Visual Basic .Net might not be the coolest programming language to know, but it remains popular and has now reached its highest position on the Tiobe index of top programming languages.
In the December 2018 index, Visual Basic .Net now ranks fifth, the highest it's ever been since the company started tracking the Microsoft language in 2001. A year ago Visual Basic .Net was ranked seventh, and it surprised Tiobe analysts in February when it climbed to sixth.
Visual Basic .Net's continued ascent comes despite Microsoft last year announcing it would end the co-evolution of Visual Basic and C# and focus on "core scenarios and domains" where Visual Basic .Net is popular, while throwing more resources behind C#.
Tiobe analysts said it was "very surprising" that Visual Basic .Net is now the fifth most popular language, only behind C++, Python, C, and Java.
The language index still reckons Visual Basic .Net will "sooner or later go into decline", but concedes it's popular for dedicated office applications in small and medium enterprises, and is probably still used by many developers because it's easy to learn.
SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)
When Microsoft announced its new strategy for Visual Basic .Net, it noted that "hundreds of thousands" of people used it, compared with the "millions" who use C#.
The company's plan was to lead with C# for cloud, mobile, and bleeding-edge technologies, while Visual Basic .Net would focus on Windows desktop development.
The new strategy caused angst among Visual Basic .Net developers, who feared that Microsoft was going to 'dumb down' the language. There was also disappointment that Microsoft offered Xamarin support in C# but not Visual Basic .Net.
Previous and related coverage
A young programming language for machine learning is on the rise and could be soon gunning for Python.
The MIT-created Julia programming language continues its ascent in developer popularity.
Python climbs up TIOBE's search engine-based index of programming language popularity.
Hint: There is no easy answer, and no consensus either.
Stack Overflow's annual survey shows Android developer language Kotlin has soared in popularity.
Microsoft languages seem to be hitting the right note with coders across ops, data science, and app development.
Which languages are most popular among developers due to their high demand, and how to get started learning them.
The gender gap for programmers is shrinking, but women are still disproportionately stuck in junior positions, according to a HackerRank study.