Monday, 28 July 2008

Growth of the OCaml 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 job market trends over time for different programming languages, including OCaml. The results are nothing short of miraculous:

This shows that, at least in the UK, the OCaml job market is growing at an incredible rate: 12× as many OCaml jobs on the market as last year.

Moreover, the range of salaries for OCaml developers is substantially higher than all mainstream languages: £45-68k 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 OCaml.

We believe this trend will continue for several years to come.


Le said...

That's great news,we don't see every day jobs for functional languages specially like Objective Caml,usually imperative languages tend to take over,but with many years to come things will change; slowly but surely :).

Sylvain Le Gall said...

Even if I tend to think you are right, the number of jobs seem really quiet low. If I read correctly the result, we talk about 13 jobs. It is of course better than the former 1 job, on the last period. But i am not sure we are really going to have a 12x growth rate for several years.

However, I think we are really entering an area in computer science where firms will look at new way for creating their applications. Functional programming, and OCaml in particular, can have a good place there.

Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd. said...

Yes. While I don't anticipate continuing growth at that rate it is interesting to note that there are many more OCaml jobs advertised on the mailing lists and in forums that never appeared on such job sites.

I believe this is a critical point because the visibility of OCaml as a programming language for industry on mainstream sites like this will encourage further adoption and, consequently, super-linear growth.

On the other hand, there is a serious shortage of talented functional programmers: a consequence of being plunged into the mainstream where many people claim to have abilities and knowledge that they simply do not possess.

Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd. said...

Now 3 months later and there are 2.4× more jobs again (29) and OCaml's market share among programming languages has risen from 0.015% to 0.038%. That equates to 34× more OCaml jobs per year!

Fabrice said...

Funny, I suspect that these statistics are screwed up, because most of the job offers are for CAML (Collaborative Application Markup Language) and not Caml... :-(