In order to arrive at its conclusions, IEEE Spectrum analyzed 11 metrics from eight sources. Those sources included Hacker News, Stack Overflow, Github, CareerBuilder, Twitter, Google Search, and Google Trends. The organization’s resulting list of the top programming languages is interactive and filterable; with a few clicks, you can create (for instance), a custom job-centric ranking:
Why are these programming languages in particular in such high demand among businesses? At least in the case of Python, the answer is pretty straightforward: in addition to being an immensely popular general-purpose language, more and more technologists within companies are adapting Python to specialist ends, including (but certainly not limited to) machine learning and finance IT. No wonder a JetBrains survey from earlier this year found that Python was the most-studied programming language among developers.
The newest programming language on the top part of IEEE’s list, Swift, is there thanks to the enduring popularity of the iOS/macOS ecosystem. If a company wants to build iOS apps for either internal or customer-facing use, they’re increasingly likely to utilize Swift, which Apple has positioned as the successor to its decades-old Objective-C.
The one specialized programming language in the top 10, MATLAB, is a nod to businesses’ continuing need for analytics and computing, especially in the fields of economics and engineering. No huge surprises there.
What’s the takeaway for recruiters, hiring managers and businesses? If you're hiring for positions that rely on any (or any combination) of these programming languages, it's worth understanding that you're definitely not alone. With the unemployment rate at a significant low, these positions may require additional attention and effort in order to attract, engage and hire a qualified candidate for your business.