The most popular programming languages on GitHub

Have you ever wondered what are the most popular programming languages on GitHub?

GitHub is, without a doubt, the most famous platform for code management and sharing. It's the home to software code worked on by more than 31 million users – working in as many as 337 different programming languages!

Seeing how much GitHub has grown with time, it's safe to say that GitHub is here to stay. 

Following the famous purchase of 7.5 billion dollars Microsoft made to acquire GitHub, there have been many stories that developers will abandon after the platform. But, they seemed to have faded by now. Here are some facts to state it:

  • It has currently has 31 million+ users and is honoring more new users in 2018 alone that the first 6 years of the platform’s launching combined!
  • GitHub had 40% more organizations in 2018 than 2017 which brings it to an approximate value of 2.1 million+ organizations.
  • It also has 40% more repositories created in 2018 than 2017 which makes a total of 96 million+ repositories.
  • GitHub boasts a total of 200 million+ pull requests with over a third of them created in 2018!

The most popular programming languages on GitHub are

  1. JavaScript
  2. JAVA
  3. Python
  4. C++
  5. C#
  6. TypeScript
  7. Shell
  8. C
  9. Ruby

Check out the “The most popular programming languages on GitHub” list below:


Seemingly, GitHub has become more used than it ever was – and these statistics just back up the statement that there might never be another better platform. At least not in this lifetime.

Despite all this, GitHub is a great spot to see which computer languages are used with respect to their project count.


This is not a technical article on the internal workings of programming languages, their advantages/faults, or history. Rather, it is a list of the most popular languages on GitHub with tight backgrounds.


JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted programming language originally designed to create interactive websites with effects on browsers.

At first, it was used for majorly front-end programs but it has evolved into a developer-favorite. That's all thanks to the fact that it has given rise to an almost infinite list of frameworks, libraries and software solutions such as Electron, Node.js, React to name a few.

JavaScript originally started off as a client-side language but is now being used to build both front and backend. Additionally, it's being used to develop games and has proven itself to be swift, versatile and extensible as a programming language.


Java, on the other hand, is a compiled, general-purpose high-level programming language with a clear focus on object-oriented programming. It's the language that has been driving at least 15 billion devices with over 10 million developers worldwide.

It was created by Sun Microsystems built with code reliability and platform-independent software solutions as the main focus. Currently, Java is owned by Oracle and it's virtually impossible to make any kind of programming list without it being in the top 3.

Java is mainly used for developing Android apps, databases, desktop applications and pretty much everything else. It deservedly holds the first position for being the go-to language for enterprise systems and development in the cloud.

It has a very popular saying, that you most likely stumbled upon, that says “compile once, run everywhere” and this is all thanks to the Virtual Machine that enables Java to run on any operating system.


Python is an interpreted, general-purpose, high-level programming language mostly used to develop solutions in the fields ranging from software development up to Biomedical research. Yes, it's that wide!

Some of the best features of Python include extensive support for modules, very easy integration with web services, and GUI-based apps for desktops.

Python is being used to develop countless games such as Civilization IV, Toontown and many more. Also, it's used for developing software for creatives like Blender, Autodesk, Inkscape, etc. And last but not least, it's also used for scientific research work – especially in deep learning applications, big data analysis, and robotics.


PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor and it's also a general-purpose, high-level, server-side scripting language created mostly for web development. It features a lot of built-in capabilities for web services, and the flawless embedding of server-side code into HTML. 

PHP has been mocked for a couple of things over the years, including the diversity in code quality between PHP and its security. The bright side, however, is that PHP developers offer countless frameworks that help the new users handle very complex issues that would otherwise have a hard time facing.


C++ is also a high-level, general-purpose programming language built as an extension of the C programming language. Correctly known as “C but with classes”, C++ combines the features of C (with low-level memory manipulations) with new features like an inheritance. This offers very powerfully programming ability and flexibility. C++ is the core language in video games, web browsers and a lot of Operating Systems.

Some of the best C++ features include giving users a lot of control of their system hardware – more than any other programming language. And while Java is known for the “compile once, run anywhere”, C++ has more of a “write once use it everywhere” kind of language. This roughly translates as you can write the code anywhere and compile it for different systems since its cross-platform compatibility. This is achieved at the source code level, rather than the compiled binary code level.


TypeScript is an open-source language maintained and created by Microsoft as a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript for developing very large apps. It features tremendously amazing optional static typing and trans-compile to JavaScript. This means that it can be used in any JS project without needing to change the syntax whatsoever.

TypeScript has a very large community backing with a great environment for development, as well as a compiler implemented in TypeScript. This can be used in any JS host and a development experience close to C#.

While all the above languages share features like objects, arrays, built-in types, functions, they are implemented in a very unique way and they have features that are very unique to them.

These features unique the computing languages contribute to the reason why you should choose one over the other depending on the project you're working on.

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