April 11, 2024

The most popular software & technical tools users picked on MuchSkills (2024 Update)

Noel Braganza
The most popular software & technical tools users picked on MuchSkills (2024 Update)

With data collected over almost five years, the most used softwares trend has grown. Figma still on top, Microsoft Excel up there as a preferred tool to help people succeed at their job.

It’s almost five years since we went live with MuchSkills, and the list of technical skills and softwares that our users have selected to help them succeed at work has grown exponentially. It's been a long way since the initial launch on the amazing Product Hunt community, and the energy we have received from our users and the community has been amazing.

It’s just the sort of energy our team needs to keep delivering new and improved features to our product by helping those who are developing a skills matrix for themselves or their team to do more. 

On MuchSkills, our users have listed more than 370,000 skills and softwares they use to succeed at their job. We’ve already written a blog on the most popular hard and soft skills and thought it would be fun to list the most popular softwares and tools too. 

So here goes. Do remember that we are only highlighting the TOP tools listed on MuchSkills. If you want to know what came in second or third, write to us at wow@muchskills.com or check the bottom of the page.

🥁 Drum roll - here are the results

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top graphic design/editing tool - Adobe Photoshop

This software has been around for three decades and started out a photo editing tool that was more like a multi-purpose graphic design tool. There was a time when a lot of people began using it as an interface design tool but eventually better tools that specialized in user interfaces started popping up around 2013. The interface design community moved on but Photoshop stuck around and continues to be used widely as the most popular graphic design/editing tool out there.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top mailing client - Gmail

Google began offering Web-based e-mail accounts to select beta testers in 2004, and now over 15 years later they still dominate the mailing ecosystem. Surprisingly enough, Gmail is one of the few mailing clients that has survived the test of time, with other similar platforms like Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL being unable to do what Gmail has done so well. Keeping things simple and having an efficient spam filter. 

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Most popular web browser - Google Chrome

There was a time when the world was on Internet Explorer, but 11 years ago, Google Chrome arrived on the scene and dominated the browser space, pushing aside Firefox and IE6,7,8 with a clear simpler and faster browser that was free to use. It continues to be the preferred browser for most users and with their latest new privacy features, it looks like they are trying to show their commitment towards privacy, but as always, things could always be better.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top User Interface Design tool - Figma

The now not so new kid on the block - Figma has taken the User Interface world by storm, and has very quickly taken over a market we all thought would be controlled by Sketch for some time. But with their super fast, cloud-based, collaborative design tool, Figma solved a problem that had plagued numerous designers - version controlling. No more FINAL FINAL, or FINAL V2.0, or Definitely_FINAL anymore. Everything was on the cloud and the point of truth was available for everyone to access, in real time online. I might be biased, but I think Figma is the best collaborative vector design tool out there.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top Illustration Design tool - Adobe Illustrator

An old, seasoned software that has been a favourite amongst designers around the world, Illustrator in a strange sense, has stood the test of time. Its workflow hasn’t changed much, and it still can do a lot more when it comes to doing vector based art than any of the other vector design tools like Figma or Sketch. Somehow, Illustrator always stays as a tool in the belt of most designers. And now they are making it even more accessible as they plan an iPad version this summer.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top Spreadsheet tool - Microsoft Office Excel

This tool needs no introduction. Love it or hate it, it is here to stay. Even as Google Sheets and its powerful collaboration workflow comes nipping at its heels, Excel is warding off any attempts of making it redundant. Most pros prefer to use Excel because of the sheer scale of Excel training courses available out there, and as they launch their cloud collaboration functions, it looks like they aren’t going anywhere.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top Presentation Program - Microsoft Office PowerPoint

A software I probably learned way back in 1994 at school. What I liked most about it was the clipart that I would use to decorate my slides. What was a slide anyway, I had no idea back then. Today, all I do is create slides, albeit not on PowerPoint (I personally find it clunky) and I know this tool has probably caused more frustration than any other tool out there, but it has been the tool of corporate storytellers for decades. Imagine the number of pitch decks and financial forecasts and other concepts being presented every second on a PowerPoint.

