We've released a few of these reports before, and here is the first for 2015. With our database now analysing ~500,000 tech jobs every single month, we have a unique dataset which can tell us what skills organisations are hiring for and what salaries they're advertising.

The overall view

This year we have seen quite a lot of change in the popularity of various programming languages. Whether this is a feature of different industry's hiring cycles is still to be determined.

Overall salary/demand chart

Key, leading languages

Battling for 1st position are Java and C# with Java slightly ahead in popularity and earning ~USD$20,000 more than C# roles.

Mentions of JavaScript in job advertisments have declined slightly over the last 6 months allowing C# to take on 2nd position. This fall is balanced out by an increase in mentions of specific JavaScript frameworks, especially AngularJS and Backbone.js.

Languages like C++, and C have fallen in popularity. They are still mentioned in 10% - 18% of all tech job ads so are not going anywhere soon.

Other popular languages

Mentions of F# in job advertisments have fallen drastically over the last 3 months. We've looked back through our historical data and noticed its popularity peaked at around November 2014. Salaries however have remained stable, and even increased slightly in some regions. F# appears to be most popular in financial institutions, so the recent fall may be indicative of a hiring cycle in the finance industry.

Ruby continues to hang on in its position with Python seeing a solid rise in available jobs and salary. We also observed a jump in PHP mentions this year, although its salary is stuck at the lower end.

Niche languages

This month, we include a collection of the more niche languages. Their popularity amongst developers is definitely high, although very few have broken into the mainstream employment marketplace. It's important to recognise that getting a reasonable statistical measure given the low number of mentions is challenging for many of these languages.

Higher salary languages like Clojure, Haskell, Groovy, and Scala are mostly found in R&D and finance related roles. Many of the jobs are for Java Developers with these languages mentioned "in passing". The jobs are for places like Qualcomm, Bloomberg, Amazon, and we even found a cryptographer role at MIT in the mix too.

At the lower end of the pay scale, languages like Lisp, and Fortran are found in Software Engineer roles (as opposed to Software Developers), and in universities or government organisations like the Australian CSIRO.

United States

Programming Language salaries in the USA

As we often see, the USA shows a very similar pattern to the overall view however salary ranges are very constrained. America is most definitely a Java country with demand outstripping any other language by ~8%. The family of Cs continue to cluster together in the middle, with Python coming up behind.

There is very little difference in salaries across the board. Taking an average salary for the United States is difficult as it gets skewed easily by low demand but high paying niche skills. The vast majority of jobs are in the USD$90,500 - USD$94,000 range with Java skills sitting at the top of that range. There is a cluster of lower paying roles which include older skills like VBA and Visual Basic in the USD$80,000 - USD$90,000 range.

Great Britain

UK Salary vs Demand

The English continue to love C# (although they pay more for Java skills).

Language choices in Great Britain are very conservative - we see the vast majority of jobs mentioning only the key programming languages with a large cluster of languages towards the lower demand end. The skills most in demand are the very well established, traditional languages.

In terms of salary, the majority of jobs are offering salaries in the £45,000 - £50,000 range. There is a peak of higher salary jobs at £56,000 being mostly Java related.

After a jump in popularity last year, Python has fallen back slightly. These jobs however are paying at the higher end of the scale similar to Java. Most advertised jobs mentioning Python are actual "Python Developer" roles, with a few being primarily Java, C#, or C++ roles.


Australia Salary vs Demand

As noticed in other studies, Australia has an absence of some of the more niche languages. Being a smaller marketplace in general, this is not unexpected. Salaries are generally at the higher end with the average salary being AUD$107,805.

Java is the leading language here paying only slightly above C#, Javascript, and C++ roles. PHP continues to be reasonably popular, and R is paying extremely well with a respectable number of jobs available.

Key take-away points

  • Java is the most popular and best paying language across the board with a consistent number of jobs advertised each month.

  • The UK has a very high demand for C# skills, yet pay ~£7,000 more for Java skills.

  • Python popularity has risen again since its fall late last year, and continues to demand a salary at the higher end.

  • Niche languages like Clojure and Haskell, are still mostly mentioned in job ads in passing, as a "nice to have" skill. This provides learning opportunities for people interested in those languages - get paid for a Java role, but tinker with Erlang on the side.

Important points about this analysis

  • When reading these charts, the lower the demand for a skill, the less reliable the salary indicators become. It only takes a handful of jobs to shift the data point. To compensate for this, we've used a weighted average based on the number of jobs at various salary points, although even this isn't perfect.

  • Job data is extremely useful as it's plentiful and provides a lot of fascinating and interesting data to work with. It also has its challenges. You should read our full disclosure about the analysis for an insight into these challenges.