Technology landscape keeps changing and I thought it would be interesting to find out which technical skills are currently in demand. Analyzing job ads is a good way to understand employer side of the job market. Hence I decided to process a segment of job posts. I selected San Francisco Bay Area ads. SF Bay Area is often a trend setter and technologies which become popular here often gain broader adoption. While not being a good proxy for current demand in other regions, Bay Area findings can be viewed as a leading indicator for other geographies.

Here are the key insights:

  • Java continues to lead the pack among the development languages followed closely by PHP. Python, Ruby and (surprisingly) C++ come next.
  • MySQL is by far the most commonly mentioned relational database. Microsoft SQL Server comes next.
  • NoSQL movement is gathering momentum. Hadoop is first on the list of NoSQL databases followed by Cassandra and Redis. To be clear, mentions of SQL outnumber noSQL by a factor of 4 to 1.
  • Linux has little contest among the operating systems.
  • “social” appears in almost 30% of all ads winning popularity (or hype?) contest. “mobile” appears almost as often.
  • Android goes head to head with iPhone, both outnumbering Blackberry by a factor of 5 to 1.
  • jQuery is the most commonly mentioned JavaScript framework.
  • Spring and Hibernate continue to be the most commonly mentioned Java frameworks.
  • subversion outranks git (just) among the source code management systems.
  • Selenium is the most frequently mentioned testing tool.
  • Drupal is the most often mentioned CMS tool.
  • Lucene is a frequently mentioned search engine.

List of the top 50 skills most commonly featured in the job ads is shown below. To view a full list please click here.

Top 50 Technical Skills
Fig 1. Top 50 Technical Skills in Demand


  • Run a term frequency analysis on job posts which appeared on craigslist in the SF Bay Area Internet Engineering category between 1st and 28th of February 2011.
  • Count reflects number of posts a term appears in. Multiple mentions of the same term in a single post count as one.