Pluralsight Technology Index: FAQs

The Pluralsight Technology Index is a resource that shows trends for software development, IT Ops, security and data technologies—languages, tools, frameworks and more—and ranks their popularity/engagement relative to one another.

Click here to access the Tech Index, or click here to read our methodology. You can find frequently asked questions about the Tech Index below.



In a nutshell, how does the index work?

We pull data from YouTube, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Google AdWords, Google Search, Indeed, Reddit and Dice, then calculate the median popularity of a technology, versus its peers, across those data sources.

Is there an easy way to see a quarterly or yearly trend, as opposed to month-to-month?

At this point, we’re focused on aggregating data which would be necessary to support a quarterly or yearly trend perspective, but this view is a possibility in the future.

How can I look at just a category of languages, IDEs, or frameworks?

In the table view for the audience you’re tracking (Software Development, IT Ops, Security or Data Professional), click Filter by type in the upper-left corner to see the broadest possible categorization of technologies, such as languages, frameworks, platforms, tools, etc.  

While it is not yet possible to see more granular categories (such as IDEs), we are considering ways we could achieve this in the future.

What technologies are included on the index?

This release of the Pluralsight Technology Index focuses on technologies in software development, IT Ops, security and data (which includes AI and machine learning technologies). 

  • Technologies that are missing from the Index are being tracked under (as yet) unreleased audiences, such as Business Professional.

A “just emerging” perspective has been on our radar for a while, but we’re still noodling on how to do the idea justice.

I’m suspicious of a recent jump in ranking (154 to 109). How can something change that much in a month?

The most important thing is not just how a technology ranks in a given month, but what its overall trend is.

If it jumps from 154 to 109 and back to 154, and does this over the course of the year, then it’s not really growing overall. Sustained trend is what counts.

Anything that changes how often people search for a technology, create content which Google Indexes, watch videos about a technology on YouTube, post questions about a technology on Stack Overflow, or watch a repository on GitHub, will drive changes in the Index.

Sometimes these upward movements can be caused by a technology remaining stable in popularity, while other technologies previously ranked below it experience drops in popularity. Our monthly approach can be more volatile because it’s closer to the action, in a sense.

The Index is measuring relative popularity, so in a situation such as this, the continued relative strength of a technology could take it into a leading position over others.

Why do you list some technologies which are arguably “hobbyist” in orientation?

Our goal is to provide an objective and comprehensive guide to technology popularity across the entire technology landscape. We believe that by not applying any arbitrary criteria to which technologies are listed (or not), we build our credibility.

Does the quantity of questions about a language, framework, or tool, on Stack Overflow, reveal how popular it is? Or does it reveal how great a language is?

Well... no.

In fact, we expect that, where Stack Overflow is concerned, the number of questions on a specific technology is indicative of something which is potentially 1) hard to use, 2) hard to learn or 3) poorly documented. To us, we interpret this as high engagement around a technology, which we believe is a strong signal of demand. 

It’s also important to remember that even if perhaps a technology is easy to learn or use, really well documented and has low relative Stack Overflow popularity or engagement, the utilization of the median of relative popularity metrics from the other data sources will adjust for the poorer relative ranking on our Stack Overflow data alone.

How has the index evolved?

In order to reduce the volatility in our monthly Index, we decided to improve our methodology by utilizing the simple moving average for the Index rankings.  

The benefit of this approach is that there is less movement for many technologies month-to-month, and when movement in the rankings does occur, it’s much more significant.  

Since this is a fundamental change to how the Index functions, we decided it made sense to recalculate rankings to ensure consistent application of the updated methodology.