Dev Skills Report: 'Keep an Eye on TypeScript'
Microsoft's TypeScript programming language shines in a new developer skills report from HackerRank, which provides a platform that uses coding challenges to match developers with employers.
The company's new "2023 HackerRank DeveloperSkills Report," rather than being based on a survey, uses data from that platform in a variety of ways regarding the number of tests, programming languages used and more.
In an examination of languages, TypeScript was a standout, along with Google's Go language.
"Keep an eye on Go and TypeScript," says a key finding from the report as presented by HackerRank. "Both languages showed substantial gains in popularity in 2022. They each grew over 300 percent in our monthly active tests, indicating increasing demand from employers."
The report demonstrated TypeScript's traction in multiple ways.
"Go and TypeScript show impressive gains," the report says in a section ranking languages by the number of monthly mandatory tests. "Down the list, two newer languages caught our attention. Go and TypeScript have been gaining popularity for years, and rank 5th and 6th in the latest GitHub language rankings (Q1 2022). Now, we're seeing that popularity translate into hiring demand. Go assessments grew by 301 percent and TypeScript by a whopping 392 percent (or 282 percent compared to trend)."
TypeScript and Go were also standouts when HackerRank measured languages preferred by developers when they have multiple options.
"The two brightest spots in the long tail are, again, Go and TypeScript," the report said. "Both showed big gains in developers, racking up the two highest growth rates of the entire list. Go clocked an absolute increase of 190 percent, and TypeScript posted a doubletake-inducing 2,788 percent gain."
Microsoft's other premier programming language, C#, didn't fare as well in the report in terms of growth rates, but it placed higher on the numerical ranking of languages preferred by developers when they have multiple options, coming in at No. 5 (while posting a 173 percent increase and moving up one spot from last year), while TypeScript was in 13th place, moving up two spots thanks to that "doubletake-inducing 2,788 percent gain."
C# was also No. 5 and TypeScript No. 13 in a list of languages preferred by developers when they have multiple options when ranked by the number of developers.
However, TypeScript topped every language when HackerRank measured programming language growth in 2022 when indexed against market growth (138 percent). Here, TypeScript was No. 1 at 182 percent growth, beating out PHP (C# was way down the list at 3 percent).
Also of special interest to readers of Visual Studio Magazine is the list of skills most in demand by employers, in which Microsoft's .NET is well down the ladder at No. 11, posting 125 percent growth.
Across the general development landscape outside of the Microsoft-centric sphere that we cover here, the report listed these key findings:
- The top languages remain strong. Java, Python, and SQL are gaining popularity based on both employer demand and developer preference.
- Niche languages aren't going anywhere. Innovation moves fast, but languages can linger on almost indefinitely. Almost every language grew over the last year.
- Data science skills are seeing surging demand. Data science-related skills like Machine Learning and Data Wrangling are gaining increasing interest from employers and developers alike. While many of these skills are too new to our platform to reliably forecast, we're watching closely over the next year to see how they continue to grow.
- REST API is a reliable, safe choice. Ranking third among Skills, REST API has exhibited steady growth since the beginning of 2021, with little of the volatility seen in other top-ranking skills.
- Candidates are more likely to engage with longer tests. Developers are nearly 7 percentage points more likely to engage with longer duration assessments than with regular tests.
- Overall, the tech industry continues growing. Growth has slowed down in 2022 compared to 2021, but it's still growth, and our conservative forecast points to a recovery in 2023. Even if overall hiring slides, innovation never sleeps and companies can't afford to fall behind in terms of tech talent.
- Nothing is pulling back. The market for developer talent is incredibly competitive and even in a bear market, it's unlikely to feel significant downward pressure. If your business is positioned for it, now is a great time to invest in tech talent.
"Overall, we see signs of a cooling market unfolding throughout 2022, but we also continue to see growth in tech hiring and in employer demand for a variety of skills and programming languages," HackerRank said in a Nov. 11 blog post. "Nearly every metric we analyzed is up in 2022 compared to 2021. But the growth curve has shallowed somewhat from the aggressive up-and-to-the-right trajectories we saw in 2021.
"While the broader economy may well be heading toward a recession (or already in one), developers will likely be insulated from the worst of it. "
David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.