​Most loathed programming language? Here's how developers cast their votes

Developers on Stack Overflow really don't want to work in Perl and don't like Microsoft much either.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: Which programming language do coders hate most?

Developers on Stack Overflow have made it clear that they don't want to work with Perl, the nearly 30-year-old programming language created by Larry Wall.

The language was popular in the 1990s but has lost favor to Python, which is widely used at Google and is popular with data scientists.

Not far behind Perl in the developer community and jobs site's figures as the most-disliked language are Delphi and Microsoft's VBA.

Stack Overflow gathered its data for ranking the most-disliked languages from its Developer Story feature on its Jobs page, which allows users to add tags for languages they would like to work with and languages they would like to avoid.

Other intensely disliked languages include PHP, Object-C, Coffeescript, and Ruby.

At the other end of the scale, the least disliked languages included R, Kotlin, TypeScript, Rust, Bash, Clojure, Swift, Python, JavaScript, and Go.

Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson notes that the least disliked tags tend also to be the fast-growing terms in questions asked by developers on Stack Overflow.

Languages that fit this profile include R, Python, Typescript, Go and Rust, while questions with tags for Perl, Objective-C, and Ruby are steadily shrinking on the site.

Microsoft didn't fare well in Stack Overflow's analysis of how much developers disliked general technologies defined by tags listed in the dislike category.

The firm's Internet Explorer browser topped the list of the most disliked technology, followed by Microsoft Visual Basic. Other highly disliked technologies included Cobol, Adobe Flash, Microsoft's ASP Classic, and Microsoft itself. Apple also appears there, as does Microsoft's SharePoint, IIS, and Access.

"It's worth emphasizing again that this is no indictment of the technologies, their quality, or their popularity. It is simply a measurement of what technologies stir up strong negative feelings in at least a subset of developers who feel comfortable sharing this publicly," explained Robinson.

The company also looked at tags for technologies that most frequently get liked by developers on Stack Overflow. The most-liked technologies include machine learning, Git, Python, HTML5, CSS3, JSON, Docker, and Amazon Web Services.


Perl, Delphi, and Microsoft's VBA are by some margin the most-disliked languages among developers.

Image: Stack Overflow

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