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4 Technologies Startups Are Hiring For

As demand for tech talent continues to increase, startups looking for skilled developers seem to be honing in on some specific technologies. Here are four that are in particularly high demand.

JavaScript (specifically Node.js)

JavaScript offers a lot of opportunities at startups, and popularity is rising. Node.js facilitates server-side development of Web applications, allowing developers to focus on both the server-side and client-side to create entire applications.

“People involved with startups are creating the latest technologies, and frameworks are a part of that,” says Tim Jahn, Co-Founder and CTO of, a startup matching projects with developers. Because JavaScript powers user interfaces, the demand is high. “Everyone needs screens, from the financial industry’s most secure technologies to the latest startups looking to become the next Facebook,” he adds.

Ruby on Rails

“Finding Ruby on Rails developers is my biggest recruiting challenge,” says IT Recruiter Paul DeBettignies of Minnesota Headhunter.

Software Developer Tony Collen, who runs Ruby.MN meetups in Minneapolis, has also noticed that there is more demand than there is supply for Rails developers. At the past few meetups, anywhere from three to five companies have expressed a need for full-time Rails developers.

“Rails is very popular because it’s very quick,” says Jahn. The whole point of Rails is to get you up and running very quickly, in terms of making a simple Web application. Because startups need to get up and running quickly, or change things on the fly, many startups use Rails.

“Rails is essentially a big toolbox of things to pull from as you’re building a Web application,” Collen explains. “It gives you a collection of best practices to use while you’re developing an app, makes certain decisions for you and leaves you free to focus on solving the business problem or domain problem and not having to worry about how to connect to the database or other low-level details you’d otherwise be wasting time on.”


“You’ll find a lot of positions for PHP developers within Web development firms or agencies because it’s an older technology” and many startups have clients with PHP apps and websites, Jahn explains. He believes another reason PHP developers are in demand is because PHP powers WordPress. Because WordPress is so popular and used for small businesses all the way up to large organizations, there’s an even greater demand for talented PHP developers.

And because PHP is an older language, many technical directors at startups are already familiar with it and already have existing sites built in PHP. They’re looking to hire developers to make improvements, fix bugs or build new features.


Because Microsoft is more of a niche programming area, there aren’t as many developers with experience with it.  “We have trouble finding .NET developers because it’s traditionally an enterprise language, and we’ve catered to a lot of startups” Jahn explains.

Those working in enterprise are often less likely to leave their full-time positions to work at startups, but developers from .NET backgrounds are sometimes hesitant to learn a language totally outside of what they’re used to.

Image: Bartosz Zakrzewski/

About Yael Grauer

Yael Grauer writes about world-changing tech startups, strategic content marketing, and cutting-edge fitness and nutrition research. She also works as an editor for publishers, agencies, and brands. Find her at or on twitter @yaelwrites, or check out her portfolio at