Apropos of nothing: Job trends

While tracking some of the links relating to the Groovy/Ruby war, I found this website, which purportedly tracks job trends based on a whole mess of different job sites. So, naturally, I had to plug in to get a graph of C#, C++, Java, Ruby, and VB:

java, c#, c++, ruby, visual basic Job Trends graph
java, c#, c++, ruby, visual basic Job Trends java jobs - c# jobs - c++ jobs - ruby jobs - visual basic jobs

Interesting. I don't think it proves anything one way or another, mind you, but interesting nonetheless. Having said that, a few things stand out to me after looking at this for all of thirty seconds:

  • Wow, what the hell happened in 1Q and 2Q of 2005? Java takes a huge drop in 2005, and all of them take a small drop of some form around the same time in 2006. What is it with summertime? Did the HR supervisor suddenly take a look at the company's job board and mutter, "Damn, I thought we closed all those listings already..."? (Or maybe, "Thank God for cheap college interns..."?)
  • C++ jobs still outnumber C# jobs, even in 4Q 2007?
  • C++ jobs remain essentially flat from 1Q 2005 to 4Q 2007; apparently, there's a lot more C++ going on than most companies are willing to admit to.... (Can't you picture it? The nervous candidate, sitting at the table, as the interviewer shuffles the paper and says, "So, you're here for a programming job?" The candidate sort of squirms in his chair as he replies, "Well, actually, I was hoping for a... a... C++ job." The interviewer quickly looks around to see who might be listening as he says loudly, "C++? What ever gave you the idea that we do C++ here at BigCorp?" Meanwhile, he surreptitiously scribbles on the back of a business card and slides it across the table to the candidate, then stands up and says loudly, "I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place, sir. You can see yourself out, I take it?" The candidate palms the card, and only once has he left the building does he look at the back, which reads, "8PM, corner of Mission and Vine, password is 'Lippman, Stroustrup, Sutter, and Meyers!' Viva C++!"...)
  • VB jobs fall to below C#? So much for those vast hordes of VB programmers that supposedly form the "long tail" of the .NET community....
  • Java jobs remain essentially flat from 1Q 2005 to 4Q 2007, despite numerous ups and downs. So much for the idea that Java is somehow going away....
  • Ruby's penetration into the job market is much smaller than what I would have guessed.
  • I couldn't help myself, I did another query with "cobol" added in, but I'll leave it to you to run your own query to see what that looks like. It's surprising....

Of course, statistics without any sort of understanding of how they were gathered or from what sources are essentially meaningless, but ooooh, it's in color....