Software Development
Coding / Web development

Which programming languages are hot in 2018?

We spoke to a few coding schools for this month's editorial calendar topic. Here's the local scoop.

You'll get there. (Photo by Flickr user Michael Himbeault, used under a Creative Commons license)’s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The July 2018 topic is programming languages. These stories explore the rise and fall of certain types of code, and the people that are using them to build new things.

Ahead of 2018, just as last year was dying off, software development bootcamp Coding Dojo crunched the data from’s dev jobs for its annual report on the most sought after programming languages.

After poring over thousands of  job postings, the results were in: Java, heavily used for application building in the financial services industry, was once again leading the pack, with 62,000 job postings across the country.

But unlike Java, which decreased in popularity by about 6,000 jobs from the previous yearly analysis, Python rose in popularity by about 5,000 jobs and claimed the number two spot. Python, a general purpose language first released in 1991, has seen a steady uptick in usage over the past eight years, perhaps driven by its frequent use in fields like data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Though no fresher data has yet been made available for Philly-specific demand, last year the Bellevue, Wash.-based company ranked en vogue languages in the Philadelphia area:

  1. Java
  2. JavaScript / MEAN stack
  3. Python
  4. C#
  5. Swift / iOS

In search of fresher data, and to get some context on what the developers of the future are learning at local bootcamps and digital education nonprofits, we reached out to a few local instructors. Here’s what they said:

Penn’s boot camp

In case you haven’t heard, the University of Pennsylvania launched the Penn LPS Coding Boot Camp, an initiative of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies in collaboration with “workforce accelerator” company Trilogy Education Services.

“Our full-stack coding curriculum teaches Java and JavaScript, two of the languages in highest demand in the Philadelphia metro area, as well as HTML/CSS, MySQL, JQuery, React, and more,” Rita McGlone, Executive Director of Professional and Organizational Development at Penn, said in an email. “Some of our students have already secured web development positions weeks before graduation.”

Citing stats from Burning Glass Labor Insights, McGlone said in the last 12 months there were 11,766 job openings in the Philadelphia market requiring knowledge of Java and 7,290 job openings requiring knowledge of JavaScript.

New York Code & Design Academy

“JavaScript is universally in demand,” said NYCDA’s Clayton Wert, the student success coach at the company’s Philly campus. “The web is built upon it and is integral to everything that lives on the internet. For that reason students are introduced to JavaScript in the first week and use it every week after. To have the baseline knowledge and understanding of JavaScript is the nucleus of any successful programmer that an employer would be searching for in this market.”

Wert said, beyond demand for specific languages, problem-solving and creative thinking is the skill in highest demand for programmers.

“Languages come and go as we’ve seen with PHP, and as a lot of employers are currently implementing React, but those same employers will always need developers who can solve problems and think outside the box,” Wert said.

Girl Develop It

“The majority of our students start with HTML/CSS,” said Director of Programs LeeAnn Kinney. “In fact, it’s our most popular class across the country. [They] then go into more advanced languages like JavaScript, JavaScript libraries, and backend languages. We also see folks from academia who come looking to learn a specific language like Python.”

Flatiron School

At the end of last year, WeWork acquired New York-based coding bootcamp Flatiron School, which has campuses in six cities. Though there are no Philly campuses, the bootcamp has an online platform for students to join remotely.

“We know that most employers are interested less on language and more on broad skill sets,” Flatiron VP of Education Joe Burgess said in an email. “For our web developer program, we teach two of the most high demand languages: JavaScript and Ruby. In our data science course we teach Python. Ultimately, developers change their programming language constantly and most employers are looking for employees who can learn independently and have the fundamentals to be successful.”


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