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Which programming languages are most popular in 2019?

Talent Trends

This time, we’re taking a look at the most popular programming languages in 2019. We took the top 10 languages from own data then compared it to Stack Overflow’s (their Developer Survey is the largest survey of coders around the world).

Before we dive into the analysis, it’s important to mention that whilst TalentPool candidates are all recent graduates, 80% of the developers surveyed by Stack Overflow have more than 5 years of professional coding experience. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the results:

How do TalentPool’s candidates computing language preferences compare to those on Stack Overflow?

As you can see, three languages are in the top 5 of both sets of results: HTML & CSS, which are foundational to structuring webpages; and general-purpose coding languages Java and Python.

HTML & CSS are essential to front-end development and Java and Python are the two hottest programming languages in the market at the moment, so you’d expect to see these languages at the top of the list!

There is a fair amount of overlap further down the list – one key difference is that maths-based-data-analysis language MATLAB ranks 3rd on TalentPool’s list but doesn’t make Stack Overflow’s top 10.

So what?

There are 3 main points that we can draw from this analysis:

    1. Computing languages come in and out of fashion
    The popularity of computing languages changes over time, which influences their usage amongst different generations. Python sits higher up on the TalentPool list as it is a newer language, whilst Java would have been the language to learn when the majority of Stack Overflow developers were learning to code (basically, if you’re under the age of 40 you’re unlikely to know Java).
    2. University courses have updated accordingly
    As new languages emerge, Computer Science courses have updated their syllabuses accordingly. In addition to this, other courses now include coding as part of their syllabus as the demand for computer coding skills increases across all industries e.g. most Maths graduates would now be familiar with MATLAB.
    3. Where you work can also influence which languages you learn
    All candidates who are on TalentPool have an expressed interest in working for a start-up and this is reflected in the languages they learn. The prominent positions of MATLAB, SQL and R (all used for statistical computing) on the TalentPool list points towards a higher level of interest in data analysis, and potentially the recent advancements in machine learning.

Stack Overflow developers, on the other hand, work for a range of companies. Languages such as Net, Visual Basic, C# and Java are only really used on legacy systems at larger enterprises, which explains why they feature higher up on Stack Overflow’s list.

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Post written by Sophie Hudson and Grace Dillon from TalentPool