SlashData’s  21st State of the Developer Nation Report examined global software developer trends across 160 countries during Q3 2021, covering programming languages, tools, APIs , apps and technology segments, as well as attitudes of developers themselves.

The report also looked at developer involvement in 5G and IoT, specifically how programmers were taking advantage of new advances in technology in tools, apps and services.

JavaScript’s ongoing popularity in web and backend applications supported its position as the most popular programming language in Q3 2021.  SlashData found that upwards of 2.5 million developers had joined the JavaScript community and more than 16.4 million are using it  globally.

The popularity of Python is also impressive. According to SlashData, the language is now used by some 11.3 million coders, primarily within data science and machine learning, and IoT applications.

Python’s popularity has exploded in recent years, overtaking that of Java, which is currently used by 9.6m developers. Java remains a go-to for mobile and desktop apps, SlashData’s survey found.

According to SlashData, Python added 2.3m developers to its community in the past 12 months.

“That’s a 25% growth rate, one of the highest across all the large programming language communities of more than 7M users,” the report noted.

The top five most popular languages were C/C++ (7.5m developers), PHP (7.3m) and C# (7.1m). SlashData reported, PHP has grown the fastest over the past six months acquiring one million new developers. Like JavaScript, PHP remains popular for Web and backend applications.

Rust is another programming language that has been making waves in recent years. The open-source programming language is mostly used in embedded software and ‘bare metal’ development, although has also found a home in AR and VR game development.

SlashData’s report found that developers are increasingly getting involved in 5G projects, particularly those related to IoT (Internet of Things), AR (Augmented reality)/VR (Virtual Reality), consumer electronics, and machine learning/AI (Artificial intelligence).

China was found to be the epicentre of 5G developer activity.

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