Trends of commonly used programming languages in CS1 and CS2 learning

Robert M. Siegfried, Katherine G. Herbert-Berger, Kees Leune, Jason P. Siegfried

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Computer science educators have tried to identify the best language for their first-year college students to use when learning how to program. Consequently, selecting a computer programming language for use in an introductory programming course has been a hot-button topic within computing education communities. This paper builds on the work started by Richard Reid in the early 1990s, which surveys institutions providing post-secondary education. It provides educators with up-to-date information about common choices for computer programming languages used in first computer programming courses. This year's survey results indicate clearly that, at the moment, Java and Python are the most commonly used languages. A new element in the survey is that we have now started collecting data regarding the second programming course (CS2). Our findings show that 88% of all surveyed schools only use one of four languages (Java, Python, C++, and C), with the adoption of Python growing steadily at the expense of the other languages. Java continues to be the most popular choice for CS2 courses, followed by C++ after a significant gap. However, we are finding potential trends where institutions that start in Java or C++ tend to stay with their choice, while schools starting with other languages are likely to transition their students over to a second programming language in CS2.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICCSE 2021 - IEEE 16th International Conference on Computer Science and Education
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages407-412
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665414685
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2021
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Education, ICCSE 2021 - Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Aug 202121 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameICCSE 2021 - IEEE 16th International Conference on Computer Science and Education

Conference

Conference16th IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Education, ICCSE 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLancaster
Period17/08/2121/08/21

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