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Which programming language(s) should your developer platform support?
Depending on the products and services your company provides that are supported by your developer relations program, you will find a large number (or a short list) of programming language you should consider. Of course, you can’t always support every programming language that developers might want to use. Each language choose to support will come with costs including: API interfaces and documentation, source code examples, articles and videos to create, developer tools to test with, developer support, training and more. At the same time, supporting more languages can also extend the developer reach for your company resulting in increased revenue and reputation.
So, how do you decide which programming languages to support? You can look inside your own company, review the Evans Data developer surveys, check out programming language popularity sites, see what developer positions are listed on job boards, look at the programming language popularity on Stack Overflow, searching GitHub projects, factor in the leading platforms and technologies, search for what the top computer science and software engineering schools are teaching and read what tech industry luminaries, bloggers and press write about. If that isn’t enough sources for guidance, you can also use dart and Ouija boards, magic 8-ball and D&D dice (just kidding).
Programming Language(s) Popularity
Here are a few places where you can find information about popular programming languages and programming language rankings.
- Evans Data Developer Research – Global Development Survey – covers programming and scripting languages including C, C++, C#, Java, Swift, Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, etc.
- Tiobe Programming Language Index (last updated September 2016) – http://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/
- Redmonk Programming Language Rankings (Last report – June 2016) – http://redmonk.com/sogrady/category/programming-languages/
- StackOverKill Language Ranking – http://www.stackoverkill.com/ranking/
- GitHub – open source programming languages that are actively being developed – https://github.com/showcases/programming-languages
- GitHut – analysis of GitHub programming language use (last updated Q4/2014) – http://githut.info/
You Can Support any Programming Language if …
A great benefit of using industry standards for APIs, REST/JSON for example, is that just about every programming language in use today can make REST calls and pass parameters and receive results using JSON. If you are using SOAP, CORBA or some other RPC (probably for legacy systems), you should defintely add support for REST and JSON. Some companies are also exploring the use of Apache Thrift and GraphQL for some of their service APIs. If you interested in microservices for your developer platforms, check out this article “Microservice Showdown – REST vs SOAP vs Apache Thrift (And Why It Matters)“. Also check out this recent article about GitHub adding a GraphQL API “Just Because Github Has a GraphQL API Doesn’t Mean You Should Too“.
Let me know what Programming Language(s) your developer program supports
What programming languages do you support for your developer program and platform? Send me an email!