Kotlin, HCL, TypeScript Top GitHub’s Fastest-Growing Languages

By | December 5, 2018

GitHub has released its latest Octoverse report, an extensive scan of its 96 million repositories and 200+ million pull requests, and found some interesting bits of data about the tech world’s fastest-growing programming languages.

“We’re seeing trends toward more statically typed languages focused on thread safety and interoperability,” Github’s report added. “Kotlin, TypeScript, and Rust are growing fast this year.”

Here’s the full breakdown:

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That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows various organizations’ lists of the fastest-growing languages. Kotlin has been on the rise ever since Google named it a first-class language for Android development; TypeScript, a superset to JavaScript, offers a scalability that has attracted an increasing number of developers. Rust, which is similar to C++ and emphasizes memory safety, is another notable up-and-comer, at least according to analyst firm RedMonk.

But the presence of HCL may come as a surprise to many tech pros, as it tends not to appear on other firms’ top-language or fastest-growing-language lists—much less take a slot ahead of Rust, Python, Go, and other languages. GitHub’s data, however, has it on the rise: “The number of contributors writing HCL, a human readable language for DevOps, has more than doubled since 2017.”

“Fastest growing” also doesn’t necessarily mean “most used,” though, and languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, and C++ still hold a comfortable lead over these fastest-growing languages, and have for quite some time. “JavaScript still has the most contributors in public and private repositories, organizations of all sizes, and every region of the world,” GitHub reported.

A recent study by Developer Economics found that DevOps continued to interest developers the most among current technologies, beating out artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and even the much-hyped blockchain. That’s not surprising; although DevOps might not seem as exciting as robotics or software that teaches itself, it’s also necessary to the majority of organizations. In that context, the growth of HCL seems pretty logical.

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