Once thought to be the next big thing, Scala has had a tumultuous past. Back in 2011, the Scala team won a five year grant by the European Research Council. At that point, it surely seemed possible that this was the next dominant programming language. However, five years later, some companies were halting their use of the language all together. Today, from the data we collect, it appears that it is having a resurgence.

Over the course of the last three years, Scala has been requested in double the employment postings. That is right, a full 100% increase in that time. Staggering for a language that was once in decline. Therefore, it obviously caught our attention. We had not seen that kind of turnaround by any other language to date. There are always ones that rise and fall, but their linear graph tends to be a slope. This is a first, whereby going back far enough, one would witness a roller coaster looking graph.

Why is Scala different than a lot of other languages that we monitor? From what we can garner, it appears that big data has breathed new life into Scala. From this article by Moshe Kranc, he provides an excellent analysis on why, at the time (10/2016), Scala appeared to be in decline. However, the very last sentence in that article is perhaps the key to what we are presently witnessing. He states, “But, it will be around for years to come as the language of choice for niche problem domains such as Big Data programming.” And, now being able to look into the future, albeit just a couple of years, we know the supreme importance of big data programming in today's world. Thus, this explanation seems to make sense.

The real test will be what is next. The numbers for Scala, for the moment, have seemed to plateau. So, has Scala gotten all out of big data it is going to get? Will we see another surge in Scala as big data continues to peruse through the technological landscape. Those are questions only time will be able to answer. We will monitor this on a quarterly basis and provide any updates as needed. In the meantime, it might not be a bad idea to start brushing up on your Scala skills.