Hacker language preferences change with the times • The Register

Never mind what enterprise programmers are trained to do, a self-defined set of hackers has its own programming language zeitgeist, one that apparently changes with the wind, at least according to the relatively small set surveyed.

Members of Europe’s Chaos Computer Club, which calls itself “Europe’s largest association of hackers” were part of a pool for German researchers to poll. The goal of the study was to discover what tools and languages hackers prefer, a mission that sparked some unexpected results.

The researchers were interested in understanding what languages self-described hackers use, and also asked about OS and IDE choice, whether or not an individual considered their choice important for hacking and how much experience they had as a programmer and hacker.

How are CCC hackers hacking?

To be fair, the survey only had 43 respondents, so it’s too small to allow for representative conclusions, but even with a tiny sample, they note the results “add to the extremely scarce literature on the subject. The approach could serve as a model for future surveys, possibly at international level,” the paper said. 

The experience of respondents gives the survey more weight, though. Nearly three-quarters said they had five or more years of experience as a hacker, and 93 percent have five or more years of programming experience. 

As for which programming languages the hackers from CCC prefer (respondents could choose more than one answer), it appears that Bash/Shell/PowerShell are the most popular, with 72.5 percent saying they’ve used it to hack in the past year. The next most popular is Python, with 70 percent saying they used it for hacking in the past year. 

For those arguing that Bash isn’t a programming language, the researchers understand. However, “we have included them in the list anyway to avoid possible gaps in the study,” the paper said.

Beyond Python, language use drops off dramatically: C, the…