HackerRank Student Developer Report 2018 highlights

Student developers know more Java than what employers require, report shows

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
developer careers
© Shutterstock / charles taylor

We are here with another interesting report, this time investigating the younger generations of developers. The 2018 HackerRank Student Developer Report is here and it brings some useful insight into the student developer community.

The 2018 HackerRank Student Developer Report takes a deep look into the youngest generations of the developing community, offering some very interesting and useful insights.

We very often review reports that offer insights into the developer community but far too scarcely do we put the spotlight on the younger generations. Therefore, this is a special occasion!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most interesting findings from the HackerRank report.

The highlights

It is no news that self-teaching is a practice that has been ingrained in the developer DNA and the report very much confirms that!

Despite the fact that most computer science students are learning software development in universities, over half of all student developers say they’re at least partially self-taught while nearly one-third all student developers say they’re completely self-taught. This can be a definite indication that computer science programs lag behind the pace at which technology evolves.

Interesting fact: When it comes to platforms used to learn code, students rely more on YouTube than professionals.

Moving on to specific languages and tools, it seems that there is a big discrepancy between what student developers know and what employers want. Most interestingly, one of the most significant discrepancies concerns JavaScript. While 48% of employers say they need JavaScript skills, only 42% of student developers worldwide report knowing the language. This, however, can be sufficiently explained when having a closer look at CS curriculums. Largely, JavaScript isn’t taught in standard computer science curriculums, creating a huge gap between what students are taught and what is the real-life demand. This phenomenon can also be counted as another driver for the students to become self-taught.

On the other hand, students appear to be quite knowledgeable in languages that are not in such high demand. Most notably, the discrepancies between the knowledge students have in Java, Python, C++, and C# and the real-time employers’ demand for these languages is enormous.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 growing IT career skills: Indeed report weighs in

When it comes to what students plan to learn next, JavaScript is one of their top priorities, something that can be entirely explained by what we discussed earlier. Nonetheless, JavaScript comes third in the next-to-learn list, following Ruby which appears to be the number one priority and Python in the second place. Go appears to be another appealing choice for future study since it attracts a significant part of the students’ interest with 36,4%.

Last but not least, we have a look at the frameworks students know best in contrast to what employers want. According to the report, frameworks are generally learned on the job, since, as you can see below, there is a huge difference between what employers want and what students know, pretty much for every framework seen in the report. Here are the top 10 frameworks: 

When looking at the top three frameworks specifically, Node.js, AngularJS, and React the divergence between the knowledge level of students and the employers’ demands is huge.

If you are interested in learning more about the student developer community, you can find the full report here.

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou is an assistant editor for Just finished her masters in Modern East Asian Studies and plans to continue with her old hobby that is computer science.