Last year, Python took the crown as TIOBE’s programming language of the year. Then, earlier this year, TIOBE predicted that Python would surpass both Java and C as the top programming language at its current rate of growth. But TIOBE is surprising everyone by naming C as its 2019 programming language of the year. 

“Everybody thought that Python would become TIOBE’s programming language of the year for the second consecutive time. But it is good old language C that wins the award this time with an yearly increase of 2.4%,” TIOBE wrote in a post announcing the results .

According to TIOBE, their index reflects the popularity of programming language, based on the number of engineers, courses, and third-party vendors. They also use sources such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu to calculate the ratings.

C had actually experienced a pretty significant drop on the index in 2016 and 2017, going from 17.145% in rating in November 2015 to 6.477% by August 2017. As of January 2020, C is back up at 15.773%. 

In 2019, C had a yearly increase of 2.4% on the TIOBE Index, which is a larger positive percent change than any other language. It is currently in the number 2 spot on the index, right behind Java. 

Java still remains at the top of the list, however, its rating dropped by .01% this year. Last year’s programming language of the year Python, experienced a 1.41% increase in ratings. C++ also experienced a massive drop on the index, with a -2.58% change. 

TIOBE believes the main driver behind C’s popularity this year is the emergence of many IoT devices. “C excels when it is applied to small devices that are performance-critical. It is easy to learn and there is a C compiler available for every processor,” TIOBE explained.

The company was also surprised by some of the languages they believed would break through in 2019 that didn’t. For example, Rust only moved up 3 positions, Kotlin lost 3 positions, Julia lost 10 positions, and TypeScript only went up 1 position.