Web Developer Career Trends 2016

At RED Academy our number one goal is to ensure our graduates have the skills and tools they need succeed in the rapidly-evolving tech industry.

To stay hyper-relevant, we run a quarterly in-depth State of the Nation – an in-depth analysis of the jobs market, surveying and collecting data from a number of online sources, including Indeed, Builtwith.com, GitHutGlassdoor and Stack Overflow, which we use to inform and shape our Web Developer curriculum on an ongoing basis.

So, what does the data say? Let’s take a tour of some of the information we collect and talk about what it means. The view from 20,000 ft:

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 08.48.04

One thing you might have noticed is JavaScript. JavaScript is #2 in terms of demand, and there are 4 other JavaScript based technologies in this chart: Angular, React, Node.js and Ember are all just JavaScript!

To review this in the local job market, we did an analysis of job posts on Indeed for “Web Developer” positions in Vancouver, and found that:

  • Unsurprisingly, HMTL is needed for 70% of jobs
  • Interestingly, JavaScript is required in 69% of job postings, with JQuery at 35%
  • PHP is in 38% of job postings
  • Angular now at 30%
  • React is also growing steadily at 9%
  • Ruby is at only 8%

Demand for a particular technology is an important factor when deciding what to learn, but it’s not the only thing to consider.

The number of open source projects for a given technology is very important. Open source means code sharing and open participation. Anyone can view contribute code to open source projects, and participate in community discussions that help move technology forward.

There is a lot to love about the open source movement. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers from GitHub and find out which programming languages are the most popular in the open-source world:

Popular programming languages on GitHub

Again, JavaScript! There are over 300,000 JavaScript projects being hosted on GitHub at the moment.

There are some other interesting things about this data, when considered alongside industry demand:

  • JavaScript and CSS are in demand and they also have a huge number of open-source projects.
  • Ruby is one of the top 10 languages used in the open-source community, but the industry demand for the language is comparatively small.
  • PHP is a language in a sweet-spot, with both high industry demand, and a large open source community.
  • Java and Python are considerably popular in industry and open-source.

You might think this is enough to go on. But let’s take things a little further. We have numbers, but we should also find out from developers which languages and technologies they believe to be the best. There’s no substitute for experience.

What are the most popular languages/technologies according to professional developers; folks working with code every day? This year’s Stack Overflow Web Developer Survey provides further interesting insights:

Popular Front-End Technologies

Interesting! Again, JavaScript is tops occupying three of the top five spots. PHP has a dominant presence, occupying the 3rd and 6th spots, with WordPress of course being the ultra-popular CMS written in PHP.

When comparing this with the data from Builtwith.com, we can see how prevalent WordPress and PHP really are. This is chart shows the languages used to build the top 1,000,000 websites (by popularity) on the internet:

Languages used to build the top 10,000,000 websites on the internet.

That’s right, nearly 1/2 of the top 1,000,000 sites on the internet are powered by PHP! This is largely due to the popularity of WordPress which represents 40% of the top 10,000 websites (and 49% of the top million). WordPress was a forerunner of the web 2.0 movement, largely due to its low barriers to entry for content publishers and entry-level developers alike, which helped democratize publishing on the web (i.e. Blogs!). It’s now one of the most powerful and widely-adopted web platforms you can find, and that’s why we teach it.

So what about salaries?  According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a web developer in Canada is $55,000, with Vancouver slightly higher at $59,093 and Toronto at $58,699.

So looking at the data, it builds a pretty revealing picture: 

  • JavaScript is incredibly popular and a lot of people are writing JavaScript code, everywhere!
  • Ruby on Rails is popular in open-source, but nowhere else. And surprisingly, there is very little demand for Ruby developers from the industry.
  • The internet runs, in large part, on PHP, thanks to WordPress.

At RED, we want our students to succeed. Our full-time Web-Developer Professional Program is designed to meet the specific needs of the ever-changing job market, teaching our students JavaScript, HTML/CSS, PHP and WordPress, with specific modules in React and Angular.

If you are looking to changes careers speak to one of our team today, or attend one of our upcoming events to find out more.

Picture of Colin Mansel
Colin Mansell

Colin is the CEO / Managing Director of RED Academy. He originally started his career as a classically trained musician and sound engineer, before switching to the tech industry where he has been working for the past 15 years. While he sounds British, don’t let that accent fool you; his roots are Dutch, and he calls Amsterdam his hometown.

Also the founder of Drive Digital, one of Western Canada’s biggest digital agencies, Colin is inspired by watching people create and seeing them find fulfillment in doing something they believe in. Colin is excited by the idea that the Internet connects us all, increasing transparency and accountability. He strongly believes that purpose is a bigger driver in people than profit, which will lead us to a better, fairer, more conscious world – values that dictate the foundation of RED.

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Vancouver 778 379 7175

Toronto 647 793 2333

Vancouver 778 379 7175

Toronto 647 793 2333


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