As more companies outside of Silicon Valley hire software engineers and data scientists, the tech landscape is fragmenting. Yet there remains a set of versatile programming skills that are widely sought out by employers, and for current and aspiring technologists, knowing what those are can help you advance in your career.

Job search engine Indeed compiled a list of the top tech skills employers are hiring for. It analyzed hundreds of thousands of job postings published over the past several months and ranked them by how often they showed up in job descriptions for tech roles.

Programming language Java ranks first, appearing in 30% of tech job descriptions. Silicon Valley company Sun Microsystems first released Java in 1995. Four years prior, a group of engineers started building Java as a tool for the cable TV industry, but it turned out to be much better suited for the Internet. Today’s engineers have used Java to build everything from Gmail to Hadoop, a program for analyzing vast quantities of data. Java can also be used to build mobile apps, business operations systems and scientific tools.

Agile, a conceptual approach to software development, ranks second among the most in-demand tech skills. It shows up in 27% of tech role descriptions. Agile entails breaking down a software development project into pieces and addressing each one in short programming cycles, such as one or two weeks. It guides engineers to build new product features one at a time and release them, instead of taking the time to build a more complex product and waiting months to launch. With agile, teams can observe how users react and gain valuable insights more quickly, allowing them to be more flexible to end users’ wants and needs. Agile has strong ties to the Lean Startup approach championed by Eric Ries.

 Python takes fifth place on Indeed’s list. Like Java, it’s a general-purpose programming language. Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum started building the language in 1989. According to, “He needed a name that was short, unique, and slightly mysterious.” He had been watching the BBC comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” at the time, so he called the language Python. These days, it has a wide range of applications, “from testing microchips at Intel, to powering Instagram, to building video games,” according to online learning platform Treehouse. Python is an especially popular tool among data scientists.

In a separate analysis, Indeed economist Daniel Culbertson also looked at the tech skills seeing the most growth in demand. He compared Indeed search data from 2017 with 2016 and found that React saw a 229% jump in employer interest (measured by the words employers searched in Indeed’s resume database). React is a programming library based on JavaScript. It’s used to build user interfaces, and Facebook helps maintain it, according to Culbertson’s blog post. Indeed also found a surge in employer interest in cloud computing platforms, specifically Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Percentages represent the number of times that each tech skill appears in job descriptions for tech positions.

1. Java (30%)

2. Agile (27%)

3. JavaScript (26%)

4. .NET (19%)

5. Python (15%)

6. Microsoft SQL Server (12%)

7. Oracle (12%)

8. C or C++ (12%)

9. Git (11%)

10. AWS (11%)

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