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Who's Training to Become the Next Generation of Computer Whizzes?

As learning ICT skills like coding is a continual, self-driven process, we wondered which countries' populations are most active in terms of acquiring new or developing existing coding skills. To find out, we analyzed organic traffic data from 35 European countries for two of the top online coding course providers (Udacity and Codecademy), the most robust online coding Q&A community (Stack Overflow) plus coding challenge sites (Hackerrank, Kraggle, etc.). Here's what we found.

Who's the Most Active in Developing Coding Skills?

1. United Kingdom

Rank

Overall1
Online Coding Courses1
Coding Q&A Communities1
Coding Challenges2

Brits are the most likely to proactively head to the internet looking to learn new computer science skills. For example, the UK ranked first for the proportion of the population who land on online coding course websites like Codecademy and Udacity. Each month, around 190,000 people (or 2.9 per 1,000 people) go to these sites after searching for terms like "learn python", "learn to code" or "codecademy" online. The UK also sees the highest proportion of visits to Stack Overflow, the most robust programming Q&A community site in the world. Each month, 16.7 per 1,000 people in the UK visit this site after organically searching for answers to often complex computer science questions. Finally, the UK ranked second for visits to computer coding challenge sites like Hackerrank.

2. Sweden

Rank

Overall2
Online Coding Courses2
Coding Q&A Communities2
Coding Challenges5

Sweden ranked 2nd overall for the proportion of residents who look to develop programming skills online. Scoring just behind the UK in the online coding course and coding Q&A community categories, 2.6 people per 1,000 visit coding course sites Codecademy and Udacity and 12 people per 1,000 visit Stack Overflow organically each month. Sweden ranked 5th in terms of coding challenge sites, with around 6,000 total organic visits to coding challenge sites Hackerrank, Kaggle, CodeWars and HackerEarth each month.

3. Denmark (tie)

Rank

Overall3
Online Coding Courses3
Coding Q&A Communities4
Coding Challenges6

Denmark and the Netherlands tied for 3rd place in Europe, with the Danes shining in terms of the proportion of the population active on online computer coding course sites. Each month, there are 140,000 organic visits to Codecademy and Udacity from Denmark, or 2.4 per 1,000 people.

3. Netherlands (tie)

Rank

Overall4
Online Coding Courses6
Coding Q&A Communities3
Coding Challenges4

The Dutch are the third most active on coding Q&A community site Stack Overflow, which is used by professional and enthusiast coders to find the answers to questions. From the Netherlands, 50,000 people land on Stack Overflow each month via organic searches, or 12 people per 1,000.

5. Norway

Rank

Overall5
Online Coding Courses5
Coding Q&A Communities6
Coding Challenges9

Rounding out the top 5 is Norway. While fewer people from Norway participate in coding challenges, 5.7 per 1,000 head to Stack Overflow each month in search of answers to programming dilemmas and 2 people per 1,000 end up at Codecademy and Udacity, the online coding course websites.

Summary of Country Rankings

In order to quantify how proactive a population is in terms of learning or improving coding skills independently, our analysis included three categories of data: online coding courses, Q&A communities and challenges. We then ranked 35 European countries according to these factors.

chart showing efforts to learn coding skills by country
Overall RankCountryOnline Coding Course RankQ&A Community RankChallenges RankAverage Rank
1United Kingdom1121.3
2Sweden2253.0
3Denmark3464.3
3Netherlands6344.3
5Norway5696.7
6Ireland41738.0
7Switzerland1810711.7
8Romania1119812.7
9Slovenia1328114.0
10Finland12161715.0
11Serbia10241215.3
12Greece15221015.7
13Croatia7291316.3
14Estonia9261617.0
14Spain2472017.0
16Lithuania14231517.3
17France2382318.0
18Poland26112119.3
18Italy35121119.3
18Bulgaria17271419.3
21Belgium22152219.7
22Germany3052520.0
23Portugal20182420.7
24Austria2593021.3
25Malta19202621.7
26Iceland8302822.0
27Hungary28211822.3
28Turkey29251924.3
29Czech Republic33143226.3
30Ukraine34133427.0
31Macedonia16333327.3
32Latvia21323128.0
33Luxembourg27342729.3
34Cyprus32352932.0
35Slovakia31313532.3

Online Coding Course Sites: Codecademy & Udacity

To compare how many people in each country are interested in learning new coding skills by taking an online coding course, we analysed organic monthly search traffic by country for Codecademy and Udacity, two leading online coding course providers. In addition to introductory classes, these sites offer courses on data science, computer science, app development, web development, etc. Users can gain skills in Python, SQL, HTML, CSS, and more programmes in order to become more competitive in the global job market.

The data showed that more people in the United Kingdom land on Codecademy and Udacity due to their organic searches than in other countries, with 2.9 visits to these sites per 1,000 people each month, followed by Sweden (2.6 visits per 1,000 people), Denmark (2.4), Ireland (2.0) and Norway (2.0).

