Web And Scripting Programming Language Job Trends – February 2012

Yes, February is one of two job trends months. Last week I focused on the trends for traditional languages like C# and Java. Today, we return to a group of languages that people mentioned in comments frequently. I call this list “web and scripting languages” because I do not have a better name for these. This list currently includes RubyPythonPHPJavaScriptGroovy and Erlang. I dropped Flex form this post because there is too much noise in the jobs data. I was looking to include Haskell, but there is limited jobs data available and a lot of noise as well. If you think I should be including another language, please let me know in the comments.

So, here are the trends from Indeed.com:

JavaScript demand still outpaces the other languages, but the growth in the past year has been much slower. There is a jump in the past month or two, but we need to see the trends in 6 months to see if this is sustained growth. PHP, Python and Ruby are all showing solid positive trends. Groovy does seem to be growing but still lags a good amount behind the others. Erlang is showing some demand, but trails all other languages in this profile.

Now, let’s look at the short-term trends from SimplyHired.com:

SimplyHired shows very little growth in JavaScript over the course of the past 18 months, with some highs and lows in between. PHP, Python and Ruby are pacing each other, but also have not show much growth in the same period. Groovy demand is low compared to the others, so it is hard to tell if it has grown much. Erlang demand barely registers on this graph.

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

By showing relative growth, this graphs shows what companies are starting to use or where trends could be headed. Groovy and Erlang did not show much demand, but they are growing significantly. Granted, when there is little demand for a language, large growth is difficult to put into perspective. So, if there is 4500% growth, that could mean there was 1 job and that grew to 45 jobs. That is huge relative growth, but it will take some time before this effects the demand when compared to JavaScript and PHP. Interesting, Ruby growth is still fairly high and it is starting to level off. Python, PHP and Javascript do not show huge relative growth, but JavaScript and PHP have been in high demand for a long time so 100% growth (or greater) is a large number of jobs.

Interestingly, the trends have flattened a bit in the past year, when I would have expected these languages should be growing. I would say that HTML5 growth is affecting the other languages, but even JavaScript is not showing the results of this. Obviously, we need to watch these trends to see if HTML5 starts to have an affect. The growth of Groovy and Erlang is interesting, but with such comparatively low demand it just means we need to keep an eye on the trends for those languages. The one thing that concerns me is the lack of recent growth overall. I am not sure if this is due to the economy, but most of my reading points to the idea that all of these languages should be growing. These are definitely trends that need to be watched closely.


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7 thoughts on “Web And Scripting Programming Language Job Trends – February 2012

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