Top 3 Trends and Predictions in Programming

January 7, 2021 | Reskill Your Workforce | 2 min read

2020 Programming Skills Trends

Given the rapid pace of technology change, staying ahead of tech trends is hard for any tech leader, particularly in tech areas your organization has not yet deployed. The  Lean into Tech: Skillsoft Signals Report  captures the learning needs of 5 million users across a diverse array of company sizes, geographies, and industries. Here we'll examine 2020 tech learning trends and directional signals in the area of Programming to guide you and your team as you prepare for the new year.

Programming is the mastery of languages and frameworks to create durable code. Boutique languages fill niches while legacy languages remain relevant with new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities. Trending languages are optimized for their portion of the software stack.

People who never thought they could program are leaning in because of interpretive languages. Achieving competency requires a long-term commitment to learning and hands-on experience. The art of programming is developing the confidence to apply new technologies to the challenges at hand.



Python is the fastest-growing and most popular programming language, and with good reason. This object-oriented, interpretive language is easy to learn and quickly build a moderate level of competence. Python is powerful for data wrangling and extracting insights from analyzing large data sets. Python is available to all and is driving the democratization of data.

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Thriving languages are more optimized and fit for purpose. Programming is less monolithic and more Cloud-focused and microservices-driven. Programming is at a crossroads as career paths are changing based on learning new skills.



Open source libraries and repositories enable programmers to crowd source solutions to common challenges. Talented programmers around the globe are eager to weigh in and offer recommendations freely. Building code from scratch isn’t a virtue. Collaboration softens the talent shortage.

Janani Ravi, Co-founder of Loonycorn and Skillsoft instructor

2021 Predictions

“Programming is becoming a life skill everyone needs in order to visualize data and gather insights.”
Janani Ravi, Co-founder of Loonycorn and Skillsoft instructor

Skillsoft partner Loonycorn predicts:

  1. Advantages of ML will accelerate Python growth
  2. Greater acceptance of mid-career retraining as the path to technology and development career growth
  3. Focus on developing robust applications using proven languages such as Java

New languages and frameworks embrace specialization and deliver productivity benefits.

Skillsoft Recommendation: Upskill teams by investing in learning new programming skills and retraining mid-career programmers.

To capture the technology trends and avoid the risks from missing out, build these skills:

  1. Programming language and frameworks for data wrangling and analytics
  2. Programming language and frameworks for full-stack development (front end and back end)
  3. For Microsoft users, platform-specific frameworks.

Risks from missing the signal:

  • Difficulty retaining good programmers in an organization where new languages and technologies aren’t being used and learning isn’t a priority.
  • Failure to gain insights from AI and ML technologies and data analytics.
  • Loss of productivity by using less powerful languages.
  • Lower cost, inefficient programming without open-source options.

Does your organization have the skilled resources to capture this directional signal? Download the complete Signals Report