December 16, 2008 by Frank Higgins


                     While these may not be a great revelation to many, included below are the web development skills that will get you employed now and by all evidences of their growth, for the foreseeable future. Knowing and being professional in at least some of the skills below to maximize your prospects for being employed.

                     In looking at these graphs, keep in mind that oDesk is a growing site so even a flat trend is a potential sign of decreasing demand.



PHP developer programmer job outsource demand

PHP is by far the most in-demand web development programming language right now. As you can see from the graph, it has enjoyed a steady climb from November 2007 leveling off in July 2008 at a spectacular 1400 jobs posted. The demand for PHP development work has tripled over the period of a mere 9 months.


AJAX programmer developer outsource job demand

The demand for developers with AJAX in their resume or portfolio is also in high demand as the average web page has evolved well beyond animated icons, the presentation and need for a smooth user experience in the front end is more and more essential. The skill enjoyed very similar growth to PHP above from November 2007 to July 2008 where it leveled off holding at around 450 job postings.


 Javascript developer programmer outsource demand

As with the 2 skills above, Javascript enjoys high demand and has a similar shape in demand over the past year. As of November 2008, Javascript demand is steady at 400 after a slight decline since July 2008 but overall demand has doubled over the year.


XML Developers Programmer outsource job demand
XML is very dominant in web job postings and would seem like a relatively short learning curve to get capable in since it is not a language but a simple framework for describing and manipulating data. XML has very steadily increased over the past year, almost tripling.


MySQL developer programmer outsource job demand

MySQL dominates the databases as the data storage method of choice. Increasing to nearly triple over the past year and holding steady at over 1000 jobs posted for the past 8 months.


CSS Developer programmer outsource job demand

Cascading Style Sheets is now the way to maintain a uniform professional way to monitor the appearance of modern websites. This method is designer friendly too since one design change does not mean editing every page on a single website but instead one or a few style sheets. It too has near tripled over the past year and holds steady at close to 100 jobs posted.

 Graphic Design

Graphic Design Designers outosurce job demand
Graphic Design is a very in demand skill and although not everyone can color coordinate or design their own icons, if you have any artistic ability or if you can train in it to develop some skills, this will round out your resume nicely. Graphic design demand has tripled over the past year and continues to grow to over 1400 postings.

                     That’s it. These are the skills to have to ensure your resume is not up for long if needed at all. A full view of these skills and 40 more can be seen in our trends page should that interest you.

  • http://www.awareweb.it/servizi/ Sito Web Nola

    Nice! I love this blog

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    I have been using oDesk for outsourced work since March, although not for PHP work so I cant comment too much on that. I have been very impressed though with the quality of work that has been performed.

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  • http://fiiasigurat.blogspot.com fiiasigurat

    Quantity is not quality. You all should know that. Shirish, these numbers are by keyword in the job posting title. We will look into web desinger as a term for a future posting. sorry.

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  • Zack

    Thanks for the info!

    I like your use of graphs to analyze the skills that are most in demand.

    As for soft skills, I think that a willingness to learn is very very important. This guy talks a bit about it here http://www.theblogaholic.com/2011/01/22/most-important-software-development-skills/

  • http://www.arohatech.com Ashish Kumar

    Nice post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If you are looking to hire a company that has expertise in PHP Development in India then does take recommendations from sources that you know of. It is always best to hire experienced and professional companies like ArohaTech to ensure your web project is a successful proposition. You can choose our company ArohaTech-A Name in Quality offshore outsourcing Software Development. ArohaTech offshore oscommerce development India helps you advance your branding strategy online. We have a team of more than 40 outstanding experts having experience in various domains of technology such as PHP web development, E-Commerce web development solutions like customized shopping cart development, payment gateway integration, open source based e-commerce solutions(OS-Commerce) and development of CMS Solutions in Joomla, Drupal and SEO Services.

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  • http://www.iopensystems.com R Fernando

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  • http://www.rangpursoft.com md moslam uddin

    very nice article

  • http://www.indianic.com/ php developer

    iPhone App Developer, PHP Developer, Web Developer / programmer at affordable cost.

  • http://www.simransoftwaresolutions.com Ashish

    It shocking ASP.NET in not mentioned in the above comparative web development skills trends.

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    jQuery / Javascript isn

  • http://www.shoppinghermes.com hermes kelly bag

    Hi all
    I am new with odesk. I have 3 year exp in asp.net,silverlight,ajax and sql server.
    I read some posts about PHP and ASP.NET. Now m very confused

  • Brian

    Be careful reading this.

