Which Technologies Do Developers Want to Learn in 2020?

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Every company wants to give its developers the right training. One of the easiest (and quite logical) ways to do this to make sure the training is on the right technologies. Nobody wants to miss out on their day-to-day project work to learn about outdated languages or libraries. Worse yet is having to take training on a technology you definitely won’t use or just don’t care about.

But teaching the ‘right’ technologies is no easy task. We all know the technology space continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. What was cool or interesting last year could be dead the next. Here are a few strategies and tools we use to stay up to date on the technology space.

Google Trends

Google Trends is an amazing tool for getting a 30,000-foot view on whether a search term is becoming more/less popular. Be careful! Google Trends can be a massive time-waster for curious people.

Digressing — Google Trends is a great way to see whether a technology area is being searched for more or less than before. That should inform you as to whether to investigate more.

StackOverflow (StackExchange) Open Data

StackOverflow is the absolute go-to source for programming questions. StackExchange (the parent company) makes all of their data openly available and queryable (with a public-facing SQL interface). Fear not if you don’t know SQL. You can use other people’s queries to explore the data.

So how does this relate to technology popularity? Several queries allow you to see whether a specific technology is becoming more or less popular on StackOverflow. This would allow you to answer questions like “Should I perhaps offer Vue.js training to our JavaScript developers?”. Or “Is SQL-server still worth giving training on?”. These StackOverflow queries allow you to gain insights with the freshest data available. This data literally measures what kind of questions people are asking and what tags they are using. For example, this query on tag statistics allows you to see how popular different languages are on StackOverflow.

Tag Statistics

The query below allows you to see how a tag (e.g. python) is trending over time. Are more questions and answers occurring? At what growth rate?

Tag Size and Growth Trends (Python example)

Here’s a list of their most popular queries: https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/queries?order_by=popular


Github is where most prominent open source projects are hosted and where developers go to collaborate and get help with bugs. Each Github project has an insights tab that tells people how active that project is. At what rate are issues being opened/closed? Well-used and growing open source projects will tend to have very active Github projects (and vice versa for dead or dormant technologies). So, for instance, if you were considering giving Gatsby training to your developers, you could check out the insights tab on Gatsby’s Github project page.

You’d see that this project is under extremely active development. This tends to mean lots of people are using it and trying to adopt it.

Contrast this with Ruby’s Insights and you get more of a story of a steadily developing and mature technology.

How you interpret this data is up for debate. But we recommend considering it as a source.

The 2020 DevelopIntelligence 2020 Developer Learning Survey Report

Curious to learn more about not only which technologies developers want to learn next but also the how and why? We recently released a our 2020 Developer Learning Survey Report, which includes our original survey data combined with survey data from StackOverflow, HackerRank, the State of JS report, and several others. It is designed to help companies design training programs and deliver training courses that developers will love.