While the unveiling of Apple’s new programming language Swift may have taken the developer community by surprise last year at WWDC 2014, it hasn’t taken them long to adapt the new method of developing for the iOS devices and the Mac.
In the latest programming language popularity rankings from RedMonk, Swift has shot up from the 68th ranked language in Q3 2014, to the 22nd most popular language going into 2015. To put that growth into perspective, Google released its new language Go in 2009, but it just barely cracked the top 20 in this quarter’s rankings.
Swift’s growth is unprecedented in the history of RedMonk’s rankings.
“Swift has gone from our 68th ranked language during Q3 to number 22 this quarter, a jump of 46 spots. From its position far down on the board, Swift now finds itself one spot behind Coffeescript and just ahead of Lua. As the plot suggests, Swift’s growth is more obvious on StackOverflow than GitHub, where the most active Swift repositories are either educational or infrastructure in nature, but even so the growth has been remarkable. Given this dramatic ascension, it seems reasonable to expect that the Q3 rankings this year will see Swift as a Top 20 language.”
While the rankings don’t really reflect general usage, they do indicate Swift’s popularity among developers on popular dev sites GitHub and StackOverflow, so they do a good job of predicting a language’s future general usage and popularity.
Swift still has a ways to go before it knocks Apple’s established Objective-C from its perch at No. 10 on the hit parade, but the new kid in town is rising, and rising fast.