Traditional Programming Language Job Trends – February 2012

Once again, it is time for the job trends for traditional programming languages. Just like the most recent trends updates, we are only looking at Java, C++, C#Objective CPerl and Visual Basic. This list has stayed fairly stable during the past few updates and I am always looking to see if something else should be added. Please let me know if you think some other language deserves to be in this group. Also, please review some of the other job trends posts to see if your favorite language is already in one of these posts.

First, here is a look at the job trends from

Most of the job trends seem to have gone flat in the past year. Objective-C is showing solid growth and C# is actually showing a slight upward trend. You may wonder why this is happening and in the past I had guessed that this was economy related. Given the activity I have seen in the past year, I am starting to think that the growth in jobs is not happening in these traditional languages as much. There is huge growth in mobile development, especially with Objective-C leading the way in iOS development. You may think that Java should increase given its ties to Android, but Java is starting to slowly decline in the enterprise, so mobile growth is just offsetting this decline. Perl shows a slightly declining trend, but it is not sustained enough yet to really have comments about.

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

SimplyHired’s trends are fairly similar to Indeed, but there are some differences. First, Visual Basic looks like it is in decline, which would make sense. Objective-C does not show the same type of growth as the Indeed trends, only gaining slightly. All of the others look fairly steady in the past few months.

Finally, here is a review of the relative scaling from Indeed. This provides an interesting trend graph based on job growth:

Objective-C continues to grow like a weed, with some minor dips every few months. C# growth is solid, hovering around 100% for the past 3 years. Visual Basic and C++ continue to show no growth. Perl and Java are still showing signs of life, but growing at 25% is not very significant.

What does all this mean? First, it is clear the iOS development is hot as is all mobile development. It will be interesting to see if Java can get some sustained growth with the rise of Android developmnent. From the trend perspective, Perl should be watched to see if there is a significant decline over the next year. C# will likely continue its growth as a replacement for C++ and as a language for Windows Phone development. Lastly, Visual Basic really looks like it may finally disappear over the next few years.

UPDATE: For those of you looking for Ruby, Python, Groovy, JavaScript, PHP or Erlang, please look at the February 2012 Web and Scripting Job Trends.

UPDATE: This article is translated to Russian by Everycloudtech.

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32 thoughts on “Traditional Programming Language Job Trends – February 2012

    1. Ishan is difficult to gauge for a few reasons. First, it is more of a framework than a language, so searches for it get more noise because of the other technologies that get included. Second, “ASP” is difficult to search for by itself, and is not always written as “ASP.NET”. The numbers are much less reliable than the other searches.


    1. @Ishan

      Part of the reason is that those blogs apparently successfully gave you the idea that Ruby is somehow used a lot, while in reality it really isn’t. It’s typically in the 1 to 2% range, almost always ranking far behind Java, C, Objective-C, C# and PHP.


  1. Hi Rob,

    a significant amount of Perl shops tend to post (and Perl developers tend to apply for) job offers in While this is not directly related to your post, I believe most of them find it a more targeted site than SimplyHired or Indeed, which could potentially influence your results. The same could happen for the other languages, of course.

    How would you evaluate this approach of having a niche-job website (in any language or other specific job niche, for that matter)? Could the potential benefits outweigh the smaller exposure (in comparison with bigger, more generic sites like


    1. Breno

      SimplyHired and Indeed are more job aggregators than pure job boards. I believe they list jobs from various sources, but I am not sure if they use highly targeted sites. The job trends posts were never meant to be a highly statistical analysis either, just an idea of how things were moving. I would like to pull in more data to get a better idea of programming trends in the long term.

      The niche job site is great when you really want to target specific things. Especially when you look at something like, you are definitely getting people that are really into Perl, not just some guy who used it a few years ago.


    1. Ishan

      DBMS are much harder to get trends for because of the noise in the job data. Oracle and SQL Server show up in so many non-programming jobs that the trends are meaningless. I do have a NoSQL job trends comparison, and that will be updated this month as well.


  2. […] 近日Regular Geek 发表了一篇文章《Traditional Programming Language Job Trends——February 2012》,分析了Java、C++、C#、Objective C、Perl及Visual […]


    1. Santosh

      I am sorry to disappoint you, but I will not be writing about job trends for mainframe technology. I am trying to keep a focus on where the industry is going in the future, not where it was quite some time ago.


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