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Quiz time: Popular programming language list shows changes at the top

As tastes in fashion reflect changing times, the choice for most-popular programming language reflects computing advancements. And like blue jeans, some languages keep hanging on.

You can't build an application without programming. Even so-called no-code/low-code tools require some level of coding, though substantially less than traditional procedural coding does. Here's a simple quiz on which popular programming language is tops. Keep in mind that popularity does not equate to appropriateness for any particular application development job. What's right for real-time transaction processing could be completely wrong for building mobile-device user interfaces or handling huge databases. It's still up to you to choose the right tools and master them.

While the usual suspects (C, Java, Python) occupy prominent places on the popular programming language list, others, both ancient and modern, are well-represented among the top 50, including PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Assembly, Scala, Visual Basic, SQL and Fortran. COBOL, the language that refuses to die, is alive and well at No. 41.

Joel Shore is news writer for TechTarget's Business Applications and Architecture Media Group. Write to him at or follow @JshoreTT on Twitter.

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This was last published in January 2017

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Which popular programming language do you use most often and why?