Programming languages: JavaScript is in pole position.
Image: scyther5, Getty Images/iStockphoto

JavaScript, Java and Python are among the most sought-after programming languages from hiring managers when recruiting new developers, according to new survey from programmer training company CodinGame.

The company’s latest annual report, which is based on a survey of 15,000 developers and HR managers from around the world, revealed that six in 10 (60%) of recruiters see a “strong demand” for JavaScript, Java and Python amongst tech companies, with JavaScript the most sought-after language among 62% of respondents.

SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (TechRepublic Premium)

This was closely followed by Java, which was reported as being in-demand by 59% of recruiters, and Python, which 48% of respondents said was highly sought after.

Some programming languages were found to be popular with developers, but less so with hiring companies.

For example, 45.1% of developers said they coded in C, yet only 15.4% of companies said they required C development. Similarly, 47% of respondents programmed in C++, but less than a third (27%) of companies said they needed C++ developers.

The same was true for Python: 57% of developers code in the language, but just under half (47%) of companies have high demand for it.

Different trends

Aude Barral, co-founder of CodinGame, said it was common for programming language trends among developers to be different from trends in the marketplace.

“Some technologies can become trendy within the developer community just because they’re easy to learn, or more convenient, or more aesthetically interesting to use. And trending languages are a never-ending topic for discussion amongst developers,” she told TechRepublic.

“If there’s a match between companies’ needs in the market and trends within the developer community, then languages will grow in popularity. This is the case with Go and Rust, which is used more and more in DevOps. “

Barral added that some programming languages, such as PHP, remained widely used in the market but were otherwise “pretty much disliked” by coders, who considered them limited.

While C remains a popular language for beginners, Barral suggested its popularity had waned recently with the emergence of Python.

“With Python, it’s slightly different, as both developers and companies are fans,” she added.

“It’s the third most in-demand language for companies and developers love it, because it is easy to learn, it’s a general-purpose language, and it’s incredibly efficient to use. And in the past three years, AI and machine learning have widely contributed to the rise of Python.”

Developer frameworks

CodinGame’s survey also assessed the most popular development frameworks among programmers, with Node.js, React and .NET Core currently out in front.

Leading the pack was JavaScript UI library React: 59% of tech recruiters said they were on the lookout for developers who knew how to build applications in the React framework. Despite this, only 27.6% of developers surveyed by CodinGame said they knew how to build in React – suggesting that job-seekers could make themselves more appealing to recruiters by getting to grips with the platform.

The same trend was true for Node.js and .Net Core, though to a lesser extent. Half of recruiters said knowledge of JavaScript framework Node.js was highly desired, though only 36% of developers reported being familiar with it. For C# and C++ development framework .NET Core, those figures were 34% and 23% respectively.

SEE: Top 5 programming languages for systems admins to learn (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Another framework that makes recruiters’ top three is Angular2, Google’s TypeScript-based web platform for building mobile and desktop applications. Forty-one per cent of recruiters reported being on the lookout for Angular2+ specialists, yet only 17% of developers said that they knew the framework.

Looking ahead, CodinGame found that DevOps will be in high demand in 2021 as companies who have experienced increased needs in managing cloud infrastructure – or have otherwise migrated to the cloud as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – seek out vital expertise.

In fact, demand might be so high that recruiters are predicting a global shortage: 43% of HR professionals surveyed suggested they would struggle to find qualified DevOps professionals for their tech teams this year, with the survey results indicating that it has jumped ahead of back-end and full-stack developers as the hardest position to fill in 2021.

Barral said: “Although Covid has largely been behind this shift, it will be interesting to see if these trends continue in 2021.”

Developers and software experts recently told TechRepublic what they predicted would be most in-demand software skills in 2021. You can read what they said here.

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