Octoverse 2019: Python slithers past Java to become GitHub’s second most popular language

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)

GitHub has published its latest State of the Octoverse report which provides fascinating insights into the development industry.

As the world’s largest repository host, GitHub is in a fairly unique position to monitor trends among the developer community. The company’s new report has once again highlighted some important changes.

Top languages

Perhaps unsurprisingly, JavaScript retains the crown as the most-used programming language on GitHub over the past year.

The most interesting change is with the second and third spot. For the first time, Python has overtaken Java to take second place.

Just five years ago, Python was in fourth place. The impressive bump up the rankings is likely a result of increasingly becoming the language of choice for teaching students along with the popularity of Python frameworks like TensorFlow for machine learning.

Java, of course, remains highly popular. Growth has been driven predominantly in recent years because of its use for Android development.  However, Google’s decision to adopt Kotlin as a first-class language for Android may be leading to reduced usage.


Kotlin is among the fastest-growing languages with a 182 percent increase over the past year.

Despite the phenomenal growth, Kotlin is actually the fourth fastest-growing language. The first three spots go to Dart (532%), Rust (235%), and HCL (213%). For comparison, Python’s growth rate was 151 percent.


Open-source projects

Microsoft’s code editor Visual Studio Code has the most open-source contributors with 19,100 developers lending their abilities.

Second place also belongs to Microsoft, this time for Azure Docs with 14,000 contributors.

Google’s development kit for UIs, Flutter, has 13,000 contributors, which rounds-out the top three.


More people from around the world are contributing to open-source projects than ever before.

This year, GitHub has witnessed 10 million new users and 44 million repositories have been created. 1.3 million made their first-ever open-source contribution and 44 percent more users created their first repository year-on-year.

Just one in five users are based in the US and the service even has developers contributing from Antarctica.

Here are the top ten countries with the most open-source contributors outside the US:


On average, each open-source project had contributors from 41 different countries and regions.

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