What programming language skills do employers want? Online job-search firm Indeed took a look at three months (18 May to 18 August) of 2018 job listings in its tech software category to find out. The company ranked programming languages according to the percentage of job postings within the category that included mention of the language.

Java came out on top, both in Silicon Valley (35 percent of job postings listed the skill) and across the United States (30 percent).

When it came to number two, however, Silicon Valley job postings showed a sharp regional difference. In Silicon Valley, Python ranked second (28 percent); nationally, that spot went to JavaScript (26 percent), with Python in fourth place (17 percent).

Earlier this year, IEEE Spectrum released our weighted ranking of programming languages based on a variety of sources, including job search sites, Google search results, and Twitter. In this ranking, Python came out on top, with C++ in second and Java in third place.

Indeed’s full top ten, Silicon Valley and nationally, are listed below. (The Silicon Valley category included the broader Bay Area, encompassing the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro areas.)

Most In-Demand Programming Languages in Silicon Valley

Language

Percent share of postings in “tech software” job category

Java

35

Python

28

JavaScript

22

C++

18

HTML

13

Ruby

8

Perl

6

C#

5

Xml

5

PHP

3

Most In-Demand Programming Languages in United States

Language

Percent share of postings in “tech software” job category

Java

30

JavaScript

26

HTML

18

Python

17

C#

15

C++

12

Xml

9

Ruby

6

PHP

5

Perl

4

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Vertical
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton
Pink

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

The launch of CryptoKitties drove up the value of Ether and the number of transactions on its blockchain. Even as the game's transaction volume plummeted, the number of Ethereum transactions continued to rise, possibly because of the arrival of multiple copycat NFT games.

That perhaps unrealistic wish becomes impossible once the downward spiral begins. Players, feeling no other attachment to the game than growing an investment, quickly flee and don’t return.

Whereas some blockchain games have seemingly ignored the perils of CryptoKitties’ quick growth and long decline, others have learned from the strain it placed on the Ethereum network. Most blockchain games now use a sidechain, a blockchain that exists independently but connects to another, more prominent “parent” blockchain. The chains are connected by a bridge that facilitates the transfer of tokens between each chain. This prevents a rise in fees on the primary blockchain, as all game activity occurs on the sidechain.

Yet even this new strategy comes with problems, because sidechains are proving to be less secure than the parent blockchain. An attack on Ronin, the sidechain used by Axie Infinity, let the hackers get away with the equivalent of $600 million. Polygon, another sidechain often used by blockchain games, had to patch an exploit that put $850 million at risk and pay a bug bounty of $2 million to the hacker who spotted the issue. Players who own NFTs on a sidechain are now warily eyeing its security.

Remember Dragon

The cryptocurrency wallet that owns the near million dollar kitten Dragon now holds barely 30 dollars’ worth of ether and hasn’t traded in NFTs for years. Wallets are anonymous, so it’s possible the person behind the wallet moved on to another. Still, it’s hard not to see the wallet’s inactivity as a sign that, for Rabono, the fun didn’t last.

Whether blockchain games and NFTs shoot to the moon or fall to zero, Bladon remains proud of what CryptoKitties accomplished and hopeful it nudged the blockchain industry in a more approachable direction.

“Before CryptoKitties, if you were to say ‘blockchain,’ everyone would have assumed you’re talking about cryptocurrency,” says Bladon. “What I’m proudest of is that it was something genuinely novel. There was real technical innovation, and seemingly, a real culture impact.”

This article was corrected on 11 August 2022 to give the correct date of Bryce Bladon's departure from Dapper Labs.

This article appears in the September 2022 print issue as “The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties.”

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