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The coding languages that will get you a job at Google. And the coding languages that won't

If you want to work for Google (or at least for its parent company, Alphabet), it will help if you can code in one of four key programming languages. They're all pretty mainstream.

In the chart below we've plotted the percentage of currently advertised jobs at Alphabet against the percentage of staff currently claiming to work there who mention each language on their public profiles. It turns out most Googlers are all about Python, Javascript, C++ and Java. 

This should not come as a surprise. GitHub's recent State of the Octoverse report had Javascript, Python and Java as the top three programming languages, with C++ ranking 6th.

As with most employers, Alphabet's demand for programming languages isn't restricted to each language individually: it typically asks for a cluster of several when it advertises roles - the chart measures the percentage of roles/profiles specifying a programming language that include each one.  

The programming language that Alphabet doesn't use much - surprisingly perhaps - is Kotlin, which Google made its preferred language for Android app development in May. There are a handful of Kotlin jobs on offer, but not many - and less than 0.5% of the total. Nor is Go as popular as might be expected given Google's suggestion seven years ago that it might be a good replacement for the C languages. 

Alphabet hires C++ developers as Google cloud engineers, network and system specialists, security experts and database engineers. Investment banks, hedge funds and high frequency trading funds are also big users of C++ expertise in high speed trading systems. 

Based on our current snapshot, the things that seem to be growing in use at Google are .NET and C#. The platform feaures in a far higher proportion of both in current job ads than on the profiles of existing staff. This is a curiosity given Google's historic rivalry with Microsoft. However, .NET can be used with Kubernetes, Google's open source system for automating the deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications, and is used in the fast-growing Google Cloud business, so this shouldn't be massively startling either.

Photo by Rajeshwar Bachu on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Sa
    Sam Vilain
    6 December 2019

    This article seems to be reading an awful lot into statements like this, found on almost all Google software engineering opening listings:

    "Experience with one or more general purpose programming languages including but not limited to: Java, C/C++, C#, Objective C, Python, JavaScript, or Go."

    And missing statements like this:

    "Interest and ability to learn other coding languages as needed."

    This is boilerplate put there for recruiters and candidates to keyword match, not signal to be analyzed for insight into internal practices at Google.

  • An
    Andrew C
    1 December 2019

    There is not a single "coding language" that will get you a job at Google. Because Google is a modern tech company that recognizes that good software engineers can learn new languages in a matter of days. What can't be taught that quickly are the CS fundamentals like algorithm design and data structure usage, and this is what Google, and other modern tech companies, are looking for.

  • BA
    1 December 2019

    Good information

  • Ro
    Robert De Los Santos
    1 December 2019

    What are you going to write?

  • Or
    Orkhan N
    30 November 2019

    Whaaaat? What about Dart? I just stated to learn Dart on Flutter....

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