The most in-demand programming skills

Are you a software developer on the hunt for a new gig? Or you're just curious about what programming skills are demanded these days?

One thing is for sure: employers really, really like technologists who can build, maintain and scale everything database related. 

A new analysis made by highlighted the most in-demand programming skills looked by employers as we enter the new decade.

The writer for Dice Insights, Nick Kolakowski, analyzed the data from Burning Glass – an analytics software company storing real-time data on job trends – and found that most job postings in the past 30 days wanted SQL skills.

The most in-demand programming skills
The most in-demand programming skills

Here's the full breakdown of the desired and most in-demand programming skills by job posting in the past 30 days:

  1. SQL (56,272)
  2. Java (48,949)
  3. Software Development (44,633)
  4. Software Engineering (35,898)
  5. Python (34,426)
  6. JavaScript (33,619)
  7. Linux (28,562)
  8. Oracle (24,218)
  9. Microsoft C# (20,068)
  10. Git (18,573)
  11. C++ (14,395)
  12. .NET (14,359)
  13. UNIX (14,302)
  14. SQL Server (14,299)
  15. Agile Development (12,730)
  16. Debugging (11,835)
  17. XML (11,699)
  18. OOAD (11,402)


SQL (an acronym of Structured Query Language) is a special-purpose programming language that's used to interact with complex databases. Its main duty is to analyze and understand databases consisting of fields and data within them.

SQL has been around since the release back in the 1970s during which IBM engineers Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce created the initial version to manipulate and regain data stored in the company’s database system. The two pioneers of SQL called their new language SEQUEL, although they were later forced to change it due to brand issues. SQL has since become an official standard for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The reason why SQL is the first most in-demand programming skills is that with it you can learn about Data Mining, Data manipulation, Combine data from multiple sources, manage large pools of data and servers with databases. 

Not to forget to mention that SQL programmers have always been high on demand, and they're still relevant in the 2020.


Java is rightfully placed as second in the most in-demand programming skills list.

Java is one of the most famous languages of the last two decades and commands the world of server-side application development. It also holds a sizable market share in mobile games and application development using Android and enterprise web development world.

Java was commenced with a simple thought of WORA, “write once run anywhere,” but over the period, Java actually ran everywhere.

You should learn Java to create a strong, scalable server-side application. You can create projects of any complexity in Java, as it has tools, technology, and community to help with.

If you want to learn more about Java, check out our article about Java.


Python is one of the most prepared languages in schools and colleges across the world. In the USA, Python has succeeded Java from many educational courses as a preferred language to start with. What will you gain by mastering Python? A lot.

Python is one of that language which can be used as a scripting language as well as a customary object-oriented language for a large project. And for that, it definitely makes the list of the most in-demand programming skills.

Several popular websites, including Reddit, are built upon Python frameworks like Django. In recent times, many large companies are switching to the Python-based framework as well.

I personally use Python for creating scripts though, and it is very helpful for doing something quickly, e.g. you can write a UDP message listener in 5 minutes in Python as battled to 20 minutes in Java, forget about compiling, packaging and then using. Just produce python scripts for ad-hoc tasks. If you are interested in learning Python, then The Complete Python BootCamp is a nice place to start with.


Linux, is an open-source operating system based on UNIX. Its initial release was way back in 1991. It’s a software which sites beneath it all the other software on your computer. So, the users can modify the existing code and create distributions from it. This is the main advantage of Linux over

Linux is also used in

  • Desktop computers
  • Mobile devices
  • Gaming consoles
  • Digital storing devices
  • Cameras

Not a lot of people use Linux, so that's probably why it's one of the most in-demand programming skills.


The C++ programming language builds off of C and goes back as far as 1979 when it comes to it being created. Bjarne Stroustrup created it while working on his Ph.D. thesis, and treated it as an additional feature of C. To this day, it’s still being widely used, considering that it’s the core of many operating systems, browser and games.

C++ is known to be a very dominant language. C++ allows you to have a lot of authority as to how you use computer resources, so in the right hands, its speed and ability to economically use resources should be able to surpass other languages. Thanks to C++'s performance, it is often used to develop game engines, games, and desktop apps. Many AAA title video games are built with C++.

And with that being said, C++ deserves its place in the most in-demand programming skills.


Separate data, collected by Yell Business, recently showed the difference between salaries around the world.

Developers in China are currently the biggest winners, cashing in from an adjusted salary of somewhere between $50,000-$55,000. Of course, the unadjusted salary is lower (~$34,000) than any other country but so is the living in China.

In the UK, however, developers receive an average of ~$33,000 annually. This ranks the UK in 15th place in Yell's list of 25 countries.