RankCountryCodecademy Organic TrafficUdacity Organic TrafficPopulation (thousands)Traffic per 1,000 People
1United Kingdom169,00021,40066,0222.9
2Sweden22,1004,10010,0682.6
3Denmark12,5001,5005,7702.4
4Ireland7,5002,1004,8142.0
5Norway9,3001,2005,2822.0
6Netherlands25,8004,90017,1331.8
7Croatia5,1001,7004,1261.6
8Iceland512283411.6
9Estonia1,900931,3151.5
10Serbia9,0001,2007,0221.5
11Romania16,8006,40019,5871.2
12Finland5,5006255,5111.1
13Slovenia1,9003482,0671.1
14Lithuania2,0007922,8281.0
15Greece7,4003,10010,7601.0
16Macedonia1,700882,0830.9
17Bulgaria4,6008137,0760.8
18Switzerland4,3001,9008,4660.7
19Malta279614650.7
20Portugal5,1002,40010,2940.7
21Latvia1,300961,9410.7
22Belgium6,1001,60011,3720.7
23France38,3005,00067,1190.6
24Spain20,4009,20046,5720.6
25Austria4,5008978,8090.6
26Poland17,2005,00037,9760.6
27Luxembourg255595990.5
28Hungary3,7001,1009,7810.5
29Turkey24,10013,40080,7450.5
30Germany31,0007,00082,6950.5
31Slovakia1,9005355,4400.4
32Cyprus372631,1800.4
33Czech Republic3,10064910,5910.4
34Ukraine12,5002,80044,8310.3
35Italy13,7006,60060,5510.3

For comparison sake, Europe lags behind the US. In America, there were 4.2 monthly visits per 1,000 to Codecademy and Udacity, 44% higher than in the UK. In Canada and Australia, there were 2.3 and 2.6 visits per 1,000 people, respectively, each month.

Community Q&A: Stack Overflow

To quantify how people expand their existing coding knowledge and further existing expertise we analysed organic search traffic by country for Stack Overflow, the most robust and dedicated Q&A site for professional and enthusiast programmers. In a field that consistently moves forward and changes, cutting-edge developers are continually learning and sharing the knowledge with others in this rich environment. The data shows that more organic searches (presumably about coding) lead people to Stack Overflow in the UK than any other country.

RankCountryStack Overflow Organic Monthly TrafficPopulation (thousands)Traffic per 1,0000 People
1United Kingdom1,100,00066,02216.7
2Sweden122,00010,06812.1
3Netherlands202,00017,13311.8
4Denmark49,9005,7708.6
5Germany582,00082,6957.0
6Norway30,1005,2825.7
7Spain257,00046,5725.5
8France340,00067,1195.1
9Austria42,7008,8094.8
10Switzerland36,0008,4664.3
11Poland158,00037,9764.2
12Italy201,00060,5513.3
13Ukraine147,00044,8313.3
14Czech Republic34,30010,5913.2
15Belgium35,40011,3723.1
16Finland15,3005,5112.8
17Ireland11,4004,8142.4
18Portugal22,60010,2942.2
19Romania42,40019,5872.2
20Malta9874652.1
21Hungary19,5009,7812.0
22Greece20,40010,7601.9
23Lithuania4,7002,8281.7
24Serbia11,4007,0221.6
25Turkey124,00080,7451.5
26Estonia2,0001,3151.5
27Bulgaria10,7007,0761.5
28Slovenia3,0002,0671.5
29Croatia5,9004,1261.4
30Iceland3493411.0
31Slovakia5,2005,4401.0
32Latvia1,4001,9410.7
33Macedonia1,4002,0830.7
34Luxembourg2945990.5
35Cyprus5711,1800.5

Looking beyond Europe, residents of the US, Canada and Australia visited Stack Overflow 42.06, 15.09 and 14.8 times a month, respectively, per 1,000 people.

Challenges: Hackerrank, Code Wars, Kaggle and HackerEarth

Experienced coders can advance their skills, boost their resumes and even earn cash prizes by competing in coding challenges. To find out which country has the most people eager to participate in coding challenges, we analysed organic traffic data from Hackerrank, Kaggle, CodeWars and HackerEarth. Slovenia won the coding challenges category, with 1 organic visit to a challenge site per 1,000 residents each month.

RankCountryHackerrank Organic Monthly TrafficKaggle Organic Monthly TrafficCodeWars Organic Monthly TrafficHackerEarth Organic Monthly TrafficChallenge Traffic per 1,000 People
1Slovenia1251,800291341.01
2United Kingdom14,60028,3004,10010,5000.87
3Ireland7292,5001182480.75
4Netherlands1,7006,2005651,3000.57
5Sweden1,3002,8004961,1000.57
6Denmark6491,5001555200.49
7Switzerland8102,100864020.40
8Romania2,9002,7003871,4000.38
9Norway423951954690.37
10Greece9372,1001905860.35
11Italy1,40016,2004788970.31
12Serbia4951,1003582440.31
13Croatia1867181022220.30
14Bulgaria1,200456943320.29
15Lithuania1333821012000.29
16Estonia8621030380.28
17Finland136983782620.26
18Hungary9671,0002361660.24
19Turkey6,7009,8003171,9000.23
20Spain1,7007,0001,3006930.23
21Poland2,3003,4002,2006970.23
22Belgium3081,9001412190.23
23France2,00010,6001,3001,0000.22
24Portugal6321,1002413100.22
25Germany2,90011,1001,8001,6000.21
26Malta968130.17
27Luxembourg787120.16
28Iceland146120.15
29Cyprus67921120.15
30Austria317660791990.14
31Latvia27212680.13
32Czech Republic2976881792120.13
33Macedonia1141104360.13
34Ukraine1,1001,3002,1005360.11
35Slovakia99218941390.10

For reference, there were 2.04 monthly visits per 1,000 people to these challenge sites from the United States, and 0.93 in Canada, 0.92 in Australia followed by 0.78 in India.

Methodology

In order to get an idea of the proactive nature of a country's population when it comes to learning and developing coding skills, we used estimates of organic traffic volumes to two prominent coding course sites (Codecademy and Udacity), a Q&A community learning site (Stack Overflow) and 4 coding challenge sites (Hackerrank, Kaggle, CodeWars and HackerEarth).

Organic traffic leading to these global companies indicates relative levels of interest amongst the residents of each country to refine their skills. To adjust for different population sizes across the 35 countries in our study, we standardized the traffic results by dividing the traffic by each country's population, using the latest World Bank figures. The organic traffic data estimates were obtained from Ahrefs.

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