According to the TIOBE Programming Community index (which gives an indication of the popularity of programming languages), Ruby jumped 3 places and made it to top ten. Congratulations !

If you look closely on the trends down on the page, the dynamically languages popularity has risen over 3.6% during year period. Which is A Good Thing (TM).

Should I make my personal Top Ten of the programming languages, ordering languages by my degree of comfort of using the language, the language beauty (which is, in the eye of the beholder ;-)). Factoring in also how much I do enjoy reading/writing code in that language and it's usefulness from both personal as well professional point of view, the index would look like this:

  1. Java
  2. C#
  3. Ruby
  4. SQL (both T/SQL and PL/SQL)
  5. Javascript
  6. Objective-C
  7. Python
  8. Shells (mostly BASH)
  9. Perl
  10. VB.NET

First place is practically tie - as the Java / C# are in reality more two dialects than two languages. They were very close at the beginning and with latest versions (C# 2.0, Java 5) they got even close. As it looks like, in the future they may diverge more with all the LINQ stuff coming in C# 3.0. I like Java portability, amazing variety of open source code available - and the development tools are IMHO still better on Java side (Eclipse, IDEA, Netbeans), but C# syntax of properties is nicer and there are slightly more commercial opportunities with Microsoft platform (at least during last 3-4 years).

The only "real" compiled language in my list is Objective-C, for which I have absolutely no commercial use for right now, but I hope that will change one day when the greatest of all cats finally arrives. Neither C or C++ made the list - the only encounters with C these days are during installations of Ruby GEM on Linux or Mac platform - which often comes with native part in C source - and the installer barfs at me with some gcc error :-). And despite using Mac for over a year now, I felt no need to write anything bigger than Hello World in AppleScript