All Things Upwork

The monthly oDesk Online Jobs Report is a great chance to take a look at where the demand for skills are and – more importantly – where they are headed. Following the trends in demand for online work can help you make sure you’re harnessing the right skills to secure work in the future, and help you command top-dollar for your in-demand skillset. This post is focused on the programming and development skills in the Online Jobs Report, but have a look at the report directly if you’re curious about other skills.

PHP still ranks at the top of the pack for requested programming skills, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see a change in this any time soon.

However, when we look at the biggest movers on the Top Skills list, we notice that demand for both C++ programmers and C# developers have climbed +22 and +20 rankings, respectively. In the lower half of top 50 skills list, we can see the high-level, readability-friendly, object-oriented languages Ruby on Rails (+22) and Python (+26) moving quickly up the chart as well.

The Highlights

#13 C++ Demand

c++_demandThe term “C++” gets used a lot to describe both C++ knowledge and as a marker for many different sub-skills – all of which are in demand. It’s often mentioned along side iPhone development–although “Objective C” is the proper term for this skill–and Android development, which is traditionally developed with Android’s C++ libraries. As demand for Apps and Games for these devices grows, so does the demand for C++ and related development abilities.

Concurrently with the jump in C++ demand,  Android gains deeper market penetration–see more on this from TechCrunch here— and it breaks in to the top 50 skills this month at #49 with a leap up 31 places over last year’s demand.


The use of C++ isn’t limited to just mobile device programming, but the growth in that segment of the oConomy is likely responsible for this specific jump in demand.

#17 C# Skills Wanted

c#_demandC# is most notably used in conjunction with Microsoft’s .NET Framework, which makes it a popular choice for all things Microsoft. Considering that .NET made a more modest climb (+6) to #8 on the charts, this might indicate the shift away from other .NET/CLI languages like Visual Basic towards the more Java-esque object-oriented C#.

#40 Ruby on Rails & #45 Python

Ruby on Rails is winning over developers seeking out alternatives to the sometimes obfuscated nature of PHP and Perl scripting. Savvy buyers are aware of the time-saving nature of Ruby code, which is generally faster to develop due to it’s object-oriented nature, and easier to understand when compared to PHP and PERL.

Python makes the same leap forward, in this case being both object-oriented, and extremely readable. This, in turn, can make for faster development time. Time is money, and high level languages like Ruby and Python climb the skill rankings for their speed and readability.

Moving Forward

While we’re unlikely to see the death of scripting languages like PHP any time soon, the growth in demand for both web, application, game, and other development using object-oriented languages indicates a move towards more rapid development using modular languages. Sounds like progress to me. Let us know what you think in the comments–does the Online Jobs Report mirror your firsthand experiences?

Alex Hornbake

Freelance Tech Writer

Alex Hornbake is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. He joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, and brings more than a decade of technical expertise to his clients. Alex shares his point of view to help you make informed decisions for your personal and business technology choices.