Hot Programming/Software Development Languages in 2014

Posted: 8/12/2014

By: John Hutchins, Quantix Vice President, Client Services

The IT market is booming, especially in the areas of programming and software development. As a result, I am frequently asked by my under-employed, non-technical friends and acquaintances to provide insider information on the hottest programming/software development languages. They, of course, think that simply learning how to code will be their golden ticket to a lucrative career in IT. I wish it were that easy, but I'll leave that topic for a future blog.

So what are the hot programming languages in 2014? The answer to this question will likely differ somewhat depending on who you ask. The following data comes from the job orders we've obtained from our clients thus far in 2014.

1) C# Developer. 38% of our programming/software development job orders required C# as the primary skill. I'm always curious why a company chooses one language over another. Some of the managers I've spoken with indicate that C# is often the choice because it is easy to produce quality software quickly in the Microsoft .NET environment.

2) Java Developer. 18% of our programming/software development job orders required Java as the primary skill. Interestingly, many of our clients are now seeking developers who are adept at coding what they call ‘core Java' rather than utilizing a framework such as J2EE.

3) SQL/Database Developer. 15% of our programming/software development job orders required SQL as the primary skill. With all the talk about ‘Big Data,' it's not surprising that our clients need people who are adept at moving data around and turning the data into usable information.


Image Credit: Comp 105

4) JavaScript Developer. 13% of our programming/software development job orders required JavaScript as the primary skill. From my perspective, JavaScript was always an important, but secondary skill to C#, Java or some other development language. It has only been recently that our clients have asked us to fill JavaScript Developer positions. This trend is likely driven by software products moving to the cloud.

5) PHP Developer. 10% of our programming/software development job orders required PHP as the primary skill. PHP is open source and as a result, is appealing to startup companies.

6) Ruby Developer. 5% our programming/software development job orders required Ruby as the primary skill. Ruby has been around for many years, but it has only become popular within the last six years. Like PHP, it is popular among startup companies.

7) Other. Less than 1% of our programming/software development job orders required Visual Basic, VB.NET, C/C++ or Perl as the primary skill. When I started in the IT recruiting business in 1998, Visual Basic and Java were all the rage. Java has survived while it appears that many other languages have fallen by the wayside.

C# and Java are the dominate programming/software development languages in 2014 with SQL and JavaScript following close behind. From a salary perspective, Java developers still command the highest salaries - 5% to 10% higher than any of the other types of developers. If you're interested in picking up a language and getting to work quickly, PHP is probably your best bet. If you're heading to college and plan on majoring in Computer Science, focusing on C# or Java would be recommended, although Ruby has a solid following.