JavaScript, Python, Java, and More Languages That Employers Want

What programming languages do employers really want? In most cases, that obviously depends on the job itself. However, HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report gives some insight into which languages are most-requested overall… and the answers probably won’t shock you.

JavaScript, Python, Java, and C#—yes, the same languages that top the majority of “most popular” lists—are the ones largely sought-after by managers interviewing software developers for new positions. That should come as no surprise: thousands of companies use these popular, versatile languages to build a wide variety of products (and maintain legacy code). (In terms of methodology, a total of 116,648 developers and students responded to HackerRank’s survey.)

Take a look at the chart:

What’s especially interesting here is the part about “language agnostic.” That suggests some hiring managers are more interested in developers’ general programming skills than knowledge in a specific language. Experienced managers know that many developers can pick up languages quickly if necessary; adaptability, problem-solving ability, and soft skills (such as communication and empathy) will get a team through any number of challenges, no matter how thorny.

Indeed, some 45.4 percent of full-stack developers told HackerRank that their job required them to learn a new language last year; 36.1 percent of front-end developers said the same, along with 38.3 percent of back-end developers. That’s in addition to learning new platform/frameworks and theoretical concepts.

Fortunately, most employers will list any required languages in the job description. If you’re interviewing for a JavaScript-related job for the first time, for example, be aware that many interviewers like to focus on your previous experience; they’ll want you to explain what concepts you’ve learned, what projects you’ve worked on, and how you collaborate with others.

Whatever the developer job you’re interviewing for, you’ll likely have to finish a programming test of some sort. If you want to brush up on your JavaScript skills before your interview, visit hackr.io, which lists a variety of courses and tutorials for various languages. There’s also Mozilla’s site, with its very nice rundown of the language’s basics, and JavaScript.info, which offers an extensive walkthrough of fundamentals.

For those interviewing for Python-related positions, there are likewise a range of tutorials and resources online that will boost your knowledge heading into an interview. If you’re relatively new to the language, Python.org should be your first visit.

Even as you bone up on your language skills, keep in mind that interviewers will probably want to really drill down into the aforementioned problem-solving and analytical abilities. To prepare for that, make sure you have a few stories ready about times you tackled (and hopefully solved) a problem in an interesting and creative way.