Businesses stick with Java, Python, and C

A recent survey found that while developers are into newer languages like Swift, Rust, and Scala, businesses prefer the stalwarts -- and Python can bridge the gap between the two

Businesses stick with Java, Python, and C
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Developers may yearn for hot newer languages like Swift, Rust, and Scala, but their employers prefer stalwarts like Java. Yet Python, a trendy language that also is gaining momentum in businesses, bucks the trend altogether.

Based on a study of more than 3,000 coding tests specified by employers, technical recruiting platform HackerRank found industries as a whole are slow to adopt new languages. "Employers are still mostly looking for strong foundational skills in good old Java, Python, and C. Unsurprisingly, they're focused on infrastructure strength, security and scalability," HackerRank said.

In HackerRank's methodology, employers administering coding tests were able to determine which languages were included in the tests, hence indicating which languages were important to them. Out of 3,000 tests, Java was enabled in 100 percent of them followed by Python (88 percent), C (70 percent), C++ (61 percent), Ruby (52 percent), C# (51 percent), JavaScript (49 percent), PHP (36 percent), Perl (25 percent), Swift (14 percent), Go (12 percent), Scala (8 percent), and Objective-C (7 percent). Companies that enabled all languages by default were eliminated from the sample set.

While Rust, Swift, F#, and Scala may have been ranked "most loved" in Stack Overflow's 2016 developer survey, they did not score high among employers looking for programmers through HackerRank. In fact, Swift has yet to fully take over Apple's own internal development. "When Swift first released in 2014, people thought Objective-C's days are numbered," HackerRank said. "But realistically, Apple isn't going to flip a switch."

Python could be the common ground between business and developer. It's getting a thumbs-up from businesses, particularly in the online financial field and financial startups, while also showing up with a 62.5 percent rating in Stack Overflow's survey.

According to HackerRack, Finance recruiters say Python is the fastest-growing language in general. "People and industries are definitely adopting Python more so over the past few years," said Heraldo Memelli, lead technical content manager at HackerRank. "It's proven itself as a dependable force for many different uses in the industry, especially in parallel to the rise of big data. It's skyrocketed in popularity among finance institutions over the past few years especially because of its rich set of finance open libraries." On the developer side, Python's syntax is cleaner and the language is generally easier to learn, Memelli said.

Java, meanwhile, remains critical to businesses, with a "perfect story" of technologies arising that depend on it, according to HackerRank. Many languages depend on Java's free, open source Java Virtual Machine, and Java runs on multiple types of OSes -- including Windows, MacOS, and Linux -- with one compiled library.

"With the proliferation of the virtual machine, employers increasingly need Java developers to sustain the foundation elements," said HackerRank. Google's choice of Java for Android mobile development has been a boon, and big data libraries like  MapReduce, HDFS and Lucene leverage the language. "Java certainly has its downsides, but ultimately it's widespread and it works. Plus, with the release of Java 8 in 2014, some of the verbosity has been minimized with new, lambda support to improve readability," HackerRank said.

This story, "Businesses stick with Java, Python, and C" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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