I’ve been writing about programming languages for nearly three years now. Many of my articles have been quite popular. What do the readership numbers for these articles tell us about the level of interest and significance of the languages I’ve covered? Let’s take a look…
Here are the top 18 articles ranked by total number of views** (updated May 1, 2017):
- The Three Worst Programming Languages — 40.0k
- How learning Smalltalk can make you a better developer — 36.2k
- The Fall of the House of Node — 32.1k
- A Word from The Beegoist — 26.6k
- The Little Language That Could — 24.6k
- The Lie That Has Beguiled A Generation Of Developers — 22.1k
- Dart is Dead — 21.1k
- The Smalltalk Revolution — 19.1k
- My View on Programming Languages — 17.3k
- Smalltalk and the Future of the Software Industry — 14.2k
- A Gentle Introduction to Amber — 11.4k
I used 10k as the threshold for inclusion. When an article has that many readers, it’s mighty impressive. TechBeacon, for example, regards 2k views as a successful article; in our recondite industry, that’s a significant number. When you write an article, are you saying anything people want to hear? What is the size of your intended audience?
The Three Worst Programming Languages also mentions PHP and C++. I don’t talk much about PHP because it’s exclusively a server-side web language and it’s been in major decline for years. While it’s true that the majority of the world’s websites are powered by PHP, these are by and large legacy software; PHP is no longer used for many new websites.
I don’t talk much about C++ because I respect this language a lot. It’s a Frankenlanguage…big, ugly, and powerful. It’s frickin’ scary shit! However, it’s also incredibly useful and versatile, being used nearly everywhere for every conceivable application. Along with its little brother C, they are the very foundation of the modern IT industry. C and C++ are not going away any time soon, if ever.
Go language is a hot topic. My article on the Beego web framework has been surprisingly popular. This is because Go is a very simple, easy-to-learn, and powerful language, especially for concurrent programming. If Smalltalk didn’t exist, Go would be my favourite programming language.
My seminal article on Smalltalk is the third most-read piece in my portfolio. This is very gratifying. It shows that there are still many, many people in our industry who are open to new ideas about how to develop software, who aren’t slaves to text files and text-based tools, and who recognize the fundamental beauty and power of Smalltalk.
** Including republication elsewhere.