A customer recently asked me a question on C++ vs. C# in terms of developer populations while deciding whether or not to recode a C++ app using C#. One reason for the thought was that going forward it might be easier to find C# than C++ developers. As I set out to find a not so personally opinionated answer to the question, I discovered a few interesting numbers that I’d like to share. Thanks to my colleagues for their input and comments – Randy Miller, Jason Young, Mike Zawacki, Kashif Alam and Marian Luparu. Note that there may be many other sources that show similar or different findings.
1. There are 3.1 million monthly active developers across all Microsoft products as of August 2016, of which 1.5 million C++ developers using Visual Studio and over 2 million .net developers (including C# of course), according to Amanda Silver, who delivered a keynote on the Open Microsoft Developer Platform at the Visual Studio Live event. Check the recording at the 7:30 minute mark. The C++ workload is by far the second largest workload in Visual Studio (behind C#).
2. IEEE Spectrum publishes “The Top Programming Languages 2016” and lists language popularity by web, mobile, enterprise and embedded.
3. GitHut publishes programming language rankings in terms of active repositories, etc.
4. TIOBE Index of October 2016 shows language ratings and rating changes.
For those who are interested in using C++ code in other applications, iOS, Android or Windows 10 UWP, check out Dropbox’s toolkit dijini, an open source tool for generating cross-language type declarations and interface bindings.