I admit it. I have a love-hate relationship with Ruby (on Rails). There are times when I look at it and the very sight of it just … annoys me… and then there are times when I talk to recruiters who talk of £70k+ a year salaries and I think, there must be more to this then meets the eye.

Ever keen to expand my knowledge, I keep dipping into it then getting caught up in somethign and thinking that one day soon I REALLY should pick it up again.

Just out of interest this morning I decided to do some checks on programming language popularity, so I popped over to the TIOBE site for a quick look at their latest figures on the most popular languages at the current time. OK, so it’s not the definitive guide, but they’ve been running this on a monthly basis for a fair old while now and it’s genuinely interesting to see what’s hot and what’s not – here’s the breakdown for November 2012:

  1. C
  2. Java
  3. Objective-C
  4. C++
  5. PHP
  6. C#
  7. Visual Basic
  8. Python
  9. Perl
  10. Ruby

…and what an interesting list it makes. There’s a natural assumption (as far as I can see) amongst the non-programming community that the Web is where it’s at and if you’re ‘into the Internet’ then you’re obviously a nerdo-geek-techno-boffin extraordinaire, but it looks very much from this list as though mobile is ruling the roost.

The continued popularity of Java and, particularly, Objective-C shows that interest in Android and iOS development is running high, in fact, TIOBE say that according to their figures, Obj-C looks set to be the most popular language of the year overall.

As a web and mobile dev I find this both encouraging and a bit frightening as it shows that focus is shifting to the mobile platforms.

On the one hand,  hurrah! it means more work all round in a new and exciting field and the chance to do something a bit different. On the other hand, with tools like Appcelerator, PhoneGap and Corona becoming more popular by the day, the door is open for anyone with half a brain to continue churning out fart piano apps then convincing businesses large and small that they’re full-on developers who can produce the ‘next big thing’ for 200 quid before disappointing their clients and devaluing the skills of genuine hardcore developers who’ve put a lot of time and effort into they do.

An elitist view? Perhaps, but I already watched this happen to the web (have you seen the ridiculous high skill set requirements to earn £20K these days??) and I’m sick of watching folks picking up the pieces of development projects that go badly wrong at the start and fizzle out after a couple of months (more on this when I next get to post).

Now, where’s that Crystal Ball(tm) script…

From the TIOBE site:

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. The popular search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.