Stack Overflow Hiring Trends: ReactJS In, AJAX Out

Online programming community Stack Overflow is providing guidance for developers who might be looking to change jobs in 2017.

The tl;dr for the new research, published just today, could be: ReactJS is in, AJAX is out.

Those Web technologies were cited as the two exhibiting the most and least changes in demand, respectively.

The data comes from the Stack Overflow Jobs site.

"We looked at targeting options for employers on Stack Overflow Jobs that were used by at least 200 companies since the beginning of 2015," the company said in a blog post today. "The fastest growing targets are ReactJS, Docker, Ansible, and Apache Spark, followed by System Administration and QA."

ReactJS is the open source JavaScript library originally developed by Facebook (which later retargeted the technology toward native mobile app development with React Native).

"Jobs tagged with and targeted to ReactJS developers include such titles as Full Stack Web Developer, Front End Javascript Engineer, and Senior UX Developer," Stack Overflow said.

Changes in Demand
[Click on image for larger view.] Changes in Demand (source: Stack Overflow)

Technologies showing the largest percentage decreases in demand include AJAX, Backbone.js and LAMP.

AJAX, standing for "asynchronous JavaScript and XML," came on the scene as an official term in 2005, providing a name for a group of technologies that had been in use for years to create dynamic, asynchronous Web applications instead of complete, static HTML pages.

Along with AJAX on the other end of the demand spectrum are popular technologies such as jQuery and WordPress. "It might be time to rebrand" if you identify with those less-in-demand technologies, the company said.

Stack Overflow also plotted out technologies exhibiting the most demand in comparison to low supply.

Low Supply, High Demand
[Click on image for larger view.] Low Supply, High Demand (source: Stack Overflow)

"The areas showing the highest demand relative to the number of developers available (in other words, the demand heavily outweighs the supply of qualified candidates in these fields) are backend Web/cloud, iOS, Android and DBA/SQL," the company said.

Example job postings in the Web/cloud backend category include Quantitative Software Engineer, Backend Engineer (Python) and Enterprise Data Architect/Engineer.

Mobile also made a strong showing in that analysis, as the high demand for skilled iOS and Android developers has driven up salaries for mobile coders, leading one mainstream publication to declare mobile app developer as the "best job in America."

"Both iOS and Android showed up on our high demand list, indicating a continued focus on mobile development," Stack Overflow said. "Often companies indicate a desire for candidates with knowledge and experience in both platforms. Atlassian, for example, is currently hiring both a Senior Android Developer (which lists knowledge of iOS as a plus), and a Senior iOS Developer (which lists familiarity with Android as a plus). Other examples include Mobile Developer (encompassing both iOS and Android); iOS Software Engineer, Mobile Applications; and Android Mobile Dev Engineer."

At the losing end of the supply/demand equation was WordPress again.

"The most oversaturated technologies include WordPress and Desktop OSX; if you are hoping to find a new position in these fields, it may be an uphill battle in 2017," the report said. "Consider brushing up on some technologies that offer higher employer demand and less competition."

Stack Overflow invited developers who were looking for a job change to take advantage of its services by developing Developer Stories to help with the process.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.