IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

An A+ for C++

C++ now the most widely used programming language among VDC survey respondents

A common end-user data-related inquiry we receive here at VDC is about the types of programming languages used by embedded software engineers. C and C++ have long held the top spots, as we have previously noted, with C++ closing the gap in recent years.

This year, however, C++ actually overtook C as the most widely used programming language among our survey respondents.

We expect the growth of C++ to remain strong in the coming years, as object-oriented languages gain further acceptance within the development of safety-critical systems.  In particular, the Object Oriented Technology and Related Techniques (OOT & RT) supplement to DO-178C (which among other things provides guidelines for templates in C++) is expected to be particularly influential in this regard.

In addition, we have witnessed a surge in the use of Java over the last several years, in large part driven by the growing interest in Android, which of course utilizes the Java-based Dalvik virtual machine, beyond mobile. Furthermore, we anticipate that Java may also benefit from Oracle’s renewed focus on the embedded space.

Lastly, we believe that the Ada language, while holding steady around the 3% mark for the last several years, may receive a small boost following the official release of Ada 2012, which was first introduced in November 2011. The previous stable release of Ada was last amended in 2007.

VDC investigates these and other data-related trends – including segmentations by operating system type, development tool type, and processor architecture – in our recently published Embedded Systems Engineering Survey Data series of reports from our research service Strategic Insights 2012: Embedded Software & Tools Market. Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with our readers’ additional metrics and findings from the 2012 survey results so stay tuned!