Even When Considering Developers - Perl is second only to PHP

Recently I posted about the dominance of Perl in the job market compared to PHP, Python and Ruby. This cause a big stir. One idea proposed was that Perl jobs are all system administrators not developers. Well NO, that simply is not true.

To answer to criticisms of my previous post (or at least some of them) I went back to indeed.com and looked at a range of languages and added to them 'developer' and combinations on 'administrator' or 'system'. The graph [top left] shows the results for Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby developers. We can see that Perl has only decisively fallen into second place in late 2010. This seems to be because PHP recovered more strongly from the weakness which all languages had in 2010. I suspect this is something many people will be very surprised to find out.
  1. The truth is that languages which have a big install/use base generate jobs for a long time. 
  2. The older a language the more is written in it. 
  3. People extend existing systems with the language in which they were written. 
  4. Perl will be around for a long time.
  5. Strong growth has returned to the Perl developer job market.




Another shocking? truth is:

  • Secondarily, the system administrator idea is shown to be just wrong. Most Perl jobs are for developers.

So how about comparing the group of scripting languages discussed so far with C# and Java. There is no comparison. These static types languages are massively dominant with little sign of that changing over the next decade:

Finally, how about Javascript?


This is a hard one to judge. The graph above would indicate that it is as important for getting work as C#. Also, it shows Javascript job growth in line with C# and Java. The problem I have is that this could be because people add 'Javascript' to a job description without really considering people writing 'proper' programs in Javascript. However, it seems that spending a few hours learning enough Javascript to get away with saying you can code it is a good thing! 

A final point.
Some people suggested that lots of advertised jobs is not an indication of there being work available because there could be lots of people looking for work in that  job type. I am not convinced by this idea. It has a grain of truth. However, if jobs are filled quickly they do not get re-advertised or advertised in different places (which happens a lot - just check out http://www.nerds-central.com/UKITJobs.html). Therefore, I defend the idea that there will be a strong correlation between job advert numbers and easy of getting a job.