Saturday, 22 November 2008

Growth of the Erlang job market

Functional programming languages have been around for a long time, of course, but they have only very recently begun to be adopted for more mainstream programming tasks. This is reflected in the job market and the IT Jobs Watch website does an excellent job of trending job market trends over time for different programming languages, including Erlang. The results are nothing short of miraculous:

This shows that, at least in the UK, the Erlang's market share in the job market has quadrupled in recent months. Demand for Erlang is now almost 3× higher than demand for Lisp.

However, the salaries offered for Erlang programmers are not competitive, with the most common range being only £30-39k. As we predicted in 2007, this trend is driven by employers using programming language diversity as a way to identify superior candidates and this trend is driving more and more young developers to better their programming abilities and job prospects by learning advanced languages like Erlang, OCaml and F#.

We believe this trend will continue for several years to come and functional languages will take substantial market share from dying languages like C++ (which has already seen a drop from 30% to only 16% market share since 2004).