How to integrate into the fast digital transformation?


Digital transformation is generating a fierce debate on its possible societal impact, including the effects on jobs and wages.

The digital revolution has created new roles, new types of organizations, and even new sectors of the economy. This trasformation has originated new sectors such as cloud computing providers and social media agencies. Additionally, this new societal paradigm has required new type of professionals such as digital security managers and data scientists. Therefore, the impact of digitalization has acted as a catalyst for employment growth in the wider economy.

So how to adapt ourselves to this digital transformation? Recently, the ‘tech job’ has emerged as a new tendency in the current job market, specifically with popular and highly competing fields, such as artificial intelligence, data science, and autonomous vehicles.

In this view, mastering a programming language is nowadays a valuable technical skill that many industries have been required. However the question is, what is the best way to start programming? Faced with this issue, three key topics are interesting to be analysed, notably:

  • What have been the most used programming language in the last years?

To answer these questions, the data from Stackoverflow Annual Developer Survey from 2011 to 2020 were analysed. The survey aims to understand not only the profile of participants that use Stackoverflow, but also to collect piecewise information enabling us to figure out the main aspects of being a software developper or data analytics. The survey along these ten years include more than 1 million of participants and involve questions such as:

  • “How often do you work from home or remotely?”

Part I: What have been the most used programming language in the last years?

If you are planning to start learning a new programming language, maybe it is better to strive for learning a type of language that is highly required in the job market. In the chart bellow, it is shown the seven programming language most used in the last ten years.

Figure 1: The most popular programming languages in the last years.

Accounting for in average 11% and 14% respectively, JavaScript and SQL have been the programming language most popular recently. Conversially, other programing languages have been also highly demanding, including PHP, Java, Python, C# and C++.

Particularly, the demand for Python programming skills has been increased in the last years, accounting for 5% in 2011 and 10% in 2020. On the other hand, demand for C# programmers have been decreasing recently, representing 12% of participants in 2011 and only 7% in 2020.

Besides the popularity of a type of programming language, it would be interesting to know how salary is related to this types of language in order to decide whether it is worth to break into this field.

Part II: Among the programming language most used in the last years, which one is the best paied?

Once identified the seven types of programming language that is most used recently, it is interesting to verify which one is the best paied. In the chart bellow, the average salary classified by type of programming language is shown.

Figure 2: Salary per type of programming language 2017.

Among the top seven programming languages, profissionals proficient in Python is the best well-paied with an average annual salary of 60 000 euros/year. Impressively, despite their polularity, the average salary of professionals specialized in Java, JavaScrip and SQL is 5% lower than programmers in C# and C++.

Contraversially, although PHP is amongst the programming language most popular, the salary is not as high as other types of language. Professionals specialized in PHP earn in average 27% less than people who work daily with Python.

Part III: What are the recommendations to become professional?

Finally, after recognized which programming languages have been the most popular in recent years and their corresponding average salary, it is interest to know whether it is possible to become a professional in this specific type of language.

As shown in the table bellow, being proficient in a programming language is not highly dependent on age. Althought the average age of participants are around 30 years old, it is quite sparse, since the standard deviation is about 10 years old. Consequently, it is never too late or too early to start learning a new programming language and push yourself into a new field.

Figure 3: Average age per type of programming language in 2019 and 2020.

However, how to start learning it? Actually, there are many recommendations to spark it, including attending online courses, read a book, and enroll yourself in a university. In front of many possible solutions, which one would be a valulable recommendation to break into the field?

Aiming to figure out a ideal approach to become proficient in a specific programming language, the recommendations of participants of the StatkOverflow survey of 2017 were analysed.

According to the graph below, most of participants, representing more than 20%, recomend attending an online course. In contrast, the second most valuable approach recomended by participants consists of buying books and working through the exercises. Additionally, about 10% of participants think that attending part-time or evening courses could be interesting for learning a new programming language. Very impressively, less than 5% of participants recomended pursuing a Master’s degree to become a programmer.

Figure 4:


This article aims to identify the most suitable programming language to start learning in order to adapt to the fast digital transformation that we have been living. The society has changed, consequently the requirements of professionals for future jobs have also been modified.

Therefore, the popularity of the programming languages along the last ten years was analysed. From this analysis, it was constated that Python has become an important type of programming language, being increasiangly more popular and well-paied.

After recognised which programming language would be valuabe to be proficient in, it was analysed how to start learning it. Based on the StakeOverflow survey of 2017, it was analysed the recommendation of participants to be proficient in software development. It was concluded that attending online courses and practicing exercises of a book are the most recommended methods to start programming.

And you? What is your approach to adapt to this new digital world?

For more information about this analysis click here.