Lack of IT skills: Which programming languages ​​are most in demand?

The debate about the shortage of skilled labor is controversial in Germany, but the absolute figures in software development speak for themselves: At the beginning of June 2022, more than 155,000 developer positions were posted nationwide. Different programming languages ​​are required in each case – given the abundance of vacancies, however, there should be something to suit almost anyone who can program.

During research, the team from the WorkGenius placement platform evaluated open tenders according to programming languages ​​and divided them according to the placement of the projects and the employers. Knowledge of Java, SQL and Python is currently most in demand: About 31,600 vacancies require Java, the database query language SQL (it is strictly not one of the programming languages) is required in 28,100 vacancies. Python, which is particularly well-established in the field of computer science and machine learning, is, according to the publishers, a prerequisite for 26,800 of the evaluated positions.

The location after location should not come as a surprise: the big German cities are ahead of the game here, especially Berlin with currently at least 13,900 vacancies for developers (of which 3,000 require Java, 2,900 Python and 2,200 knowledge of SQL). The federal capital is followed by Munich with 12,300 vacancies and Hamburg with 7,700 vacancies.

Frankfurt am Main, on the other hand, has the most vacancies per 100,000 inhabitants, if you put the numbers in relation instead of comparing absolute vacancies: Around 6,600 developer jobs are advertised in the Hessian banking city, which corresponds to 863 positions per 100,000 inhabitants. The shift from the hardware to the software world is also reflected in the figures in Baden-Württemberg: Stuttgart, Germany’s stronghold of the automotive industry, is in second place after Frankfurt with 5,300 open developer positions per 100,000 inhabitants. North Rhine-Westphalia (Wuppertal, Duisburg and Bochum) has the lowest demand, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania falls behind in a direct comparison of the federal states.

WorkGenius research: most searched programming language in Germany, status: June 2022

The most searched programming languages ​​in Germany according to WorkGenius from June 2022.

(Image: WorkGenius)

But what are the other results of the WorkGenius research? Vacancies also require knowledge of JavaScript (22,444 jobs), HTML / CSS (again not a programming language, but often included in rankings: 16,572 jobs), C # (12,297 jobs), PHP (about 9,000 jobs), C / C ++ (just over 6000 offers) and Swift with 1600 vacancies. Visual Basic and Delphi / Object Pascal bring up the back end with less than 1000 applications. The WorkGenius team breaks down the exact results by city and federal state. Oddly enough, other programming languages ​​do not appear in the article, which is why research must be treated with caution. There may be some analytical bias here, and an explanation follows below.

In terms of Python and Java, the top scores largely coincide with current rankings, which evaluate programming languages ​​according to their popularity. According to the TIOBE index, Python was “programming language of the year 2021” and has regularly taken over the rankings – where Java and Python usually perform similarly well. However, JavaScript has often been at the forefront lately, and an increasing number of developers seem to be struggling with newcomers like Rust (according to SlashData, the Rust community now includes over two million developers) – which is not necessarily reflected in employers’ demand and job offers.

The WorkGenius placement platform has researched the job portal for ads that require a specific programming language or database language (such as SQL). The analysts took into account all tenders that opened on June 3, 2022. The team used the names of the programming languages ​​as keywords. To make hits comparable to the evaluation, the ratio between the ads and the population of the respective cities and states is extrapolated to 100,000 inhabitants, the publishers of the study say in small print.

The regular viewing and evaluation of job offers should be in the platform’s work area (and self-interest): According to the website, WorkGenius places freelance developers – and not in permanent positions, but project-related to companies. However, the approach of the analysts is not representative in the scientific sense. A clear shortcoming is the limited choice of programming language in the subjective choice of keywords. Apparently, the analysts did not have all the relevant programming languages ​​on their screens: languages ​​like Rust, Kotlin, Go or R were neglected, which the blog post gives no reason for.

In order to obtain reliable results, publishers should have taken into account other job portals and extended the study period and checked their results with additional tests. In addition, several international employers offer developers the opportunity to work externally, which is why a differentiation according to the geographical distribution of addressees and offers in relation to any location independence (instead of a rough list according to federal states) would have been interesting. Absolute figures from job portals at a given time are always merely snapshots with limited validity for future labor market trends.

Anyone interested in the details of WorkGenius research can read the results in the blog post on their website.


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