Go is being used to create smart contracts in building blockchain — That might explain its recent demand surge
Upwork recently released its newest quarterly index of the hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market. Go and React Native are both in top 5 while blockchain has fallen out of the top 20 list. We talked with Shoshana Deutschkron, VP of Communications & Brand for Upwork about Go’s growth, whether AngularJS will retain its position in the future and more.
Upwork, the largest global freelancing website, recently released its newest quarterly index of the hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market. There is a massive difference between Upwork’s Q3 and Q4 Skills Index results.
For example, blockchain is no longer on the list, Bitcoin is now the fastest-growing skill for freelancers and React is nowhere to be found. Newcomers React Native and Go have landed in the top 5 — the only constant presence seems to be AngularJS development, which now occupies the 14th position, which means its decrease hasn’t been that dramatic [from 12th position in Q3].
Top 10 fastest-growing skills, Q4 2017
- Amazon DynamoDB
- React native
- Go development
- Forex trading
- 3D rigging
- Augmented reality
- Computer vision
- Penetration testing
Check out the complete top 20 fastest-growing skills list for Q4 here.
We talked with Shoshana Deutschkron, VP of Communications & Brand for Upwork about Go’s growth, whether AngularJS will retain its position in the future and more.
JAXenter: These results are for Q4 2017. With everything that’s happening in the crypto world right now, do you think bitcoin is still the fastest-growing skill for freelancers this year?
Shoshana Deutschkron: So far the growth continues — we’re still seeing an increase in demand for jobs with that skill on Upwork in data from the start of 2018. In January 2018, bitcoin experienced a 67% month-over-month increase (v. December 2017); and year-over-year, it grew at 1,755% (v. January 2017). It will be interesting to track demand for bitcoin throughout the year.
JAXenter: If we compare these results with last year’s Q3, blockchain has fallen out of the top 20 list. Why is that?
Shoshana Deutschkron: When skills first emerge they’re very small and volatile so it did pop up in Q3 2017 based on year-over-year growth, but in Q4 2016 there wasn’t enough volume to track back to and qualify it for our list as it was essentially nonexistent. This does not mean it isn’t still growing rapidly, in fact, blockchain was the single fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 on Upwork.com in Q4 2017. That in and of itself is fascinating and underscores how quickly skills are emerging.
Freelancers — who are twice as likely to proactively pursue a skills-related education than non-freelancers, according to Freelancing in America — are becoming experts in Go.
JAXenter: Go is in top 5 — what triggered this growth? What does it have now that it didn’t have before?
Shoshana Deutschkron: Go (or GoLang) saw increasing growth throughout 2017, and that accelerated even more in Q4. An upgraded version (Go 2.0) is expected soon, and freelancers — who are twice as likely to proactively pursue a skills-related education than non-freelancers, according to Freelancing in America — are becoming experts in the language.
Programmers are recognizing that the more traditional programming languages developed in the 1990’s are becoming outdated. Go, created in 2009, is seen as simple and increasingly being used to create smart contracts in building blockchain, which may have played a role in its recent demand surge. HackerRank identified Go as one of the languages developers are planning to learn next in its new 2018 Developer Skills Report, and Stack Overflow also named it one of its fastest-growing programming languages.
JAXenter: React.js was ousted from the Top 5 list (Q3) — React Native has taken its place. Has it proved its usefulness? Does it deserve its position?
Shoshana Deutschkron: React Native is newer than React.js, and emerging skills often see higher growth than skills that have been around for several years. React.js still growing quickly and experienced more than 100% year-over-year growth in Q4. Freelancers have marketed more than 5,000 skills on Upwork, and the Top 5 are often growing at rates as high as 3,000% (like bitcoin in Q4). When a skill drops off the list, it doesn’t mean it isn’t still growing quickly; it just means there are other skills growing at faster rates.
JAXenter: Do you think AngularJS will remain on the list now that we know there’s only one significant release left?
Shoshana Deutschkron: AngularJS is one of three skills that has appeared on every index we’ve published except one; we expect it to continue to grow but growth doesn’t guarantee a skill will be among the top 20 fastest-growing skills given how rapidly so many of the 5,000 skills freelancers market on Upwork are growing.