Non-Professionals Using C++

John Montgomery's revelation that the most commonly used languages of non-professional programmers are HTML, JavaScript, and C++ is worth reflecting on.

First, let's just state the obvious: HTML without JavaScript isn't a programming language, and few people are using Rhino or what-have-you to explore JavaScript as a standalone language, so the first "two slots" in the list mean "I put together Web pages."

The commentors on his blog entry seem to primarily attribute the popularity of C++ to its use in academics. I suspect that, at least as important, is its primacy in game development. The window for being an academic-but-not-professional programmer is only a few years, while the window for harboring a fantasy of being a game programmer extends from age 12 to age I-dunno'.

Modding a game probably provides one of the bigger "bangs for the buck" for a non-pro developer and I think that it remains true that modding generally is done with a C/C++-derived syntax.