With the demand continuing to grow for workers with digital skillsets, more people are turning to self-learning tools to get a quick understanding at their own pace.

Analysing Google and YouTube searches, security firm Specops Software has compiled a list of the world’s most self-taught programming languages.

Its methodology was simple – take thirteen of the most popular languages and check how many times queries like ‘learn C++’ or ‘learn Python’ were plugged into Google and YouTube in the past month.

The result is shows a clear winner: Python.

Globally, Python had more than double the second-most searches and it was the top search in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

“As one of the most versatile coding languages today, it should come as no surprise that this is one of the most popular programming languages for those wanting to learn how to code – particularly beginners,” Specopssoft said in a post.

Last month, the firm also found Python was the most sought-after language for cybersecurity jobs.

Along with being a language people want to learn, the 30-year-old language is also among the most used by programmers around the world with analyst firm SlashData estimating there are currently around nine million developers who already use Python.

Development platform GitHub put Python high on its list of languages most used by repository contributors in its last State of the Octoverse report as did analyst firm RedMonk when it ranked the most popular languages being used on GitHub earlier this year.

So what makes Python so popular?

Co-founder of RedMonk, Stephen O’Grady, said it comes down to the language’s versatility.

“Python has continued to find a role for itself in new workloads and use cases, even as it faces more specialised competition in these arenas,” he said.

“This, as much as the language’s general accessibility and ease of use, is one of the most important factors in Python’s ability to not merely survive, but thrive.

“The question now is whether it can sustain this unprecedented ranking, or if it’s merely a blip.”

Another factor may be the rise in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

For the curious-minded, Python is a simple way to dive into the world of data analytics and neural networks, and SlashData’s last developer survey finding that “an impressive 77 per cent of [machine learning] developers and data scientists currently use Python”.

Interestingly, the language that GitHub, RedMonk, and SlashData all ranked as the world’s most popular – Javascript – was the least-most searched by wannabe self-taught programmers.

But maybe that’s because their keyword search was for ‘java script’, not ‘javascript’.

The most self-taught programming languages. Source: Specopssoft