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PHP Tops List of Hot Job Categories

PHP is rapidly replacing traditional languages such as Perl, ASP, and C, according to Freelancer.com's recent analysis of the top 50 rising job categories in the online labor market.

PHP continues to be the dominant programming language of the web and is up 40 percent to 61,813 projects in 2010, making it the top category for outsourcing on Freelancer.com and having the largest absolute growth in terms of numbers of projects gained. PHP based frameworks Zend (up 875%), CodeIgniter (up 980%), and CakePHP (up 551%) mirrored this, seeing triple digit growth but narrowly missed the Fast 50 cut due to the low volume.

It is well known that PHP is replacing traditional languages such as Perl (down 39% to 1,466), ASP (down 22% to 4,060) and C Programming (down 31% to 5,297). However, the surprise for the year was the lack of growth for would-be challenger Ruby, which was flat (down 3% to 825 projects and missing the cut). Javascript bucked the trend being the primary client-side language for PHP (up 42% to 13,678 projects).

With off-the-rack software such as Wordpress and Zencart continuing to use PHP as their language platform of choice it seems likely that it will maintain its position at the top of the list for a long time to come.

Mobile was definitely the new black in 2010. Back from the grave is Nokia with an unexpected and top of the charts growth of 8,700% to 880 projects; just missing out of the Fast 50 due to the low volume.

Objective C applications (iPhone +182% to 6,890, and iPad debuting at 2,656 projects) have seen significant growth (up 647% to 1,472) no doubt spurred on by the iPad and iPhone 4 releases. Google's Android (up 501% to 2,813), expected to release a vast array of handsets this year is close behind and RIM's Blackberry rounded out the pack (up 446% to 1702).

Adobe's Flash is hurting (down 5% to 13,748 projects) thanks to Apple blocking it on their mobile platforms. Based on these growth rates, we expect to see Android projects overtake iPhone applications this year.

Microsoft related projects are in strong decline across the board, with Windows Desktop applications crashing down 47% on 2009 figures to 1,994 projects and ASP down 22% to 4,060 projects. Visual Basic and .NET flat at up 6% (to 12,687) and 3% (to 3,660) respectively. Windows Mobile, Active Directory, MS Exchange, and Expression were all up but didn't make the Fast 50 due to very low project volumes. The only bright spot was C# programming, up 204% to 5,786 projects. Azure volumes were non-existent (35 projects).

Search on the Internet has never been more crucial to finding high-quality products and services, and good search rankings have never been more valuable. In response to this there has been an ever increasing focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through search engine targeted content to ensure high rankings and maximum search exposure. As a result, we are seeing content churned out at a tremendous rate: article writing was up 410% to a whopping 35,853 projects in 2010; technical writing up 138% to 6,278, ghostwriting up 269% to 9,507, blog writing up 126% to 11,394, review writing up 444% to 6,419, and article rewriting up 845% to 20,129 projects.

Across the board, social networking applications continue to grow. Leading the pack are Facebook applications (up 364% to 11,585 projects), followed by Twitter (up 85% to 3,066), YouTube (up 276% to 2,836), and build-your-own social network platform SocialEngine (up 279% to 1,224 projects). Social Networking as a category itself was up 75% to 8,572 projects. MySpace trailed the pack but was still up 59% to 1,144 projects.

Selling on the Internet is alive and well. eBay projects were up a massive 791% to 3,983 in 2010. Shopping carts were strong with Magento taking the lead as the most popular shopping cart (up 182% to 3,679 projects), osCommerce was up 312% to 3,473, and Zen Cart up 377% to 1,444 projects. eCommerce projects were up 169% to 8,618.

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