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As an engineer looking to progress in ones career, it is of the utmost importance to constantly enhance ones skill set to remain relevant. After all, nobody is interested in an expert with knowledge about a language that is deemed irrelevant. After analyzing the latest batch of data in our quarterly skills watch, it is apparent that Golang (Go) is a language on the rise. The C++, Python and Java mix based language developed by three Google engineers, Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson, has shown considerable strength over the last couple of years.

We know it has shown growth, but how much to be exact? Well, it is quite considerable to put it bluntly. In a mere three years, it has tripled. Quite a feat to say the least. While the overall numbers pale in comparison to other household languages, the steady rise can not be ignored. It first showed up on the watch list as a blip back in 2015. It floundered at relatively low numbers for the following two years after making its' initial appearance. However, a break out showed up in 2017. And, since that time, as mentioned earlier, it has moved up three fold. Therefore, not surprisingly, it caught our attention.

Who is using it? Is Go seeing this growth solely based on the growth of Google as a company? The short answer is no. While the founding company of the language does tend to use it extensively, there are a number of other high profile companies putting its efficiencies to good use. First and foremost is Uber. Uber is such a fan of Go that it has written over a hundred services with it. Another company with a lot of momentum that is finding its' use beneficial is Twitch. The highly popular video game streaming service credits their video quality to Golang. Pinterest and Lyft are also big fans. All in all, there are presently over 2,000 companies that are making use of it. Therefore, Go has shown that it can expand much farther than Google's four walls.

It is always tough to keep up with the latest trends. There is no question about that. Always having to bring a new skill into the fold can be a challenge. But, that is what makes this field so dynamic. One is always in constant flux to reinvent themselves. And, to stay relevant, it is a must. Therefore, now might be the time to introduce yourself to Go if you have not done so already.

Looking to see if the skills you possess are the ones most in demand? Are there areas within your overall skill set that need to be addressed to increase your marketability? We have combined the categories within our skills profiles to showcase what the ultimate DevOps engineer would look like based on corporate demand. Not only can you see the skill in each category that is currently at the top of the mountain, but also the ones realizing the greatest percentage growth. Essentially, one can view the incumbent and the challengers on its heels. Therefore, the notion of the ultimate DevOps engineer is fluid, and a certain skill can change on a quarter by quarter basis.

On a side note, there are a couple of categories that were deemed difficult to narrow. In this case, there were two of them, security and storage. We felt it best to stick with broad skills, such as SSL for security or SAN for storage. Also, within the networking section, it was determined to stick with application protocols, such as HTTP. The remaining categories provided a much easier means to narrow the field to an exact skill. As always, we are open to feedback. Thus, if there is a better way to get more specific results for security or storage, we are all ears.

Nearly synonymous with the evolution of open source software, the LAMP stack was the de facto standard for years. The combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP was a must for any individual interested in having a Linux system administration job or web application development. Each of these components was in such a demanding position that it appeared it was a combination that would have legs for years to come. Sure, technological advancements happen at a rapid pace and the scenery is ever changing, but it was tough to envision a world that did not include the LAMP stack. To this day, it is still widely used, but based on the numbers, it is in decline.

One must remember that each component is not tied necessarily to the other. Therefore, one must break down the stack to see where the shortfall lies. It goes without saying the L part of the stack is going nowhere. Linux is Linux and will remain in a dominant position. After all, while the open source revolution did not start with Linux, it is the catalyst that has gotten us to this point. For all intents and purposes, the L does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Apache maintains its dominance among web servers, however, its position is waning. Over the course of the last four years, Apache was highlighted a third less times. This seems to be primarily due to the competition it faces. Over the same amount of time, there has been increases in the use of other web servers such as Nginx, Lighttpd and node.js. With more choices available, it is just natural that it is going to face an uphill battle to remain in its dominant position.

The M part of the stack arguably has faced the biggest changes over the years. During MySQL's run up to a dominant position in the marketplace, it operated as a separate entity. Then came the lure of being taken over by a behemoth in Oracle. Of course, the ironic part of that transaction was a company that would have to decide between driving clients to its own very successful proprietary database or push clients to an open source alternative. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that there is more profit in its proprietary solution. Thus, which one do you think it was pushing more? Outside of that, much like Apache, a constant rise in competition and market dynamics has also played a part. For one, the core of the MySQL crew decided to create its own alternative, MariaDB. In addition, with the demands on data, NoSQL led databases have had a nice growth spurt over the same time frame. And, PostgreSQL has always been an alternative for a number of years.

Finally, much like the M, the P is also under duress. While the P could encompass PHP, Perl or Python; initially, PHP was the dominant one of the group. And, PHP has fallen precipitously over the last five years. Some may ask why that is the case. The simple answer is time. Rarely do you see a language maintain a dominant position for years on end. Languages come along and are replaced by something new or an existing language used in a different manner. In this case, Javascript probably is the most responsible for companies transitioning away from PHP. As far as Perl and Python, their numbers do not play out to a similar fate as PHP. Their uses are more wide ranging than that of PHP. Thus, where they may be declining in regards to the reliance on the LAMP stack, both Perl and Python are making up that loss in other areas.

While the LAMP stack is far from dead, there is change in the marketplace that has taken place over the last few years. The open source revolution has created new methodologies on ways to approach development. Choice is at the forefront of this movement. Therefore, a whole host of new acronyms have become widely distributed. In an arena where LAMP once reigned supreme, the market has introduced variants such as LEMP, LAPP and MEAN. Each company is assessing which solution to utilize in its development process, and with the advent of alternatives, it is impossible for the mighty not to fall.

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