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Web & Scripting Programming Language Job Trends – February 2011

02.10.2011
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At the beginning of this month, I compared the job trends for traditional programming languages like C++, Java and others. This is the second post of the recurring programming job trends posts, where we look at web and scripting programming languages. Granted, web and scripting languages does not accurately describe the list of languages, but it is the best I could come up with. 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?

Obviously, JavaScript demand is still huge, but there is a small plateau in the past month or two. This looks like a seasonal pattern, but definitely something to keep wath over. PHP demand overtakes Flex (probably for a long time), as Flex has a recent downward trend. Python looks to overtake Flex in the next few months as well, with a strong growth trend over the past several years. Ruby demand continues to grow and further distances itself from its Rails framework. Groovy is growing, but the demand is still minimal compared to the others in the list.

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

Indeed and SimplyHired agree on the plateau for Javascript at the end of 2010 after a solid growth year. On average, Flex demand has been fairly flat after the increase in June 2009. According to SimplyHired, PHP is still trailing Flex, but not by much. Unless the recent downward trend continues, PHP should overtake Flex in the next few months on SimplyHired as well. This chart also shows slow growth over the past year for Python, Ruby and Groovy, though the trends for the last half of 2010 are promising. Interestingly, Indeed is showing more of an overall growth trend than SimplyHired, but it could be due to the scale of the graphs. In another few months, we should be able to tell if the short term trend is truly flat or whether we just have a data scaling problem.

Lastly, lets look at 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.

This graph shows why looking at only one visualization of the data may not be helpful. Due to the comparative demand of Groovy, it barely shows any growth in the overall percentage graph. However, when you look at the percentage growth for Groovy demand, you see that demand is exploding. Given this type of month over month growth, we could start seeing a change in the overall trend for Groovy. Due to the scaling problem cause by Groovy’s growth, you cannot see that PHP and Javascript are still growing nicely, around 100% or 200%. Flex is definitely flatlining, and it will be interesting to see what affect HTML5 has on this trend. Python has continued growth around 500%, while Ruby and Rails are still growing rapidly. Obviously, Ruby and Rails are tied together, but seeing the growth trends starting to separate is a good sign for Ruby as a standalone language.

Based on all of these trends, you can see that web and scripting languages continue to have growing demand. The growth of Ruby, Python and Groovy make them languages that all software developers should start learning if they haven’t already. Because each of those languages can be used for simple scripting tasks, it would be fairly easy to start adding them to your toolbox. Javascript demand continues to grow, and that trend is likely to continue with the rise of HTML5. As I stated previously, HTML5 could have an interesting impact on this list of languages as well. Flex demand is already slowing and HTML5 has all things Flash as a target.

References
Published at DZone with permission of Robert Diana, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Comments

Andres Almiray replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 9:35am

If you consider Rails to be tied to Ruby then you must apply the same reasoning to Grails and Groovy.


Indeed's job tren shows Grails at the same level as Groovy. SimplyHired shows Grails also at the same level as Groov, with a 165% growth.But the job growth from indeed.com shows a more explosive growth for Grails, hitting the 12K mark.

Robert Diana replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 9:42am in response to: Andres Almiray

Andres I have included Rails mainly because it really helped spur adoption of Ruby. Groovy really gained adoption because it was a scripting language very similar to Java and ran using the JVM. Grails was built as the Rails alternative. I have wanted to remove rails from the job trends and probably will in the next installment during the summer, but I need to find an appropriate language to replace it with.

Scott Hickey replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 10:50am

Robert, Your response to Andres sounds authoritative, but you are just plain wrong about this. As someone who has been involved with and doing paid work in both Groovy and Grails since 2005, it is obvious that Groovy's growth exploded because of Grails.

Groovy has tremendous value to Java shops without Grails and I saw this first hand using Groovy on a large insurance project. I really think Java shops are missing the boat when code business logic in Java instead of Groovy, which has nothing to do with Grails. Groovy is and should be relevant without Grails. However, whether I go user groups, conferences or companies to talk about Groovy and Grails, 9 out of 10 people care about Groovy because of Grails. Groovy got on everyone's radar because of Grails v0.3 and, for the most part, it is still true today.

Dean Del Ponte replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 12:49pm

Grails introduced me to Groovy. Never used Groovy before writing my first Grails app.

Robert Diana replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 3:26pm in response to: Scott Hickey

Scott I do not mean to sound like the "final authority" on any subject. This was based more on my experience and what I had heard and seen in industry. It could be that I have lived in Java shops, and most that I hear about is from Java people, so maybe we all use Groovy as a scripting language but Grails is rarely talked about. We definitely have completely different experiences when it comes to Groovy. I will have to look at trends for Grails and compare it to Groovy, Ruby and Rails. Obviously I am missing a data point.

Robert Diana replied on Thu, 2011/02/10 - 3:38pm

OK, the talk about Groovy and Grails got me wondering what I was missing in terms of the relationship. Take a look at the two graphs from Indeed:
Basic Job Trend (http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends?q=ruby,+rails,+groovy,+grails&l=)
Growth Trend (http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends?q=ruby,+rails,+groovy,+grails&l=&relative=1)
Obviously, I missed the relationship that Grails has with Groovy. This is mainly due to me assuming that my experience and conversations were pointing to the general trend. I need to remember to avoid assumptions and rely on the data.

Andres Almiray replied on Fri, 2011/02/11 - 9:42am in response to: Robert Diana

http://twitter.com/#!/aalmiray/status/15176248644861952

'every time someone says "Groovy is just a scripting solution for Java" a puppy dies'

Groovy is definitely much more than that but as Scott rightfully remarks, Groovy's growth is strongly tied to Grails since 2006. Nowadays Groovy has penetrated other niches (build systems: gant, gradle; concurrency: gpars, desktop: griffon, testing: spock) and the list keeps growing.

Paddy 3118 replied on Fri, 2011/02/25 - 2:29am

Because of the inclusion of Rails, you'd be better off describing them as a list of common web job requirements.

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