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Software Development Trends in The Berlin Tech-Hub

by Poppy Allen

October 2018

Software Development Trends in The Berlin Tech-Hub


Software development is an ever-evolving industry and developers are often having to brush up on their skills due to the new frameworks and technologies released every single year. In this post, we will investigate the latest trends within frameworks associated with JavaScript and Java, particularly trends in the ever-growing tech hub that is Berlin.




So, let’s start with some figures on just how many developers there are in Berlin. According to Stack Overflow, Germany is now home to over 840,000 developers with 81,868 of those developers being based in Berlin as of 2016. Due to the rising number of developers based in Germany, coupled with the fact that over 22,000 start-ups are created in Berlin every year, there is more competition now than ever to impress start-ups and well-established tech giants with a knowledge of the latest tools and technologies. 


‘So how do I set myself apart?’

Well, if we look at the programming languages in Berlin (based off of a Stack Overflow article from September 2017), it is clear that the most-visited tags in Germany closely match those visited worldwide, with Java securing first place and JavaScript following closely behind. 


‘So which frameworks are trending when it comes to JavaScript and Java?’

Well, let’s start by looking at the front-end programming language, JavaScript. JavaScript easily has over 80 associated frameworks, with each framework holding a different use. These frameworks include web-application frameworks (MVC), unit testing tools, template systems, pure JavaScript tools (Ajax), Graphical user interface tools (GUIs) and many more.


I came across a very interesting ‘Google Trends’ graph detailing the average interest over time with both React.js and Vue.js, two of the current trending frameworks for JavaScript. In this graph, it is clear that Vue.js is piquing the interest of the development community. This could be due to the fact that some frameworks don't provide new features and instead just offer a different combination or better implementation of existing frameworks. Vue.js, for example, took the best parts of React and Angular and packaged them into a more developer-friendly framework.


In a blog article by Eric Elliott, I came across an interesting google trends graph detailing the top JavaScript libraries to learn in 2018. We can see React is still at the forefront when it comes to companies and developers determining which JavaScript library is most efficient to build user interfaces. This contributed to my personal insight into the Berlin market, with over 90% of Front-End Development roles within our client base now requesting knowledge and professional experience with React.js. 


Now, let’s look at JQuery (JQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.) and Angular (a JavaScript-based open-source front-end MVC). Both of these tools have been used within the IT industry for over 8 years and have remained cemented within many different companies. I fail to see how either of these tools will decrease in popularity due to the stability and functionality they provide developers. I predict that Vue.js could potentially rise in favour over Angular by 2020 due to Vue.js being an amalgamation of both Angular and React’s best features. 

"There is more competition now than ever to impress start-ups and well-established tech giants with a knowledge of the latest tools and technologies." - Poppy Allen, Consultant, Digital Berlin Team


Now onto Java. As we discovered in the Stack Overflow graph above, Java is still the most popular programming language in the world. Very similar to JavaScript, Java hosts an abundance of frameworks. When these frameworks are paired with Java, they simplify and enhance developer productivity.  It almost goes without saying that Spring framework is one of the most popular frameworks associated with back-end development. It is used by millions of developers around the world to create high performing, easily testable, and reusable code. The core features of the Spring Framework can be used in developing any Java application, but there are extensions for building web applications on top of the Java EE platform. The Spring framework is implemented to make J2EE development easier to use and promotes good programming practices by enabling a POJO-based programming model.


Apart from Spring, Jhipster is another framework highly sought after in the Berlin Digital scene. Jhipster is a free and open-source application generator used to quickly develop modern web applications and Microservices using Angular or React and the Spring Framework. You might be wondering, “why would a Java developer need to learn JavaScript framework?”  Well, let me tell you - at most start-ups in Berlin, a Java developer is not only responsible for server-side coding, but is also responsible for client-side coding and creating front-end GUIs. 


Another framework which I have personally seen grow in popularity within the Berlin market is Spark. Spark is a micro framework and domain-specific language for Java (and Kotlin).  Spark’s purpose is to provide an alternative for Kotlin/Java developers that want to develop their web applications as expressively as possible and with minimal boilerplate (seemingly repetitive code that shows up again and again to get a result that seems like it ought to be much simpler). Spark is also a great framework to use if you are looking to transfer into a Big Data position, this is because Spark is written in both Java and Scala. Scala is a highly scalable and general-purpose programming language which combines features of both object-orientated and functional programming. Scala, when paired with Spark, proves extremely efficient when handling data in a high-load environment and is therefore widely used within the Big Data community. 


From what I gathered from the market, it is clear that React, Angular and Vue have cemented themselves within the world of JavaScript frameworks and that Spring, Jhipster and Spark have proved their continued efficiency for Java developers in the Berlin area.  I hope that this article sheds some light on what tools and technologies will put you in a better position to be a valued member within the Berlin tech community.


Please send an email to poppy.allen@parallelconsulting.com to get in touch with me and let me know your thoughts on this article. I would love to hear if you found this beneficial to your job search as well as provided you with any tools or frameworks that you found useful when securing your ideal role in Berlin. 


Check out our infographic below: