Woohoo: Kotlin now made it to position 43 on Tiobe


On the TIOBE Index for June 2017 Kotlin makes it to position 43 and gets some special mentioning in the first paragraph:

As of Android Studio 3.0 there is full Kotlin support. Kotlin has been developed by JetBrains, the company that is known for its very popular programming environments. Just like languages such as Scala, Clojure and Groovy, Kotlin compiles to JVM code, thus being compatible with Java programs. The mixture of expressive power and compilation speed might be the key features of Kotlin to succeed. Apart from Kotlin, Hack and Rust are moving up in the top 50 as well.


Nine months ago…

This new entry might make you curious what other languages are expected to reach the top 50 soon. I would put my bets on Hack (number 77), Kotlin (entering the top 100 this month at position 99) and TypeScript (still 183 but watch my words).



Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen sees even better days ahead for Kotlin. Unveiled in 2011, the Kotlin language could become a top-20 player in the index, he said. “It might be considered the Swift variant for Android in some ways,” Jansen said. Apple’s Swift language was ranked 12th this month, just three years after its debut. “Since Swift is in the top 20, Kotlin could reach that position too,” Jansen said.


TIOBE rearranges its ‘Index’ very often, namely every month! But you shouldn’t check back the website as the plugin for IDE was written.
(How-to: Preferences > Plugins > Browse Repositories… > search TIOBE > install > restart IDE)
Initially your status bar would look like the picture below. Then… let’s see.


Don’t you mean 48? although it is cool.


It was 43rd in June but fell to 48th in July.

However, I wouldn’t get too depressed about this as the index in IMHO should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Who for example seriously believes that C# is only slightly more popular than VB.Net? Microsoft certainly don’t and they should know.

Another language which has been all over the place is Go. After being language of the year in 2009 it fell back to 50th though where they have it just now (10th) is probably about right.


Language rankings like tiobe which are based on internet searches are inherently flawed for two reasons.

  1. The names of languages range from unambiguous (e.g. fortran, cobol, scala), though to widely used for other reasons (e.g. ‘go’, ‘swift’). Do you require ‘go language’ as search, given no one would bother with ‘scala language’? In the end, there is no true ‘like for like’ basis for a search.

  2. How do you define popularity? If you based on internet searches Trump and Putin would be two of the most popular leaders the world has ever seen. Even if you can equally resolve when a search is for a language, searching does not mean the language is ‘popular’. Searches for tutorials or how to solve problems may be more frequent because a language is difficult to learn, or makes people reach out for help, but does the fact that a language is hard to learn mean it is ‘popular’?

While Kotlin rising in the rankings will reflect the language rising in popularity, it gives very limited and sometimes misleading true comparison of popularity with other languages.


Hoorah! Kotlin scrawls up to 41 st position in TIOBE index this month.


This is a nice sign that developers are making use of kotlin in their projects. This is so noticeable!


Back outside the top 50 on tiobe this month. And low rankings itself hurts adoption. Something needed to get back on the radar?


I wouldn’t care too much about the TIOBE index. To raise the adoption rate of Kotlin better plug-ins for Eclipse and NetBeans and a better REPL could be helpful. There are many companies and projects where not alle developers are using IntelliJ, and these will likely stay with Java…


This month’s PYPL index (a better indicator of a language’s popularity than Tiobe, IMO) has some much better news for Kotlin :rofl:


Honorable mention of Kotlin in the RedMonk index (scroll down) :slight_smile:


Now in October Kotlin is back to position 41 while Go fell from 16 to 20. That’s really the first time Go lost some places in tiobe, I think. Well, tiobe is some tumbleweed anyway ;-).


Now 6 months later than october, Kotlin is in position 49.

April 2018 Kotlin: poititon 49 with 0.170%
May 2018 Kotlin: position 49 with 0.292%
June 2018 Kotlin: position 49 with 0.234%

On this same ranking Kotlin was a contender for language of the year back in december

I am going to update this topic with rankings, just as place to refer back to see the history.

Yes, I hear all the arguments the Tiobe is flawed, and it is not exactly my favourite also. I generally think every metric is measuring something… but wtih Tiobe it is not clear what that is.
Pypl Rankings:
2017 Dec rank 18 with 0.8%
2018 April rank 16 with 0.92%
2018 May rank 16 with 0.94%
2018 Jun rank 16 with 0.93%


For a much better idea of the current popularity of programming languages check out the PYPL index (April 2018) and the RedMonk rankings (January 2018).

It will be seen that Kotlin stands at 16 and 27 respectively in these rankings.

Frankly, the Tiobe Index is becoming a joke. Much as I love C, there’s no way that it’s currently the second most popular programming language nowadays, that Visual Basic.NET is almost as popular as C# or that JavaScript is only the 8th most popular.

If you asked any developer what they think are the 3 most popular programming languages just now (irrespective of what they themselves use) I suspect most would reply JavaScript, Java and Python and that’s where you’ll find them in the PYPL and RedMonk rankings, albeit not in the same order.


No ranking system works that well when comparing languages. However you measure is affected by the differences in the language ecosystem, and sometimes even the language names themselves.
They generally do track how a language is tracking relative to its won previous results, even though relative results of different languages can be of limited value.

So how well pypl or tiobe tracks from month to month give some insight into the trend, if not relative position with respect to other languages.


As for my tiny plugin for IntelliJ: I’ve switched to PYPL, so let’s call it, PYPL index for Kotlin.


Updated (I can no longer edit the original post)