    Quantity is not quality. I would say the top ten web developer skills for people who actually want jobs and not 10 dollar an hour sweatshit are:

    1. .NET VB
    2. .NET C#
    3. J2EE
    4. Objective-C
    5. Flex
    6. Silverlight
    7. Oracle
    8. SQL Server
    9. Ruby
    10. Perl

    Most of these require computer science degrees, and in the case of Apple expensive gadgets. They are also agile and have many two-way tools. Most cannot be outsourced. Setting up the development environments is relatively beyond a guy making 5 dollars an hour too, given Windows servers rent for ten to one hundred times the rate of LAMP servers. Don’t be fooled and waste two years on PHP, unless you can learn PHP and C# at the same time.

  • http://www.hireaspnetdeveloper.com Full Time Offshaore Dotnetnuke Programme

    I love this article.

  • http://www.contussupport.com Web Development Company

    An excellent informative read for us… Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.odesk.com Jagz

    Hi all
    I am new with odesk. I have 3 year exp in asp.net,silverlight,ajax and sql server.
    I read some posts about PHP and ASP.NET. Now m very confused ….should i start learning PHP??
    i mean which one is better PHP or ASP.NET??

  • http://www.pixmac.com/ Cathy Mason

    Overall pretty positive outlook.
    Thank you for the article.

  • http://www.workbysimon.com Simon Carr

    jQuery / Javascript isn’t going away any time soon. Neither is PHP… I think Python is making a push towards the top as well.

  • http://www.traveltibetguide.com Tibet Travel

    I agree that people do really appreciate it when you respond to their comments.

  • Mark C

    **** PHP/Apache/MySQL are the now and the future. ***

    MySQL is out and out garbage. Only the brain-dead even think about using that buggy toy.

  • http://www.techronnati.com RP

    The trend of the future is definitely web. I’ve been in the industry for like 8 years now. Those desktop applications are gradually migrating into web applications.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1100480931 Scott Fleming

    I began learning ASP and XML early, but when I discovered PHP, then Ajax and the powerful solutions these two can create, I turned from the MS world in favor of this open source love.

    MS has it’s strengths, but there’s something to be said of the Open Source world and it’s infinite sharing of solutions and brilliance.

    MS isn’t so sharing in this nature.

  • Iain H

    A top class programmer should know numerous languages for the benefit of advancing their skillset. Likewise an agency should be able to cover as much as possible.

    I like PHP and admit but also admit that I don’t have any like for Microsoft but their development products are the best in the market bar none, jobs catering for .Net technologies pay higher than open source technologies.

    You specialise in what pays the bills at the end of the day and I’m with the guy earlier who stated that its impossible to compete with the ‘$2″ php, html and JaavScript coders who appear to generally gain most of their ‘skills’ by cut n paste from existing code. Sadly most buyers fall for this every time.

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  • http://johnsonb.com Brandon

    .NET is either on a downward slide or on a flat demand trend, and that is why it is not included here. This post is showing technologies that are INCREASING in demand. Some of you people don’t read…

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  • http://www.itbuzz.co.cc IT BUZZ

    Its good to see php jobs are increasing day by day. And i guess the most important factor is the number of website increase. And more importantly now companies have to build online entity as customers are really seeking for it. So thumbs up for php. I myself love php :)

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  • Old Dog (w/Many new Tricks)

    Well… this is always an interesting debate when it comes to Pay vs Free tech.

    I’ve been programming now for 15 years and have a plethora of languages and environments under my belt. I’ve put more time into learning and mastering my skills them most doctors, lawyers, and other 10-12 years in school degree holders. They get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year because of their efforts (and their moneys put into tuition, books, etc.) I, on the other hand, have to deal with $10 an hour hacks taking jobs that should have rightfully been given to someone that knows what they are doing. Now the nice thing is, eventually, I’m hired to clean up the mess left behind, but the wages have been driven down by ridiculous amounts because anyone with an Internet connection and some time on there hands consider themselves programmers. In a perfect world (not driven by currency), open source is a wonderful concept, but in the real world (that’s where we are now folks) real business with real cash want real programmers using solid (and sometimes expensive) technology. Bash the .NET Framework all you want, but if you don’t keep an open mind and learn it (and other non open source technologies), you are only holding yourself back from obtaining a solid career in programming.

    Now that the money thing is out of the way, lets look at efficiency.

