Article first published as And the most in-demand tech skills of 2012 are … on VentureBeat.

One way to find out is by looking at the job posts. I decided to analyze recent craigslist San Francisco Bay Area job ads. It is a good proxy for the local demand. Bay Area is often a trend setter, and technologies which become popular here frequently gain broader adoption. The findings can therefore also be viewed as a leading indicator for other geographies.

Here are the key insights:

  • “Mobile” appears in 30% of all ads winning popularity (or hype?) contest.
  • Java continues to lead the pack among the development languages followed by Ruby, Python and PHP.
  • MySQL is by far the most commonly mentioned relational database.
  • NoSQL is featured prominently. Hadoop is first on the list of NoSQL databases followed by Cassandra, Redis and MongoDB.
  • Linux has little contest among the operating systems. Ubuntu is mentioned more frequently than CentOS.
  • Android is mentioned slightly more often than iOS/iPhone.
  • jQuery is the most commonly mentioned JavaScript framework.
  • Spring continues to be the most commonly mentioned Java framework.
  • git outranks subversion among the source code management systems.
  • Selenium is the most frequently mentioned testing tool.
  • Drupal is the most often mentioned CMS tool.

I run similar analysis a year ago. For the most part results were similar. There are a few notable differences:

  • Demand for mobile skills is accelerating. “Mobile” and “social” had similar mention frequency last year. This year “mobile” mentions are far ahead of “social”.
  • NoSQL skills requests increased significantly.
  • PHP mentions went down, Ruby went  up.
  • git overtook subversion.
  • Flash/ActionScript mentions went down.

List of the top 50 skills most commonly featured in the job ads is shown below.

Top 50 Skills

Fig 1. Top 50 Technical Skills in Demand


  • I run a term frequency analysis on job posts which appeared on craigslist in the SF Bay Area Internet Engineering category between 1st and 31st of January 2012.
  • Count reflects number of posts a term appears in. Multiple mentions of the same term in a single post count as one.