With roughly six times the user base of Slack, it's no wonder Teams grabbed the throne at MuchSkills in 2024. It has not been a straight line to the top though; facing allegations of unfair competition and cannibalising its own service Skype for Business out of business (probably an intended business move, but anyway).

While those of us in smaller outfits might not engage with it daily, its presence is felt across the corporate landscape. For me, I come across Teams on some rare occasions, mostly when customers or business partners are insisting on meetings there, or invite me to their team as a guest (don’t get me started on that process though!). As a smaller team, we will stick with Slack and our preferred tech stack for now. 

(Almost) top Communication Tool - Slack

As Slack is an integral part of our day-to-work, we didn't have the heart to remove it. Instead we keep it here as an honorary mention as a token of appreciation. To us, you are the top, Slack.

Slack has now been around for a few years. It came as a welcome relief to many users who were otherwise forced to communicate only over email. The problem with email has always been that it’s too formal, and when you’re working with a team and collaborating closely, you don’t always have the need to say, Dear [blank], or Hi [blank]. You simply want to get to the point. Slack has been able to provide organizations the ability to collaborate through conversations that may or may not be formal. They took what was a familiar behaviour from old IRC chat rooms and brought it to the workroom. This is another tool that I can’t do without, even if on somedays it feels overwhelming. 

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Most popular File Sharing - Dropbox

They grew steadily from their launch way back in 2007 with their file sharing, cloud-based service. Everyone went crazy, and then people at work started using it, and that’s when we discovered all the limitations. All the mini heart attacks we had about files disappearing or getting accidentally deleted or their desktop client not syncing. Despite this, they have continued to grow their users and have recently launched their enterprise collaboration workspace.

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top Project Management Tool - JIRA

What started out as a simple issue tracking software way back in 2002, JIRA has become widely used as one of the most popular project management tools out there. Even as Notion and other similar tools out there are closing in on their core user base, Jira is holding fort. They have even launched a slew of new Devops features. With a purpose to make it make it easier for teams to collaborate across functions as companies adopt DevOps. 

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Most popular programming language - Python

I’m not a programmer myself, but if there was one programming language that I heard about all the time, it has to be Python. Python is used by many popular websites, applications and services such as Youtube, Google, Salesforce and many more. Python recently released Python 3.10.2

MuchSkills Trend Report - Data we discovered while designing a skills matrix

Top Visual Effects Software - Adobe After Effects

When it comes to After Effects, I have to say that it is one of the most versatile motion graphics and visual effects editing software. You can get to the result you want to achieve in an infinite number of ways. Professional game developers, film makers, designers and other artists can all use this tool to bring things to life. All you need is an idea. Out of all the different Adobe softwares that have recently had a slew of startups coming for them, After Effects hasn’t yet seen any major push from any other software out there.

Infographic below👇

EXTRA: Full list of most popular softwares and technical tools 2024

We know you all are curious of what other technical skills the corporate world use in their day-to-day work. At your delight, find the full disclosed list below.

