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I'm looking for historical statistics showing approximately how many developers of some language X switch to language Y. It should be the kind of data that answers question such as:

  • Are former VB6 developers using mainly C# or VB.NET now?
  • Have many Java developers switched their main development language to Scala so far?
  • etc.

I'm not doing a study, I'm mainly curious. Is there some website or institution that collects and publishes such data?

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I agree this isn't an easy job. Maybe you should conduct a survey but the sample size should be big enough to show the overall picture. – Erica Xu Oct 20 '11 at 9:37
the trouble there is it will be very hard to eliminate selection bias i.e. a survey about switching to scala will probably disproportionally attract scala enthusiasts – jk. Oct 20 '11 at 9:50
@jk. ... and also attract Java enthusiasts who think that Scala is a massive affront to the original goals and intentions of the Java language. cough – maple_shaft Oct 20 '11 at 13:36

Well, there's popularity stats here and especially here - with deltas but I don't know of anything measuring who's moving to what. It would be interesting to plot but I'm not sure if it would be an easy thing to capture.

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Probably good for overall popularity, but what would be more relevant would be figures for usage and movement within domains. – NWS Oct 20 '11 at 9:44
even for that you have to bear in mind that in absolute terms probably every language is increasing, tiobe and langpop show relative trends (if anything) – jk. Oct 20 '11 at 9:52

I'm not sure that "migrated from" is even an easily defined metric, let alone easily measured. For example, I learned python last year for internal-use scripting, but our product is still written in C++. You could say I migrated from C++, but python really replaced perl for me, which I gave up because none of my colleagues knows it anymore. I've done projects in Java and php in the last year as well, but I wouldn't say I "migrated to" those either, both of which were "day job" languages for me in the late 90s.

In other words, measuring migration assumes almost everyone is a monoglot, which isn't a valid assumption.

share|improve this answer collects information on open-source projects. It counts things like total number of lines committed for each language - number of contributors making commits for each language etc. It can be interesting to see the trends. For example, the number of contributors making commits of C code is seeing a small lift since 2010, although the total number of commits is still falling sharply. This would indicate that more people are committing C code, but in larger chunks. It's not possible from these stats to say where those extra contributors may have migrated from though..

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