Tech Choices for IT Leaders in Education

What languages, operating systems and databases will best prepare students for industry?

6 min readAug 12, 2020

Following on from my previous article on the lessons of Slide Rules and LISP, I wanted to see how things have changes since my early developer years and what insights can be taken from this for the educators of today who are preparing students for jobs tomorrow.

Each year Stack Overflow conduct a survey across their enormous community of developers. The most recent survey was completed by 90,000 developers.

Geographic coverage of Stack Overflow’s Developer survey (n=88,615)

90% of developers in this study have college education or higher, indicating that formal software development education is very important for the industry.

As such, Heads of Technology, Computer Science, or IT at colleges face the unenviable challenge of sifting through a myriad of technologies and systems and picking the right ones that both, give their students in-demand, valuable skills, but are also realistic within the education setting — meaning they need to be commercially viable for the college, maintainable and easy enough for the staff to support and teach.

I’m going to look at three main areas;

  • Languages,
  • Operating systems (OS), and,
  • Databases

Why did I choose these, and not the other categories in the survey such as frameworks, libraries or tools? Language, OS and Database are the minimum must-haves for any project, plus I have a personal bias, I suppose. My development career was all about languages, OS and databases — so frameworks and libraries are a bit of a dark-art to me.

Hovoríš Python?

(translation: Do you Speak Python?)

When it comes to languages, Javascript has been the number one language for seven years in a row, but Python is rapidly heading for the top spot, having now surpassed what used to the be the go-to language in my early dev years, Java.




A techie at heart, who loves finding innovative tech and helping people understand what’s possible and what might come.