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Industry Reports

2023 Developer Skills Report: Despite Headwinds, Demand for Tech Skills Remains Strong

Written By James Voytek | November 11, 2022

It’s hard to turn anywhere in 2022 without hearing talk of recession. Depending on the day of the week or the latest indicator, we’re either already in one, or heading into one. From layoffs to inflation to cooling real estate markets, all signs seem to point to a worsening economy. 

But what does that mean for developers and skilled tech workers?

We explore that question in our 2023 Developer Skills Report. And rather than relying on survey data, this year we’ve tapped into exclusive HackerRank platform data. This lets us observe what’s really happening in tech hiring, from which skills and languages employers are looking for to market temperature and candidate engagement. 

Slower growth is still growth

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. 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. 

What do employers want? Java, Python, SQL, and Data Science skills

Employer demand for top skills and languages increased by 140% and 138%, respectively. Java remains the most in-demand programming language, followed by Python and SQL, which this year surpassed C++. In terms of growth, Go and TypeScript made significant gains this year, both growing more than 300% year over year.

On the skills side, employers are hungry for anything data science-related. This includes second-ranked Machine Learning, as well as new additions to our skills for 2022, Data Wrangling, Data Visualization, and Data Modeling. REST API skills were also highly sought after, with demand jumping 250%.

Forecast for 2023 points toward resumed growth

In forecasting language and skill demand into 2023, our data team took a decidedly conservative stance, leaning toward the low end of the 95% confidence interval. And even with those lowered expectations, we’re still forecasting an uptick across most of the languages and skills we’re tracking. 

EMEA and Latin America seem best positioned heading into 2023

2020 taught us that globalization only goes so far, and that different regions fared better or worse through the COVID shutdowns. By indexing regional performance – in the form of assessment invites – against the global trendline, we can see that EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and LATAM (Latin America) endured more severe and longer-lasting downturns than North America or the APAC (Asia Pacific) region. Both underindexed into 2021, and EMEA continued to underindex until October 2021. 

But now, as North America and APAC slip into underindexing, EMEA and Latin America seem poised to continue to modestly overindex. 

For more on these and other findings, go and check out our 2023 Developer Skills Report.

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