PLEASE REVIEW THE MORE RECENT VERSION FOR FEBRUARY 2011.

At the beginning of this month, I compared the job trends for traditional programming languages like C++, Java and others. This post is one of the recurring programming job trends posts, where we look at web and scripting programming languages. Feel free to review the web programming job trends from February as well. You may have noticed that I have changed the title of this series to “Web & Scripting Programming Language Job Trends”. I think this more accurately reflects the list of languages, but it is still a crappy title. Let me know if you have a better description of these languages. Currently, the list includes Ruby, Rails, Python, PHP, JavaScript, Flex and Groovy. If you think I should be including another language, please let me know in the comments.

So, what do the trends from Indeed.com look like?

Indeed Web & Scripting Programming Language Job Trends August 2010

Obviously, JavaScript continues to grow like a weed, showing a more rapid increase in the last 6 months. Flex seems to have gotten out of the doldrums with a nice upward trend over the past year. PHP is also growing nicely as it continues to be used for major sites like Facebook. In the past six months, Python has started to distance itself from the remaining languages. Ruby and Rails are showing slow growth with Ruby finally separating itself from its Rails legacy. Groovy is still trailing the pack and not growing very rapidly, but it is still having a decent growth period.

Now, let’s look at the trends from SimplyHired.com.

SimplyHired Web & Scripting Programming Language Job Trends August 2010

As stated in other job trends posts, because the SimplyHired data is limited to 2 years, we really see the short term bumps. SimplyHired does not show JavaScript to have a dominant position over the other languages like its Indeed counterpart. Javascript is still the leader and has more consistent growth than Flex. Flex had a really good bump in the last quarter, but it seems to be coming down from that temporary high. The trend for PHP looks like it may be stabilizing a bit over the past year with only limited growth. The others, Python, Ruby, Rails and Groovy, show only limited or flat growth. In all of the languages, there was a significant downward trend from January through April probably due to the continued economic issues around the world. Overall, Indeed is showing much more growth than SimplyHired, and this should be concerning for people as you would not expect two job posting aggregators to have such different trends. Hopefully, this is not pointing to a slowdown in web programming jobs overall.

Lastly, lets look at the relative trends for job growth from Indeed.com. This shows an interesting perspective of the job trends, comparing language growth as opposed to percentage of all postings.

Indeed Web & Scripting Programming Language Job Growth August 2010

Groovy demand has continued its tremendous rise over the past 2 years. Groovy may not have the same number of postings, but this type of growth could mean that it is ready for more mainstream adoption. Ruby and Rails have also shown an increasing growth trend that is much higher than the others. This has not translated to a huge increase in jobs, but even this growth trend shows that Ruby is now able to stand on its own, and not require the Rails framework. Python seems to be pulling away from the other languages in the list in the past year. We could see a rapid rise of demand for Python in the near future if this growth trend continues. PHP, Javascript and Flex do not share the huge growth of the other languages, but they are the current leaders overall and it would be difficult to sustain 1000% growth over a long period.

Based on all of these trends, you can see that web and scripting languages still have excellent demand. The relative growth of Python and Groovy make them “need to know” languages, even if you just start using them for side projects. Javascript is something anyone involved with web applications should already know, and dynamic websites require significant amounts of it. Ruby, Rails and PHP continue to grow and are an excellent addition to any programmer’s toolbox.

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