Biggest Jump in the Ranks of the Most Popular Programming Languages

by Mark Finnern

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Quick: On the net in the ranking of the most popular programming languages, which one made the biggest jump last year? 10 spots to be precise? Bonus tip: The language is probably not even on Tim's radar, because O'Reilly is not publishing a book for it.

O.K. most popular is a relative term, but if you measure how often a language is mentioned on the Net as the TIOBE Programming Community Index does, the one that jumped the most ranks in the charts this year is SAP's ABAP.

Search query used is:

'+"<language> programming" -tv'. I think the language C has an unfair advantage because of Vitamin C or the A B C of programming which doesn't have to be about C at all.

Column 4 of the index shows with errors the change of position compared to last year. ABAP rose 10 spots and is now on place 15.


How is that possible? Let's check the search results in Google: After an Amazon ABAP book and two other sites there is this link to a very active ABAP Programming forum on the SAP Developer Network (SDN).

Yesterday a year ago the 10th of March 2004 there were exactly 5 threads posted in that forum and three of them are still without answer. This year same day 10th of March 2005 there are 47 threads and although the threads were created only yesterday only 5 of them don't have at least one answer. In this one year the traffic of that forum has picked up by 940%. Even though the traffic rose tremendously the ratio of questions with no answers to questions with at least on post was also improved.

This is of course not all. There is also SAP Fans who have been around a lot longer with their ABAP forum: Yesterday March 10th 43 threads and only 12 posts without answer.

But it is not only the forums, there is also a host of quality ABAP Programming Weblog posts written by the members of the SDN community.

Working for SAP for many years I am of course super biased, but I think the SAP developers finally found a place to come together, exchange their ideas and get the recognition that they deserve. After all SAP is the third largest software company and there are many many SAP developers out there building solutions on top of SAP NetWeaver or tailor SAP solutions to their customers needs and having a good time and a good living doing so.

If the trend continues, ABAP may become one of the top 10 programming language by next year and don't forget Java, the second pillar that NetWeaver is standing on currently on spot number two.


2005-03-12 06:31:29
tailer -> tailor
Just a typo fix.
2005-03-13 17:18:47
There's the obvious implications:

* resurgence in demand for R3 ABAP work (as opposed to BW, SEM, portals etc). Of course, once you get past vanilla implementations of BW etc, you soon find you need good ABApers anyway.

* This in turn implies more SAP projects in general, which will raise the demand for other SAP skills (BASIS for example)

Less obvious implications:

* more candidates with paper qualifications (i.e. their major experience is 6 weeks of SAP academy courses) entering the field

* leading to more for the mroe experienced (both individuals and tier 1 players) to clean up after these people.
2005-03-14 03:18:44
check the date
the dates mentioned in the article mention "last year" as 2003, making the whole thing a year out of date :)
2005-03-14 15:36:04
check the date
Fixed the date and the typo too.

Shouldn't do these things late on a Friday, one just gets into a time warp :-)

Thanks, Mark.