Coding Language Use and Popularity in U.S. Varies by City: Survey

Coding Language Use and Popularity in U.S. Varies by City: Survey

Job-seeking developers should have skills in 3 popular programming language skills to be able to work and live almost anywhere, says report.

Software developers who want to live and work in various cities around the United States might want to do some research before sending out their resumes to find out where their unique coding skills might be in the greatest demand.

That's the conclusion of a new survey conducted by online and on-premises software writing school, Coding Dojo, which found that around the U.S., the use of certain coding languages can be higher in specific metro areas based on the needs of companies located in those cities.

The popularity of coding languages varies across 11 major media markets in the U.S., the study reports, through rankings of the top five programming languages in each of the 11 cities. The rankings are based on company advertisements seeking developers to fill jobs in those cities, according to Coding Dojo. The cities in the report include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Houston, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle.

Ranking first is New York City, where the number one sought language is JavaScript/MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS and Node.js), which is very popular with Bloomberg, a large employer in the city, the report states. Other highly-sought languages there are Java, Python, C# and Swift/iOS. 

In Los Angeles, Python is the most highly-sought language by employer Space-X, followed by Java, JavaScript/MEAN stack, C# and PHP. In Chicago, the most sought after language skills are in Python at Google, followed by Java, JavaScript/MEAN stack, C# and PHP.

Other cities and their top skills for hiring, and number one employers searching for the skills, are:

  • Philadelphia
    1.     1.Java and Lockheed Martin
    2.     2.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    3.     3.Python
    4.     4.C#
    5.     5.Swift / iOS
  • Dallas 
    1.     1.Python and Capital One
    2.     2.Java
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack 
    4.     4.C# 
    5.     5.PHP 
  • San Jose
    1.     1.Python and Apple
    2.     2.Java 
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    4.     4.Swift / iOS
    5.     5.Ruby on Rails
  • Washington D.C.
    1.     1.Python and Amazon and Capital One (tie)
    2.     2.Java
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    4.     4.C# 
    5.     5.PHP 
  • Houston
    1.     1.JavaScript / MEAN stack and JP Morgan Chase
    2.     2.Java
    3.     3.Python
    4.     4.C#
    5.     5.PHP
  • Boston 
    1.     1.Python and Akamai
    2.     2.Java
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    4.     4.C#
    5.     5.PHP
  • Atlanta
    1.     1.Python and Home Depot
    2.     2.Java
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    4.     4.Ruby on Rails
    5.     5.C#
  • Seattle
    1.     1.Python and Amazon
    2.     2.Java 
    3.     3.JavaScript / MEAN stack
    4.     4.C# 
    5.     5.Swift / iOS 

The job skill rankings were calculated by adding up the number of job postings mentioning coding languages on employment websites Dice.com and Indeed.com, while also integrating the average monthly Google search figures for keywords related to coding languages. In addition, Coding Dojo instructors were interviewed about student demand for each language, according to the company.

 

Martin Puryear, principal engineer and a master instructor at Coding Dojo, told ITPro that the study was compiled to help developers learn which coding skills are in the highest demand in large cities around the nation so they can pursue jobs they'd like using their skills.

"We started the study intending to use it internally to tune our product mix," said Puryear. "As we looked at it, we realized it would be interesting to us, but also to aspiring programmers."

That's when the school decided to release the results publicly to share the details. The school offers intensive 14-week onsite coding programs in Chicago, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, D.C., as well as online programs that can be taken from anywhere.

"I think it confirms a lot of what we were already thinking," said Puryear. What is surprising is that some of the languages which get lots of press attention, such as Ruby on Rails, weren't mentioned as much as other core languages, he said. "It's different in the amount of buzz you might hear about 'cutting-edge emerging technologies [like Ruby] and how much they are getting used."

That's not to knock Ruby on Rails, he added. "Ruby is a beautiful language and it makes developers happy to write beautiful code, but there a huge discrepancy between how it's looked at by software craftsmen and how it's looked at by significant companies" for use in their applications.

A core finding of the research is that "to be really valued at the company you are at and for other potential employers is to be really flexible and competent at the languages you work with," he said. "The answer really does have to be … different tools for different jobs."

For most developers, that means it's good to be competent in at least three languages, including JavaScript, Python and Java or C#, he said. "It's good to learn at least three so you can extrapolate more easily," he added.

"With those three, you've got JavaScript, which is ubiquitous on the web; you've got Python, which is a really flexible and dynamic language not only for the web but is also emerging for data science; and then you have the industrial strength languages like Java or C# for other things," said Puryear. "That's not the only way to go, but it's a good mix that gives you lots of varied skills. These three are great because they really cover all the bases."

At the same time, times change and so do coding languages, so developers must be willing to update their skills and follow the trends in the job market, he said.

"That means you need to master more than one language if you want to move across the country or go into different industries, or even into different roles in large or small companies," he said. "Small companies can't afford specialists and want generalists with many skills."

To stay employable, developers will always need to adapt, said Puryear. "You don't just need to know other languages to move to a different state. You're going to need to do some different tomorrow. You want to be ready for that."

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