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Python still has the strongest grip on developers

And a reminder that experience points matter a lot

Python is still a top choice for software developers, beating out other programming languages, according to a widely respected industry poll.

CodeSignal's 2023 State of Engineer Hiring Survey report found that Python (specifically Python 3) dominated as the most frequently used language, and highest paying, among the more than 2,800 devs surveyed, with a 16-point lead over the second most popular language, Java. 

JavaScript/NodeJS ranked as the third most frequently used language, followed by C++, C and MySQL. Python retained the top spot across multiple job roles, with only front-end developers expressing a preference for a different language: 82.9 percent said they most commonly coded in JavaScript/NodeJS, followed by Java at just 51.2 percent.  

Those statistics don't differ too much from other sources that rank language popularity, with the IEEE finding last year that Python topped its list for the second year in a row. TIOBE software, which releases indexes of the most popular languages, has also placed Python on the top for some time, where it still sits as of April's monthly index

Like CodeSignal's data, those previous reports put Java, JavaScript, SQL and the various flavors of C in the other top slots in various orders. 

What about that hiring data?

Most of CodeSignal's respondents (14.3 percent) reported a salary in the $100k (£79k) to $119,999 (£95.5k) range, with the highest paying roles being back-end developers, full stack and front-end developers, and data scientists. 

As for the programming languages that brought in the most cash, those were Python 3, TypeScript, React and Bash, followed by Java, JavaScript/NodeJS, C, C++ and MySQL. Engineers using newer languages are more likely to be paid more – but that's not an absolute. 

"By and large, however, what coding language a software engineer uses isn't the best predictor of their salary – their level of coding skill is," CodeSignal wrote in the report. 

On that note, CodeSignal didn't find any relationship between education level and assessment scores; the correlation was instead found between self-reported years of experience and assessment score. 

That means "having a college degree doesn't make a difference in whether candidates have strong coding skills," CodeSignal explained.  

Here's where burned-out and/or underpaid developers should pay attention: CodeSignal compared reported years of experience and salary and found that, for each additional year of coding experience, salary increases by around $5,250 (£4,181). In other words, developers getting ready to face their yearly review now have a bar by which to measure that raise against looking for another job. ®

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