The Future of Coding and Its Impact on Developers and API Providers

With tech booming and job openings for developers increasing by double-digit percentages every year, it has seemingly never been a better time to be a developer. But salary and work environments can vary considerably from programming language to programming language.

According to Computer Science Zone, the most popular programming languages by job openings are Java, JavaScript, C# and Python. Programming languages like Scala and Rust might be growing in buzz, particularly in some circles, but as far as job openings are concerned, their buzz has not translated into widespread demand for developers.

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Image Credit: computersciencezone.org

Of course, programming language popularity isn't always correlated with salary. Despite the fact that Computer Science Zone counted almost 150,000 job openings calling for Java skills in December 2014, Java jobs, with an average salary of $84,000 across nearly 150,000 openings, far lagged Scala, which had an average salary of $112,000 but just 3,500 open positions.

Salary isn't the only consideration for new developers or developers looking to learn a new language, however, and programming language popularity varies according to work environment. Computer Science Zone says that large enterprises favor Java and .NET skills, while startups prefer programming languages like JavaScript, Ruby and PHP. So for developers looking to work for a particular kind of company, knowing the preferences of their preferred employers is important.

Implications for API Providers

While it's difficult to predict which established programming languages will remain popular and which up-and-coming programming languages will sustain their growth, API providers can count on a few trends.

First, the number of programming languages being actively used is only likely to increase. With more and more companies, particularly startups, embracing microservices, there's room for many programming languages and stacks to find niches. API providers should consider this and be thoughtful about the programming languages they develop tutorials and SDKs for.

Second, the demand for developers has led to the growth in the number of coding boot camps. Unlike computer science programs at universities, coding boot camps, which Computer Science Zone says are typically 10 weeks in length and cost on average around $10,000 to attend, tend to be focused on practical Web and mobile development using popular programming languages like JavaScript and popular frameworks like Ruby on Rails. While it remains to be seen just how many graduates of coding boot camps will make their way into the professional developer ranks in the coming years, API providers would be wise to remember that the people integrating with their APIs will likely be a diverse lot, making documentation quality and overall developer experience all the more important.

Patricio Robles Follow me on Google+

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