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Programming Language Job Trends Part 1 – February 2014

Yes, it is job trends time again! I am changing the list of languages a bit because I wanted to start including more languages. So, we are now up to 3 different posts just for languages. In Part 1, we look at Java, C++, C#, Objective C, and Visual Basic. I have decided to drop the “Traditional” label as most languages are used in various different scenarios, and traditional vs web was just a bad representation. Part 2 (PHP, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and PERL) and Part 3 (Erlang, Groovy, Scala, Lisp, and Clojure) will be posted in the next few days as well.

First, we look at the job trends from Indeed.com:

So, you can see that much of this graph has a very negative trend over the past two years. Java has obviously been in a fairly steady decline since 2012. C++ and C# are now following the same trend, which is heading downward as well. Oddly, Visual Basic has stayed constant. Objective C was rising into 2013 but has a slight decline towards the end of the year. I am surprised by the Java decline given the rise of the Android platform, but I am guessing that the job postings are talking more about Android itself than Java. The fact that Objective C is not rising is somewhat surprising but likely has to do with the breadth of the industry. There are probably more jobs and iOS development maintains a certain percentage of them.

Now, let’s look at SimplyHired’s short term trends:


SimplyHired’s data continues to be somewhat outdated, at over 6 months old, so we are not really looking at current trends. Most of the trends look flat for the last six months with a slight uptick in July or August. Overall, the trends do not really tell us much of interest in the short term. I will continue to review the SimplyHired data to ensure it provides value, but if it continues to lag too much, it may not be useful.

Finally, here is a review of the relative scaling from Indeed, which provides an interesting perspective on relative job growth:


Objective C has been dominating the relative growth for a few years now, but you can see that it started to decline a bit in 2013. It is difficult for an established language to continue 500% growth for several years, but the Objective C growth may finally be slowing down. Only C# is showing positive growth, although it is minimal. Visual Basic, Java and C++ are all showing negative trends at the end of 2013.

So, this pack of languages have seen some tougher times of late. Part of this is likely due to the rise of mobile development, but the trends could be changing as developers start to use more alternative languages like Scala or Clojure. Mobile development does not seem to be affecting the overall job trends even though it is the primary driver of growth in this area. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of this series in the next few days to see if those languages are seeing similar trends.

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  1. Not sure if you can really trust the Objective C stats, see the 10th page of the related job postings:



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