Ever wondered what it takes to work at some of the upstart companies you see in the headlines? As it turns out, many of them are looking for the same set of skills.

If your goal is to land a job at any of these firms, learning Python is your best bet: Of the top ten ‘unicorns’ in tech, eight use Python day-to-day.

Though CodingDojo only lists frameworks used by seven of the top ten, ReactJS is utilized by five of them. Meanwhile, JavaScript is used by seven of the top ten unicorns.

Though notably in decline, Ruby was also used at seven of the top ten on this list.

Java is also in use at seven firms (seeing a pattern here?), but has firm competition. CodingDojo says Kotlin, the heir apparent to Java (at least for Android), was used by eight of the top 25 unicorns. It’s a surprise finding: “[Kotlin] has not appeared in any past Coding Dojo analysis of top programming languages.”

Having a well-rounded skillset is also smart. “Most unicorns used between three and six languages,” writes CodingDojo, “showing that well-rounded developers will be in higher demand than specialists.”

Of the top 25, 20 use Python; 19 use Java; eight use Kotlin. Coinbase was the only top-ten unicorn found to use Swift.

Tech Skills Kotlin Java Google Dice

This may hint at larger issues for Swift. Of the top 25 unicorns, CodingDojo says seven use Objective-C. It only lists the top ten languages used by the top 25 unicorns, and Swift isn’t listed. Newer companies using a soon-to-be-dated language (Objective-C) is not a good look.

Python and Java reigning supreme isn’t a shock; we see this often, especially with TIOBE’s ranking scheme. We expect Python to stay relevant well into the future, mainly because it’s been positioned as a language highly useful for things such as machine learning. But in the next few years, Kotlin may just eat Java’s lunch.



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