Java Tops The List


It is not at all surprising me by any means that Java tops the most-demanding programming language in the world and the Java Programmers are highly paid as well.

Here is a Chart for you!

It ranks dozens of programming languages against 12 weighted data sources: Google search, Google trends, Github, Stack Overflow, Hacker News, Reddit, Career Builder, Dice, Topsy, and IEEE Xplore. In addition to the overall rank, you can view which languages are rapidly growing, are in high demand in the workplace, popular in social sites and open source hubs (e.g., GitHub and Stack Overflow), or your own custom weighting. You can also filter by language type: web, mobile, enterprise, or embedded.

Interestingly enough, Java tops the list for all of the rankings. To account for the weighting to be skewed by people needing help with the languages rather than actual popularity, IEEE Spectrum separated some sources to differentiate between queries that were asking questions versus resources for current coders.

Of course, there's much more to consider when choosing a language than just popularity (for first-time coders, Lifehacker readers voted for Python), but this is an interesting look at the current state of programming languages.

Platypus Man, A Professional Software Engineer says: "Speaking as a professional software engineer, the biggest skill isn't any one specific language, but the ability to pick up new languages easily and program well in any of them. If you want to learn a language for your own reasons, sure, go for it, but I wouldn't specifically go out and learn a language just because it's "in demand" and hope for the best."

To which Melanie Pinola, author of this article replies as: "I agree. But everyone has to start somewhere! and things like job demand and growth are important considerations for some."

They had a number of interesting findings. Here are my three big take-aways from their results:

Jobs requiring Java are the highest paying - The average salary for Java jobs across the US, Great Britain and Australia was about $84,000 (in U.S. dollars). The next highest paying jobs were those requiring Ruby/RoR, VBA and Objective-C, all close to what Java positions paid.

JavaScript is the language most in demand - Jobs looking for people skilled in JavaScript were, far-and-away, the most plentiful, mentioned in about 14% of the job listings. C# programmers were the next highest in demand (9%), followed by Java coders (8% of listings). As I wrote last week, JavaScript is the top programming language choice among startups, so this isn’t so surprising.

Jobs requiring niche languages are in lower demand and pay less - Clojure, Haskell, Lisp and Fortran ranked the lowest in terms of both demand and pay. As the authors pointed out, though these languages are popular among developers (e.g., Clojure and Haskell, for example, are popular on GitHub), “They don't however offer stable employment (yet).”

If you poke around MSGooroo you’ll find some other interesting salary/jobs data by programming language. The site presents a more detailed breakdown of pay and demand for different languages within the U.S., Great Britain and Australia. Within the U.S., for example, Java will increase your salary by about $9,300 a year, while having JavaScript on your resume will boost your pay by about $6,700 annually.

It’s well worth reading their full analysis, including nicely detailed disclosures on their methodology. Have at it!

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-Chief Administrative Officer.

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