The Rise of Groovy
Groovy is seeing an increase in popularity partly because of its use in glue software. Tools like Jenkins and Gradle (both automation tools) have the ability to leverage Groovy script.
Additionally, all languages that earn a place in the ranking have to meet specific criteria. Along with being Turing complete, the language has to have its own entry on Wikipedia and have more than 5,000 hits on Google searches (typically for the phase “[language] programming”).
Groovy had previously qualified for the list, but increased interest in the language and wider spread use allowed it to reach a new height this year.
The Top of TIOBE’s Rankings
While rising from 49th to 19th place is impressive, Groovy still has a long way to go if it wants to break into the upper echelons of the listed languages. Java has been in first place for an incredibly long time, mainly thanks to its widespread use and overall popularity. C, Python, and C++ are also commonly near the top for similar reasons.
However, below the top of the list, there has been a significant amount of movement. Swift, commonly used for iOS apps, has been touted as a replacement for Objective-C by Apple. However, Swift actually fell from 16th to 20th place while Objective-C moved up, going from 20th to 10th.
Potential Issues with TIOBE’s Rankings
TIOBE’s ranking methodology might not reflect how popular certain languages are among programmers. Since Google searches play a role in where a language falls on the list, news events and general curiosity can cause a language to rise, even if it doesn't see any additional use.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth tracking the TIOBE rankings. It can help you stay apprised of broader trends, including spotting up-and-coming languages that may soon be commonplace. Additionally, it serves as a reminder of what may be worth exploring, as each language has its own merits and benefits as well as drawbacks and shortcomings.
Ultimately, Groovy has moved up the list in a dramatic fashion. At a minimum, this shows that people are interested in what the language has to offer and are at least exploring its capabilities. As a result, doing to same may be a smart move, even if you don’t add it to your repertoire immediately. That way, you are familiar with what Groovy has to offer, ensuring you are prepared if it makes its way into your workplace.
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