International developer insights

Coding bootcamps & YouTube: Developers in 2020 learn via non-traditional methods

Sarah Schlothauer
coding bootcamps
© Shutterstock / josefkubes

The typical developer is changing with increasingly varied and non-traditional ways to learn how to code, such as videos, self-guided lessons, and coding bootcamps. Are they useful? This study by HackerRank says yes! Follow the current trends in development, see what language developers around the world hope to learn in 2020, and what job role is the most in-demand.

HackerRank surveyed over 111,000 developers and students from 162 different countries about developer trends in their communities. Stay up-to-date with other developers and see what they self-reported about their coding skills, hiring trends, how they learn new technologies, and what they hope to accomplish next.

We examined the full report presented by HackerRank and pulled out some of the key highlights that might pertain to your career. Let’s have a look at the third annual Developer Skills Report.

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Growth of non-traditional learning methods

The way people learn coding is slowly changing. The traditional methods such as University courses and books are giving way to newer, non-traditional education routes.

Coding bootcamps have become increasingly popular as a way to enter an intensive training program. Whether or not coding bootcamps are the best method is a matter of some debate, however, according to HackerRank, nearly 1 in 3 hiring managers have hired a coding bootcamp graduate.

Even better, they are reporting that these grads are suited for the job. 72% of hiring managers reported that bootcamp grads were equally or better equipped for their job.

In addition to this non-traditional method, gaining knowledge from free online materials such as YouTube videos was popular across all generations.

No degree, no problem?

Good news for developers living in countries with rising higher education costs. It is no longer seen as an absolute requirement to have a 4-year degree to work as a developer.

HackerRank reports that “32% of developers at small companies (1-49 employees) haven’t obtained a Bachelor’s degree”.

It is also more likely for the younger generation to not have any degrees under their belt, for both the obvious reasons of age and less experience, but also reflects a shifting opinion on the value of degrees versus other methods of acquiring experience.

The change is happening, but it’s not all there yet. Large companies are still likely to require a degree, and 91% of surveyed devs have a BA or higher.

Pros and cons of full-stack developer roles

Businesses are looking to hire full-stack developers and get the best of all worlds. With their knowledge and ability to work on any level of the technical stack, full-stack developers are the most in-demand role for businesses of all sizes.

This desirability comes with a few caveats. While the job role is soaring, it is also very demanding and requires flexibility, on the job learning, and a wide array of knowledge that never stops growing.

Full-stack developers have their work cut out of them. HackerRank’s reports revealed that full-stack devs have to learn new platforms, new theoretical concepts, new languages, and new frameworks more than any other tech role.

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Programming languages in 2020

C is proving to be the lingua franca of development or at least the language that developers learn to code in. Once upon a time, a developers’ first language was pretty much guaranteed to be BASIC. However, nowadays BASIC is a bit too, well, basic compared to the flexibility of languages such as C.

According to the survey, Millennials and Gen Z got their feet wet with C. Now that the TIOBE Index awarded C the coveted Programming Language of the Year award for 2019, it’s a safe bet that for now, programmers will continue this trend.

Meanwhile, developers want to learn Go. For the third year in a row Go ranks at the #1 programming languages that developers are hoping to learn next. (Followed by Python, Kotlin, and TypeScript.)

As for hiring managers, what do they look for? 1 in 5 hiring managers in the Americas don’t see language as a top hiring priority and are language agnostic. However, if you want to make a choice you can’t go wrong with JavaScript. JS is the most popular language that hiring managers are looking for.

Want more statistics? Read the report from HackerRank and see the other insights.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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