Software engineering is a challenging field to be in. Not so much because of the struggle in learning new technologies. In fact, it is often possible to project the same knowledge from one to another. It’s rather because technologies tend to become obsolete with an impressive speed. In such a field, is pretty clear that keeping your knowledge up to date is an excellent way to resist obsolescence.

So, you may be wondering, how do you choose what to learn? Clearly there are too much new technologies, and they will keep coming out. Luckily the instruments to make such important choices surely aren’t missing. There are some sites that offer very valuable insights on the popularity of various technologies and tools for developers.

StackOverflow, has recently published an actual page, with a discrete amount of data. StackOverflow publishes this page every year with new insights and data it collects using a 20-minute survey around the beginning of the new year. PYPL contains an index of programming languages popularity. Not only that, but also has an index for IDEs, Online IDEs and Databases. Another very popular tool which PYPL is based onto is Google Trends. Google trends is a valid tool to check Google search’s data about trending topics. With it, you can analyse the popularity of programming languages, or anything really. You can also compare different search terms and look at their trend over time.

Real-life example

According to PYPL, the most popular language is Python, with an increase of 17.1% over the last 5 years. Java and Javascript are right after it. According to this year’s StackOverflow data about technologies, Python is the second most loved language, right behind Rust, although it is the first most wanted, for the third year in a row. In terms of popularity, Python is only fourth behind Javascript, HTML/CSS and SQL. Personally this data doesn’t surprise me. Technologies like the first three have undergone an increase in popularity over time, especially Javascript.

The next step

Analysing all the data from this tools, we can draw some conclusions. Getting your hands wet with Javascript, is a very wise choice if you want to learn web development. It has a lot of frameworks to play and experiment with and is also one of the most popular. Some backend applications, also make use of it. On the other end, if you’re interested in data science or machine learning, learning Python is also a good idea, since there is a rising number of applications for it. It also has some valid libraries to help you out in this kind of work.

What do you think? What are the technologies you’ll be learning in 2019? What is your favourite one? Discuss in the group