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demand for scripting languages
Scripting is an essential attribute of an administrator's skill set. With all the choices that exist, which one is best? In this area of technology, more so than almost any other, it is all about taste and preferences. Whether it is Perl or Bash or Python, the job will get done. All that matters is the manner in which it gets done. Therefore, the clear cut answer to the question of which is best, is completely up to the administrator. We will provide the statistics we are able to analyze from the marketplace, and if it sways your decision one way or the other, fine, but it does not need to. There is no wrong answer.

Most of the popular scripting languages have shown steady growth over the last six quarters, with one exception, Perl. For some reason, Perl has seen about a 10% decline over the period analyzed. Along with every other language, the movement is not drastic, yet noteworthy based on the overall data. It peaked in early 2016 at nearly 1,900 requests per 10,000 job listings. It now finds itself just below 1,700. As for the reason why this has taken place, your guess is as good as mine. Whatever the rhyme or reason, corporation's are not asking for it as much presently.

The one scripting language that garners the largest numbers and is still in growth mode is Python. Whereas Perl has declined by about 10%, Python has seen growth of a little over 10% during the last year and a half. Its reading as of January 2016 registered in at 2,566 out of 10,000 listings. As of April 2017, the number of listings requiring Python skills has increased to 2,826. The numbers in between have been a little haphazard, but at the end of the day, the trajectory is moving upward.

Another language experiencing growth is Bash. Bash's overall numbers pale in comparison to Python's, however, the growth of Bash exceeds Python's by about 5%. Thus, a rate of growth of 15% for Bash during the last six quarters. As of January 2016, its reading was just shy of 1,000, and now it is just a shade over 1,150.

The one main scripting language that I am leaving out of the analyzation is PHP. After all, when the LAMP stack was introduced, the P could be substituted for Perl, Python or PHP. The overall numbers for PHP are in decline. And, more so than even Perl. It has retreated about 25% over the last year and a half.

Given its notable fall, why is it not being included with the other important scripting languages? It is my belief that PHP's decline is more than just the way engineers use it for scripting. PHP was once one of the leading, if not the leading, web application language. When Ruby on Rails came onto the scene, it became evident that it was putting a dent in PHP. And, there have been others since. Therefore, being that it was widely used outside of scripting, I am of the belief that there are other factors at work outside of losing out to the likes of Python or Bash for scripting purposes.
On the flip side, it could be argued that the growth of Python is for usage outside of scripting. And, just like with the decline in PHP, that could be the case. Therefore, one must take that into consideration when analyzing the data in this category. As with all data, it can be interpreted in different manners.

At the end of the day, scripting is still an integral part in the overall technology ecosystem. And, the numbers bear that out. For the most part, much like other areas in FLOSS, growth can be seen. The conundrum is the growth in this particular category is more subdued than other areas we have analyzed. As was mentioned from the onset, it is my take that usage trends in regards to scripting tend to come down to taste and preferences, and I believe that to be the case in this instance. We are at the mercy of the data, and in this instance, Python and Bash are on the rise while some of the other leaders falter.

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