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The Most Popular Language For Machine Learning Is …

This article was written by Jean Francois Puget

What programming language should one learn to get a machine learning or data science job?  That’s the silver bullet question.  It is debated in many forums.  I could provide here my own answer to it and explain why, but I’d rather look at some data first.  After all, this is what machine learners and data scientists should do: look at data, not opinions. 

So, let’s look at some data.  I will use the trend search available on indeed.com.  It looks for occurrences over time of selected terms in job offers.  It gives an indication of what skills employers are seeking.  Note however that it is not a poll on which skills are effectively in use.  It is rather an advanced indicator of how skill popularity evolve (more formally, it is probably close to the first order derivative of popularity as the latter is the difference of hiring skills plus retraining skills minus retiring and leaving skills). 

Enough speaking, let’s get data.  I searched for skills used in conjunction with “machine learning” and “data science”, where skills are one of the prominent programming language Java, C, C++, and Javascript.  I also included Python and R which we know are popular for machine learning and data science, as well as Scala given its link to Spark, and Julia that some think is the next big thing here.  Running this query we get the data we are looking for:

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