Donnie Berkholz of the analysis firm RedMonk recently posted an article about observing tech trends by monitoring book sales. He saw a resurgence of interest in Java, a slowdown of interest in Microsoft languages (except PowerShell), upward movement in Python, and declining interesting in SQL.
While on Twitter the other day, I was looking at the account of a major cloud computing provider, and wondered if their “follower count” was high or low compared to their peers. Although follower count is hardly a definitive metric for influence or popularity, the growth in followers can tell us a bit about where developer mindshare is moving.
So, here’s a coarse breakdown of some leading cloud platforms and programming languages/frameworks and both their total follower counts (in bold) and growth in 2012. These numbers are accurate as of July 17, 2012.
- Google App Engine – 64,463. The most followers of any platform, which was a tad surprising given the general grief that is directed here. They experienced a 27% growth in followers for 2012 so far.
- Windows Azure – 44,662. I thought this number was fairly low given the high level of activity in the account. This account has experienced slow, steady follower growth of 21% since start of 2012.
- Cloud Foundry – 26,906. The hype around Cloud Foundry appears justified as developers have flocked to this platform. They’ve seen jagged, rapid follower growth of 283% in 2012.
- Amazon Web Services – 17,801. I figured that this number would be higher, but they are seeing a nice 58% growth in followers since the beginning of the year.
- Heroku – 16,162. They have slower overall follower growth than Force.com at 42%, but a much higher total count.
- Force.com – 9,746. Solid growth with a recent spike putting them at 75% growth since the start of the year.
Programming Languages / Frameworks
- Java – 60,663. The most popular language to follow on Twitter, they experienced 35% follower growth in 2012.
- Ruby on Rails – 29,912. This account has seen consistent growth by 28% this year.
- Java (Spring) – 15,029. Moderate 30% growth this year.
- Node.js – 12,812. Not surprising that this has some of the largest growth in 2012 with 160% more followers this year.
- ASP.NET – 7,956. I couldn’t find good growth statistics for this account, but I was surprised at the small size of followers.
Takeaways? The biggest growth in Twitter followers this year belongs to Cloud Foundry and Node.js. I actually expected many of these numbers to be higher given that many of them are relatively chatty accounts. Maybe developers don’t instinctively follow platforms/languages, but rather follow interesting people who happen to use those platforms.
Thoughts? Any surprises there?