If you’re under the age of 39, chances are most of your developer peers learned to code in C, which ranks third in the list of this year’s best-known programming languages, according to HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report. JavaScript tops the list.

Java retained its position as the second best-known programming language between last year and this year. Yet, even though JavaScript has claimed the No. 1 spot for two years in a row, only 5% of respondents to the HackerRank 2020 Developer Skills survey reported it as their first programming language.

The report also found that full-stack developers are the most in-demand role hiring managers are looking to fill in 2020. Back-end developers and data scientists were ranked the second and third priorities, respectively.

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developer burnout (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The emphasis on full-stack developers was most prominent in companies with 1-49 employees. HackerRank defines a full-stack developer as one who has “a basic understanding (or better) of all layers of a tech stack and should be able to generate a minimum viable product on their own.”

While they are highly sought, the full-stack role is also a demanding one: 60% of full-stack developers were required to learn a completely new framework in the last year—more than any other role surveyed, the report noted.

Developer hiring trends

Even though tech giants like Google, Apple, and IBM have lifted their requirement that developers have a four-year college degree, small companies are leading the way when it comes to hiring developers without a degree.

Thirty-two percent of developers at small companies have not obtained a bachelor’s degree, according to the report, while 91% of developers at large companies have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“It’s a win for small companies and should be seen as an opportunity for larger companies to tap into a broader talent pool,” the report said.

Hiring managers are partial toward bringing on bootcamp graduates: 32% have hired a developer who learned their coding skills from a bootcamp. Yet, nearly half (49%) said they have never hired a bootcamp grad, regardless of company size.

Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) is more likely than any previous generation to attend bootcamps, which first emerged in 2011, according to the report. Nearly one in six said they’ve leveraged bootcamps to learn new skills.

The most commonly attended bootcamps were:

  • Codeworks
  • AppAcademy
  • Hack Reactor
  • Coderhouse
  • Byte Academy

Attending bootcamps pays dividends: 72% of hiring managers who have hired a bootcamp grad said they were equally or better equipped for the job than other hires, the report said.

The top reasons managers cited were: Ability to learn new technologies and programming languages quickly (71%); strong practical experience (61%); and eager to take on new responsibilities (52%).

More than 20,000 people graduated from bootcamps in 2019 in the US and Canada, the HackerRank report said, citing a recent study.

Although JavaScript is the most popular programming language hiring managers look for in a candidate, globally, 14% said they are programming language agnostic when screening job applicants.

SEE: Programming languages: JavaScript developers reveal their favorite tools (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The framework landscape

While AngularJS has remained the best-known framework since 2018, the report highlighted the fact that Vue.js “has shown steady growth, rising one spot per year since 2018,” and is eighth on the list this year.

But https://www.techrepublic.com/resource-library/downloads/cheat-sheet-artificial-intelligence-free-pdf/ saw the most dramatic change, moving up two spots between 2019 and 2020 from the sixth to the fourth most popular framework, according to the report.

“Django’s lift in usage is inextricably linked to the rise of Python,” the report stated. “A popular choice for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Python saw an uptick in usage in 2019, and has consistently been ranked as one of the top programming languages that developers want to learn year over year.”

Since Django is a Python-based framework, it is natural that Django would rise alongside it, the report said.

But developers who know Backbone.js earn the highest pay: 49% more than the global average, according to the report. Developers who know Cocoa and Ruby on Rails earn the second and third highest average salaries.

The #1 programming language developers want to learn

For the third consecutive year, Google’s Go is the No. 1 programming language developers most want to learn, according to the report.

This is not the first time a tech leader has driven programming language adoption–Twitter similarly boosted Scala when it outgrew Ruby on Rails, and Apple heightened the popularity of Swift when it moved away from Objective-C, the report stated.

“And slowly but surely, developers are learning Go,” the report observed. It inched up to the 12th best-known programming language for 2020, up from 13th in 2018.

The insights come from 116,648 developers in 162 countries between Nov. and Dec. 2019, HackerRank said.

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