM writing the SQL that goes into production, I bet a lot of you are writing queries against a database to check that the data coming back in your application is correct.

As for me, I mostly work in SQL, with PowerShell and Python being second and third. I tried R for a while, but I think Python does everything R can do and it’s much cleaner. I find R very cumbersome. I rarely write C# or experiment with anything else, but that’s the nature of my job. PowerShell is important, as I do a bunch of DevOps and PoSh is a good choice to work with on the command line for gluing processes together.

There was a set of the top articles on programming languages from 2022 that I saw recently. I found it interesting to see what was popular. The top one was about Python being the most popular, but it shouldn’t be. This one feels like clickbait, and I find many of the conclusions not making an argument against python in a meaningful way.

There are some other links on the “hotness” of various languages. I think these are clicked on as many developers are just curious about what others are doing, and what they might experiment with. While I like curiosity and experimentation, I do think that many of our important systems in organizations need to be built with mainstream technologies. Support and staffing are a challenge, and while Golang might be great, finding people to read and code in it is hard. I don’t know how to balance the growth of new tech with the safety of old tech, but I wouldn’t stray too far from the mainstream for anything important.

I do find it interesting that COBOL makes the list. I know there are still lots of COBOL systems, and while there aren’t a ton of jobs, there are jobs and little competition. If I were 10-15 years younger, this would be tempting. Of course, I’d have to be willing to adapt to the jobs, but it is tempting. I know a few people making well into the six figures because of COBOL jobs.

It’s nice to see SQL is one of the top 10 languages in use, according to this survey.. It was #9 in 2021 and #8 in 2022. I don’t know it grew in popularity so much as assembly declined compared to other skills. I certainly can’t see SQL going away, but it’s not as popular, clickbait-y, or exciting as other languages. Instead, it’s a core, required skill for any serious software development. Whether you use relational or NoSQL databases, likely you need some SQL skills.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

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1 Response to The Programming Languages We Use

  1. Well the popularity is going to be largely based on what technologies are popular. AS for SQL, I imagine that SQL in all it’s various flavors will never stop being popular as it is the code that runs the bridge between the data and the application.


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