Monday, 28 July 2008

Growth of the Haskell job market

Functional programming languages have been around for a long time, of course, but they have only very recently begun to be adopted for more mainstream programming tasks. This is reflected in the job market and the IT Jobs Watch website does an excellent job of trending the job market over time for different programming languages, including Haskell. The results are surprising:

This shows that, at least in the UK, the Haskell-related job market is growing rapidly: demand for programmers familiar with Haskell been rising steadily since mid-2006 and is now 4× higher than it was then.

Moreover, the range of salaries for job adverts that value Haskell experience is substantially higher than all mainstream languages: £50-68k compared to only £38-45k for C# and £42-52k for Java. As we predicted last year, this trend is driven by employers using programming language diversity as a way to identify superior candidates and this trend is driving more and more young developers to better their programming abilities and job prospects by learning advanced languages like Haskell.

However, Haskell is unlike the other major functional languages because job adverts asking for programmers familiar with Haskell rarely pertain to actual Haskell programming in industry. In contrast, many companies are actually using other functional languages, like OCaml, to build working products. The reason for this is not clear.