Scala Less Popular Than COBOL: Programming In The Real World

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We live in a bubble. What is happening NOW always seems so much more important than what happened back-then. But - in 50 years time who will be remembered, Justin Bieber or Paul McCartney?

Right now there is a huge buzz over Scala and F#. They are great languages and I have to admit to having added to the buzz myself. But - are they relevant? The numbers just do not point that way (especially for Scala). Let us look at TIOBE for April 2012: 

Position Programming Language Ratings
21  Lua   0.573%
22  MATLAB   0.573%
23  SAS   0.479%
24  Assembly  0.470%
25  ActionScript  0.412%
26  Fortran   0.405%
27  RPG (OS/400)  0.401%
28  Scheme   0.395%
29  COBOL   0.391%
30  Groovy   0.389%
31  R   0.380%
32  Bash   0.367%
33  ABAP   0.350%
34  cg   0.340%
35  Scratch   0.331%
36  D   0.328%
37  Haskell   0.288%
38  Prolog   0.286%
39  F#   0.281%
40  APL   0.248%
41  Smalltalk  0.244%
42  (Visual) FoxPro  0.239%
43  Erlang   0.234%
44  Awk   0.228%
45  Scala   0.225%


Yep - Scala is less talked about than COBOL! Use Really! How about that "strange System-I OS/400 thing RPG"  that is more popular than F# or Scala...

That must be a accident of the way TIOBE is put together yes? No! From Indeed.com we can see that Scala is massively less important in the jobs market than COBOL or FORTRAN. F# does somewhat better compared to FORTRAN. This makes sense as a lot of FORTRAN is in the academic sector and so more likely to turn up in TIOBE than Indeed's index:


Still not seeing the pattern?

Google trends - Blue: COBOL, Red F#
I could not get a reasonable result for Scala due to the number of non software things which use the name. However, we can see how the more popular F# language is still less searched for on Google than COBOL. Yes - really.

My advice is to keep up with the latest trends and never let yourself become a dinosaur. But, remember that they are just rends and are not necessarily relevant to the present, near or (especially) long term future.

One final note:
Have you ever wondered which is the fasted programming language? C, Haskell, maybe some strange bespoke thing. No, FORTRAN. Yes, really.