A recent survey undertaken by Harvey Nash and KPMG have found that developers with Java programming skills are in short demand, with no clear pathway at this moment in time to increase the number of professionals in the market. Developers with skills in Java, React and Python are amongst the hardest skills to find, especially in the bigger cities where the demand is greatest.

It’s long been common knowledge that complex programming language skills are desired, with Java one of the most common languages being used in development on modern day builds. Two-thirds of tech leaders in London report shortages in finding available programmers, with figures in the North-West and the North-East continuing to rise. Accompanying this shortage are demands for those skilled in data science and analytics, DevOps and cloud skills, so all talent shortages across the development and data sector need to be addressed.

JavaScript takes lion share

A survey conducted by Jet Brains at the start of 2019 put JavaScript at the forefront of languages being used by developers, taking 69% of the market at that time with another 5% intending to move over to using it. HTML/CSS followed behind at 61%, then SQL with 56%.

With this in mind, it is clear that the skills gap must be addressed to meet this demand. Given that back in 2017 The Royal Society called for an increase in investment to allow schools across the UK to train students in further computing education and new technologies, this is not new nor unexpected. There has been support for this as well as ventures into new curriculum activities in schools to prepare students for the digital skills they will need for their future careers.

In addition, Google’s Code with Google tool was launched in early July to aid students and teachers in developing coding skills, right from beginner to advanced levels. Code with Google brings Google’s free resources into one place, such as Grasshopper, CS First and ACS and is available globally.

Will JavaScript Be Replaced?

At the moment it certainly seems as if JavaScript skills are where developers need to train in order to both fill the skill gap and also make themselves more desirable to employers. This isn’t likely to change in the near future, but having skills in secondary languages such as Shell scripting, SQL and Python are also highly desirable, as this group of languages are often used in addition for one off projects. The programming language Go in particular has been highlighted as growing very fast in popularity, with 13% of developer in the Jet Brains survey identifying it as a language they would like to adopt, and 18% already using it (up 10% from 2018).