Software dev, tech, mind hacks and the occasional personal bit

Is .NET or Java dying?

Are C# and .NET losing ground as Martin Fowler suggests? Or is Java’s market share dropping? What about Ruby? And what about the Australian market in particular?

Here’s what I’ve been able to find.

Job Trends
Which technologies have the most demand for people?

From, which claims to search “millions of jobs from thousands of job sites”, but I suspect may have a USA focus:

“Best Talent Index May 2007” from Best People Solutions gives an Australian perspective:

Here’s job counts from the (largest?) primarily Australian job search site Seek on 5 June 2007, 3pm (today):

Keyword(s) Number of positions found
Java 3,414
“.NET” or “dot net” 2,744
“c#” or “c sharp” 1,722
ruby 100

As an aside, I remember doing a search on Seek for “ruby” about 6 months ago, and getting under 20 jobs mentioning it.

Search Engine Number of Hits

Extract from the TIOBE Programming Community Index for June 2007:

Jun 2007
Jun 2006
Delta in Position Programming Language Ratings
Jun 2007
Jun 2006
1 1 Java 20.025% -1.10% A
2 2 C 15.967% -2.29% A
3 3 C++ 11.118% +0.45% A
4 4 (Visual) Basic 9.332% -0.85% A
5 5 PHP 8.871% -0.72% A
6 6 Perl 6.177% +0.17% A
7 8 C# 3.483% +0.25% A
8 7 Python 3.161% -0.30% A
9 10 JavaScript 2.616% +1.16% A
10 19 Ruby 2.132% +1.65% A

I think this gives a good idea of web buzz, but suggest that most non-IT companies do not publish information about their projects and chosen technologies and languages on the web.

The data collected suggests that:

  • Both .NET and Java are major players in the job market with thousands of positions advertised, implying wide industry adoption of both.
  • Neither .NET nor Java seem to be undergoing any significant decline in jobs.
  • Java has much more information about it on the internet, although .NET is slowing gaining ground and Java slowly losing it.
  • Ruby is comparatively tiny but growing rapidly in terms of jobs and information on the internet.

Thanks to Jason Yip and Suzi Edwards for their help finding/sourcing information.


Can you spot the bug?


The Castle Project – Rails for .NET


  1. James B

    For the Ruby results, I wonder if over the next few years they’ll roughly parallel the way Python has been going: A few years ago I noticed a curious behaviour: There was a lead time of several years between a) when I first noticed people recommending Python as a language and large numbers of Free Software projects appearing which used it, and b) when I first started seeing significant numbers of job ads asking for it. In other words, the hype around the language significantly pre-dated the appearance of jobs requiring it.

    It seems reasonable to hypothesise that the majority of listed job ads are for large, mature projects; so you might explain the above behaviour by saying that the lead-time before you start seeing lots of jobs is the time taken, on average, from starting a project with the language-du-jour to it becoming a major developer-sink.

  2. jboss

    Nah, you are so wrong in a way. Ruby i gaining. Gainging wery much. It will take some years for it to numbers even comparable with Java and .NET. The language must first grasp developers (which is happening wevy fast right now) and then in can atack large bussineses.

  3. jboss

    Oh, and sory for the typos, I was too pasionate 😉

  4. Josh G

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics 😉

    Also on seek:
    * clean or wash or janitor or iron or laundry or domestic = 4561
    * “road work” = 3366
    * dance or sing or entertain = 102

    So clearly there are more cleaning jobs that Java, more road work than .Net, and more cabaret than Ruby.

    “Her name was Lola, she was a show girl…”

  5. Ben Kittrell

    Nice research, thank you.

    I believe that what we’ll start to see is a more even spread of different language usage. Ruby or Python wont replace Java, but they will pick up the slack where Java is lacking.

    I’m hoping that people will realize that there is no silver bullet, and the more options available, the merrier.

  6. Anonymous

    “So clearly there are more cleaning jobs that Java, more road work than .Net, and more cabaret than Ruby.”

    Probably true if you think about it.

  7. designpatterns

    I think they should combine the C# and .NET numbers. Having them separate would be like separating “Java” programmers from “JVM” developers which is silly. They don’t separate Ruby developers from Rails developers, C#, VB.NET, ASP.NET should all be combined in “.NET”

  8. Anonymous

    This seems like yet another abuse of statistics, the Ruby market share seems insignificant.

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