​Cloud Foundry survey finds top enterprise languages

They may not be the coolest languages, but Java and JavaScript remain the top enterprise developer languages for the cloud.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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Programmers may love hot newer languages like Kotlin and Rust, but according to a Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) recent survey of global enterprise developers and IT decision makers, Java and Javascript are the top dog enterprise languages.

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That said, the CFF also found that, "More and more, businesses are employing a polyglot and a multi-platform strategy to meet their exact needs." The CFF discovered 77 percent of enterprises are using or evaluating Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS); 72 percent are using or considering containers; and 46 percent are using or thinking about serverless computing. Simultaneously, more than a third (39 percent) are using all three technologies together.

For companies this "flexibility of cloud-native practices enables [companies to move] away from a monolithic approach and towards a world of computing that is flexible, portable and interoperable." That means, while Java and JavaScript are only growing ever more popular, the larger the company, the more languages are used.

After the Java twins, C++, C#, Python, and PHP are the most popular languages. But enterprise-sized companies are now using multiple languages for their projects. That's new. Historically, larger companies have practiced tighter control over production projects.

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This is coming hand-in-glove with the growth of cloud-native development. Multi-cloud users, for example, report using more developer languages, but the majority uses Java and JavaScript, followed by 50 percent saying they use C++.

The CFF's results are confirmed by RedMonk's recent language rankings. RedMonk also placed Java and JavaScript at the top tier of development languages. Java is alive and well.

In contrast to CFF's findings, however, RedMonk found Python and PHP used more frequently than C# and C++, but only marginally. As RedMonk's Stephen O'Grady wrote, "the numerical ranking is substantially less relevant than the language's tier or grouping." All four of these languages are alive and well.

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For students and programmers looking for a corporate job, it's clear the older languages are the way to go. The future is in the cloud, but its languages are decades old. At the same time, they'd be wise to pick up containers, cloud, and container manager -- e.g., Kubernetes -- job skills.

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