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Java Tops List of In-Demand Programming Languages

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Indeed.com recently went on a data mining expedition that revealed the programming language that are currently in the highest demand.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockIndeed.com, the mammoth job posting and placement site, recently went on a data mining expedition that revealed the programming language that are currently in the highest demand. Java far outstrips any other language and the demand for Objective C skills is almost non-existent.

A close look at the data shows that it reflects the number of postings that mention the specific programming languages listed at the rate of "postings per 1M job postings." I take that to mean the for every million jobs posted at Indeed, around 2,700 mention Java, 600 C# (I'm pretty sure C## is a typo: I don't know of any programming languages by that name; more importantly, Google can't find any, either), 400 C++, and so forth.

There are lots of interesting things about this chart, including:

  • At around 2,700 jobs per 1M postings, Java's frequency of occurrence exceeds that for all the other languages listed
  • It's pretty amazing that Microsoft's C# (pronounced "C-sharp") comes in at second place.
  • Open source/widely available and used languages are supposed to be popular, so I'm not at all surprised to see C++, Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, C and Object C in the list.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a markup language to manage item positioning and presentation on web pages. I'm encouraged to see this in 9th place, if a bit surprised, because I don't really think of CSS as a full-fledged "programming language."

MORE: Best Computer Programming Certifications

Back to Java Ranch!

I am both surprised and tickled to see Java sitting at the top of this heap, for all kinds of reasons. For one thing, I personally got involved with Java in 1995 when it was first taking shape and bet my company on building a certification test engine around Java that would (and still does) run and work very nicely inside web pages. I also wrote a few books about Java around that time, too, including the The 60-Minute Guide to Java and Discover Java, to mention just two. More than 20 years later, Java and I are both quite a bit older, somewhat longer in the tooth, and perhaps less hip and agile than we used to be. But it's still a surprise to see it capture so much coverage in current job postings. Perhaps that's because of security issues in the language and its JVM runtime environment discovered in the 2000s (and which still pop up from time to time) that gave Java something a bad reputation, if not a bad name.

However, it looks like Java remains the number one programming language to know in today's marketplace, and by a crashingly wide margin. That's why I give Marcus Green's excellent Java Ranch website repeated mention in this blog post. It bills itself quite accurately as "a friendly place to learn Java programming." It was that 20-plus years ago when I got started with Java, and it's even more so today with a huge, active and helpful user community chock-full of Java experts to help newbies and tyros find their way into its charmed circle. If you decide to check into Java to see why so many jobs ask for it by name, Java Ranch is a great place to start your investigations.

Beyond Java, There's Still Quite a Bit to Learn and Know

The various iterations of the C programming language: C#, C++, plain-vanilla C, and Objective C all speak to its important as a lower-level but extremely powerful system programming language. When code optimization is important and when control over even the smallest aspects of runtime behavior matters, some flavor of C will often be called upon to handle such jobs. That's also what makes learning at least one flavor, if not multiple flavors, of C so worthwhile for programmers who like to really dig into the inner workings of the systems and software they build. Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby and CSS also speak eloquently to the growing and increasingly important focus on web applications in the programming biz, since they are what make powerful, dynamic and self-modifying web pages (and the code that runs in them) possible, practical and acceptably fast for everyday use.

If you're got programming tendencies, or might be inclined to develop some, pondering this list of languages should tell you a lot about what's worth considering and investing in. For my own part, I think Java is a fine language to learn and use, but I'd also recommend tackling one or more of the other entries with some strong web chops – that includes Python, JavaScript (including environments like JSON and j.Query), Ruby and also Microsoft's C#. Just as computing is heading to the cloud more or less exclusively, so also is application programming heading to the web. You'd like to be there already when it shows up in fullest force, wouldn't you?

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