Reflecting On Programming Language Trends

I was looking at the Jobs Tractor’s Programming Language Trends Review for the Year 2012.

Trends are interesting to observe and reflect on. I just picked 6 languages – Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, JavaScript and Objective-C.  I also looked at Indeed and TIOBE for more data. Why these 6 languages? I assumed that web and mobile application development will dominate 2013.

  • PHP is catching up as a web language for new hires. If you look at Job Trends from, you will get a slightly different picture. Here is the absolute trend and here is the relative trend comparison of Java and PHP. PHP jobs are increasing faster than Java jobs but Java is growing from a bigger base and higher absolute numbers. 
  • Java jobs may be boosted by increased Android native apps development just like Objective C is moving up because of iOS app development. This year we will see Windows Mobile apps starting to show up and that may have an effect on C# as well though it is difficult to tell what that would be (depends on how Windows Mobile devices perform in the marketplace).
  • The only surprise to me in this is that Actionscript is still higher than Python and the difference between Ruby and Python. Indeed tells a different story. Look at the absolute and relative trends between the two.
  • Javascript is not a surprise. It is the most popular language for client side development of web applications. It is also a heavily used in cross platform (HTML based) mobile apps.It is likely to move up even further in 2013.

A few more observations and thoughts.

  • Who is hiring more? If it is from small organizations, you will see the increase in demand for certain languages?
  • A look at Global data may give a more realistic picture since a lot of programming is outsourced.
  • Industry Employment Trends in US,  provides some interesting insights. What happens when some of the industries start recovering in the next few years?
  • Salary Range (from provides some interesting information – While Java, Python, Ruby and Javascript range from 50k to 130k , PHP ranges from 40K to 120K and Objective C ranges from 30K to 110K.

There is a lot to think about and research. But it is a fascinating exercise.


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