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.
Java, SQL and Python as key qualifications
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.
Somewhat shaky data base and method
The WorkGenius placement platform has researched the adzuna.de 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.
Evidence must be used with caution
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.