As organizations continue to embrace CI/CD and DevOps in their quest for shorter, more reliable delivery cycles, the choice of programming languages becomes even more critical. The language used to build your applications can affect everything from developer happiness and productivity to your organization’s performance on the four key software delivery metrics:
- Duration: The average time required to complete a CI/CD workflow
- Throughput: The average number of workflow runs per day
- Mean time to recovery: The average time between a workflow’s failure and its next success
- Success rate: The ratio of successful runs to total runs for a given time period
In CircleCI’s annual State of Software Delivery report, we analyze millions of data points from real workflows run on our platform to determine the tools, techniques, and processes that lead to elite performance on the key software delivery metrics. Some of the more interesting insights to come out of this work are the trends in languages used by CircleCI customers and the implications for teams and organizations seeking to optimize their software development processes.
The data used in the 2023 State of Software Delivery report represents workflows run within the first 28 days of September 2022. It was filtered to include only projects that use GitHub as their VCS, have at least two contributors, and have run workflows on CircleCI at least five times. In all, this constitutes data on more than 14 million workflows from more than 22,000 organizations.
In this report, we’ll look at data from the 2023 State of Software Delivery report and call out the most notable trends as well as what they mean for the world of software delivery. More information and analysis, as well as actionable advice to improve your organization’s software delivery performance, are available in the full report.
AI, ML, and Big Data languages surge in popularity
Generative AI, machine learning, and big data processing have taken the technology world by storm, so it’s no surprise that a number of associated languages and tools would make big gains in this year’s list. Teams building large language models and processing huge data stores use CI/CD for rapid experimentation, efficient model training, secure deployments, and continuous validation in MLOps pipelines.
TypeScript holds strong as developers’ language of choice
C# drives growth in enterprise and cross-platform development
C# is a high-level compiled language known primarily for its use in Windows application development on the .NET framework. However, in recent years C# has also emerged as a popular choice for mobile, gaming, and machine learning with help of tools like Unity, Xamarin/MAUI, and ML.NET.
Like Java, another enterprise favorite and consistent top performer on our list, C# offers cross-platform compatibility for desktop, web, mobile, and backend development. C# integrates seamlessly with Microsoft’s .NET Framework, .NET Core, and Azure cloud services, facilitating efficient development and smooth interoperability within the Microsoft ecosystem. It encourages secure and scalable code with strong typing, memory safety, deep integration with Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE, and broad support from Microsoft and the open source community.
Since the launch of the Unity game engine in 2005, game developers have adopted C# in increasing numbers. Unity uses Mono, a cross-platform implementation of .NET, as its runtime environment and offers native support for C# scripting. CircleCI added enhanced support for Unity development in 2022 with the release of the Unity orb, which simplifies the process of setting up robust build, test, and deploy workflows for Unity code.
This year’s results tell an interesting story about the priorities of modern software delivery organizations. Teams are adopting languages that support rapid, efficient development across application types, from enterprise systems and machine learning algorithms to cross-platform mobile applications and games. At the same time, they are gravitating toward languages that combine speed and performance with stability, security, and scalability.
These insights harmonize nicely with the findings in this year’s State of Software Delivery report that teams are recovering from errors faster than ever before. The average CircleCI user gets their pipelines back to green in just over 64 minutes, a 10 minute improvement over previous years and very nearly equal to our elite performance benchmark of 60 minutes. Across the board, CircleCI users are building tech stacks that achieve an impressive balance of velocity and stability.
To learn more about the intersection of language usage and team performance, and how you can take advantage of today’s best technologies to build an elite software delivery practice, download the 2023 State of Software Delivery.