    I love coding using PHP or J2EE with MySQL. It’s fun and feels hardcore! Putting so much effort into coding does give me a huge sense of accomplishment when I’m finished a project. I also code using ASP.NET and MSSQL. My development time with the aid of MS IDEs is anywhere from 50 to 70 percent faster!!! and the customer gets the exact same product! oh oh… and I get paid more to program ASP.NET apps!

    I have no idea why anyone would want to limit themselves by only using “what they like”, instead of learning “where the money is”.

    Honestly, If I could do it all over again… I’d be an Electrician : )

  • http://deVidal.BlogSpot.com/ Chris de Vidal

    I’ve been pondering a career direction change from systems administration to web development (since I have some PHP experience), so I read your article with interest… that is, until I browsed other providers on oDesk who work with PHP and the pay range is utterly depressing… the VERY BEST PHP CODER is only making $30/hour:

    The rest in the top ten go as low as $5/hour. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to bust my butt to compete with someone who makes less than I would at McDonalds.

    Unfortunately, the story is only slightly better for Java:

    I’ve got a mortgage and a third baby coming. I cannot compete with that kind of difference in cost of living; it may be possible to live like a king in Pakistan on $10/hour but here, that’s not going to help us.

    I guess I’ll invest in a career future that almost always /requires/ hands-on and on-site work, such as sysadmin or networking, because it appears that I can’t compete in programming, at least here in the US.

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  • http://improvetrafficnow.com Zach

    Lets back this with facts instead of pissed off programmers upset about outsourcing. PHP and MySEQL are great so is AJAX and .net but heres reality, wordpress and blogging wouldn’t be here with out PHP and MySQL and Google wouldnt be here with out AJAX but listen leave AJAX and .NET to the Googles and leave PHP to start ups who need a low cost solution. If your pissed about outsourcing improve your skills and get a better job or program your own site and match with an SEO guy. But overall I just dont care, outsourcing allows for web start ups!

  • eljuan

    Anyone have two cents on PERL over PHP?

    OK, let the trash talk begin!

  • Frank Higgins

    Shirish, these numbers are by keyword in the job posting title. We will look into web desinger as a term for a future posting. sorry.

  • http://www.flow20.com Shirish

    Don’t see any mention of Web Designers here?

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  • Reb Sem

    PHP is in high demand on oDesk because PHP developers are dirt cheap and produce fast hacks.

  • http://www.duzodesign.com Timothy

    I fit into all of the categories. Go ME! (-_-)

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  • Michael Lok

    That trend is probably true in US/Europe. But not so in South East Asia; specifically in Malaysia. 90% of the companies are looking for .Net or Java. Remaining 10% is a mixture of C/C++ and a dash of PHP. And for those companies who are looking for PHP programmers, their pay is at least 40-50% LESS compared to a .Net/Java equivalent.

    PHP just gets absolutely NO love here :(

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  • http://boksiora.googlepages.com/home2?562133173 website design

    I love it when a job posting will say “Seeking PHP/Ajax/JS/XML/MySQL/CSS/Graphic Designer.” What more do they want, someone who looks like Jessica Alba and makes good coffee too?

  • http://www.1techsol.com abdul basit

    soon there will be a tool where you don’t need programming language skills
    it will be all about drag and drop and run application ..
    i think it will be change soon people don’t need highly skill programmer just a person who have some how know of computer will be enough


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  • homercycles

    The only reason a person would develop something in PHP is because they heard or read that it’s free/open-source, so therefore it must be the programming language to use. Top that off with as crappy a database choice as MySQL and you have morons leading morons resulting in buggy crap.

    Seriously, people, PHP is a ghetto. You’d be better of learning VB.Net than PHP it’s that bad. And for a decent database that’s not buggy, doesn’t lose your data, and has real SQL, use PostgreSQL. MySQL is about as dodgy as PHP (no wonder PHP morons choose MySQL and vice versa).

    LAMP should be LAPP: Linux Apache PostgreSQL Perl

  • Matrix

    Good to see Open source kit on the growth road..
    What abt “php.net” ? Was this even looked at in the list…?
    I hope combination of opensource (php) and Microsoft Tech(visual studio)
    would be on the growth way soon…..

  • http://www.pennantchase.com GJB

    .NET is not nearly as expensive as people presume. A small business can get Web Developer Express and SQL Express for nothing and they are incredibly powerful IDEs, not to mention .NET screams when used properly, just look up the plentyoffish story as an example.

  • http://www.waynejohn.com Wayne John

    I’d like to see a graph on .net as well. Personally, I think PHP is highly over-rated and I compare it to classic asp to some degree. There are too many people out there that think their programmers when in reality they aren’t, so that really makes the technology used a moot point.

    But they all have their merits, but it should always be the right tools for the right job. php and ruby for porn and hack sites, .net for business. :) Let’s see if that doesn’t stir the pot a little.

  • dave

    OK people if your a developer, then its probably safe to assume your fairly intelligent. so lets not act temporarily retarded by making statements based on emotional bias. Ive been in IT for almost 10 years now on both the infrastructure side and for the past 5 years the development side. And i can say base mostly on personal experience and from talking to other consultants, that PHP, MySQL, ASP.Net, MSSQL, VB.Net, C#, Java are all very wildley used and i dont see any of them disappearing anytime soon. I personally use and like .Net/MS SQL. That said i have a few friends that can do pretty much everything i can do with .Net and AJax with PHP and Java. If your a good programmer learning another language is mostly a matter of learning some new syntax. personally i go into interviews with an attitude of here is what i know, and anything i dont im willing to learn. i havent had trouble finding a job since ive been in IT.

  • http://www.MitraSMS.com Ardi

    The Number of Website always increase year to year. So, PHP, AJAX, MySQL will still exist and necessary to build a New Website or Re Design. Keep up our skills. Success !

  • http://www.greenstoreandmore.com Matt D.

    If a source as big as HERB calls your data invalid and irrelevant you might as well pack it in. I mean it’s not like he can’t even link to a functioning website.

  • http://herbymagic.com Herb

    Open Source Developers are tiny cosmic dusts particles in the programming world. .Net provides the best IDE and tools for building robust application. This data is invalid and irrelevant.

  • q

    Yes, let’s all pretend ASP.NET doesn’t exist because we don’t like Microsoft. The problem is, the technology’s used by most of the largest corporations and government entities. Who cares what some guy in his garage looking to hire sweatshop programmers for $10/hr. wants to use?

    I like open source tools too, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore the most widely deployed technologies (.NET/Java) just because you don’t like them.

  • http://www.blogiseverything.com Matthew

    Looks like .NET is not in the top list – not surprising though. Ruby and Phyton no where near?


  • http://jacksongabbard.com Jackson

    Actually, I would suspect that the trend towards PHP+MySQL+JS, etc. is based in the expense related to MS development. Companies are tightening their belts and not buying into the brand power of Microsoft.

  • Anton

    Sorry Ruby developers, you aren’t going to be around in 2 years

  • Mikey

    Posts like these always bring out the fanboys don’t they…
    I personally love to code with XAMP tech, but MS pays the bills.
    Lots of companies use MS and do fine, lots of companies use OSS and do well also. Here on the east coast it’s difficult to find PHP jobs that pay well so it pays to not be too picky if you want to write code…
    Either way, ASP.NET and MSSQL should be in the list because they’re viable and relevant to the discussion.

  • Vance

    Am I the only one who’s noticing that nearly all those graphs either have already topped off and appear to be going back down or have just reached their peak? And this shows there is an overwhelming number of web jobs available when it appears the curve is going back down?

  • Bob Too

    Anyone who hates Microsoft has not used 1/100th of their products.

  • Janis West

    Darnit, I knew I should have learned Ajax while I had a chance!


  • Bob

    Dont listen to the M$ hype. ASP/ASP.net are expensive programmaticly and only companies suckered by salesmen want to use it.

    PHP/Apache/MySQL are the now and the future.

  • http://none Bob Smith
  • http://www.demogeek.com/2008/12/16/translate-your-website-or-blog-to-different-languages-using-google-translate-gadget/ Google Translate

    I would disagree with DR. Instead of just being a Microsoft basher it’s better to take a look at those technologies as well. Being a long time Microsoft technologies user at work and passionate about Microsoft technologies and all the alternatives I would say both has its own merits.

  • http://www.maxentin.ca Max Entin

    Can you show a comparison of Ruby on Rails VS the Django framework?

  • DR

    .Net sucks to all eternity…companies who use it are cheap and outdated.

  • http://naspinski.net naspinski

    I find it very hard to believe that Asp.Net and MSSQL are not on the list, were these even looked at? After being almost purely php for years, nearly all of my work since I got out of college has been Asp.Net/MSSQL. Could you provide the link to where these stats were computed?

  • http://www.demogeek.com DemoGeek

    Any Ruby on Rails trend?