  1. Python - Programming: A dynamic and versatile programming language, Python is the backbone of many modern applications, websites, and data analysis tasks. Its simplicity and powerful libraries make it a favorite among developers and researchers alike.
  2. Microsoft Office Excel - Productivity: The quintessential spreadsheet tool, Excel combines deep functionality with user-friendly features, making it indispensable for data analysis, financial modeling, and much more.
  3. JavaScript - Programming: The scripting language of the web, JavaScript breathes life into web pages, adding interactivity and complexity to user interfaces and web applications.
  4. JIRA - Collaboration: A project management powerhouse, JIRA streamlines the tracking of bugs, tasks, and projects, making it a staple in the software development process.
  5. Git - Programming: A distributed version control system, Git is essential for coordinating work among programmers, tracking changes in any set of files, and supporting non-linear development with speed and efficiency.
  6. Java - Programming: A widely-used programming language, Java is designed to be portable across platforms, making it ideal for building everything from mobile apps to enterprise-level applications.
  7. Microsoft Office Suite - Productivity: An all-encompassing suite of productivity tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more, designed to streamline document creation, data analysis, and presentation design.
  8. Adobe Photoshop - Design: A cornerstone of graphic design and photo editing, Photoshop offers unparalleled tools for image manipulation, compositing, and retouching.
  9. GitHub - Collaboration/programming: The world's leading software development platform, GitHub facilitates code hosting, review, and management, making collaboration on programming projects seamless.
  10. Microsoft Office PowerPoint - Productivity: PowerPoint is the go-to solution for creating engaging presentations, combining robust features with ease of use to help convey ideas and information visually.
  11. Microsoft Office Word - Productivity: The standard for word processing, Word offers comprehensive tools for document creation, editing, and formatting, catering to professional and personal writing needs.
  12. Visual Studio Code - Programming: A lightweight but powerful source code editor, Visual Studio Code supports development in multiple programming languages, offering an array of extensions and integrations.
  13. Figma - Design: A cloud-based design tool, Figma revolutionizes interface design with its real-time collaboration capabilities, making it a favorite for UX/UI designers.
  14. Adobe Illustrator CC - Design: The premier vector graphics software, Illustrator is beloved by designers for creating logos, icons, illustrations, and complex artwork with precision and control.
  15. Trello - Collaboration: A visual project management tool, Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to help teams organize tasks and projects in a flexible and collaborative way.
  16. Node.js - Programming: An open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for executing JavaScript code server-side, Node.js enables developers to build scalable network applications.
  17. CSS - Programming: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the language used to style the visual presentation of web pages, allowing developers to control layout, colors, and fonts.
  18. WordPress - Design/Video: The most popular content management system, WordPress allows users to create and manage websites with ease, offering thousands of themes and plugins for customization.
  19. Docker - Programming: A platform for developing, shipping, and running applications, Docker simplifies the deployment of applications inside software containers, ensuring consistency across environments.
  20. PostgreSQL - Programming: An advanced open-source relational database, PostgreSQL offers robust features for managing data and supporting complex queries, transactions, and concurrency.
  21. SQL - Programming: SQL (Structured Query Language) is the standard language for managing and manipulating relational databases, essential for data analysis and backend development.
  22. Google Chrome - Productivity: The leading web browser, Chrome is prized for its speed, simplicity, and security, offering a seamless browsing experience with extensive customization options.
  23. React - Programming: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces, React enables developers to create fast, scalable, and simple web applications with dynamic, responsive UIs.
  24. Microsoft Teams - Collaboration: A hub for teamwork in the Office 365 suite, Teams facilitates chat, meetings, calls, and collaboration on Office documents within a single, secure application.
  25. GitLab - Collaboration: A single application for the entire software development lifecycle, GitLab goes beyond version control to offer issue tracking, CI/CD, and more.
  26. C# - Programming: A versatile programming language developed by Microsoft, C# is used for developing desktop applications, web services, and game development with a focus on simplicity and robustness.
  27. Gmail - Productivity: A leading email service, Gmail stands out for its simplicity, powerful search capabilities, and efficient spam filtering, making it a staple in personal and professional communication.
  28. HTML - Programming: The standard markup language for creating web pages, HTML forms the structural foundation of web content, enabling the integration of multimedia and interactive elements.
  29. Adobe InDesign - Design: A professional desktop publishing software, InDesign is the industry standard for creating layouts for print and digital publications with precision and creative freedom.
  30. C++ - Programming: An extension of the C programming language, C++ adds object-oriented features, making it a powerful language for system/software development and game programming.
  31. Microsoft Office Outlook - Productivity: An all-in-one email and calendaring tool, Outlook helps manage and organize emails, schedules, contacts, and tasks, making it essential for professional communication.
  32. PHP - Programming: A server-side scripting language designed for web development, PHP is also used as a general-purpose programming language, powering a vast majority of web sites.
  33. Mozilla Firefox - Productivity: A fast, open-source web browser, Firefox is known for its privacy-focused features and flexible customization options, making it a popular choice among internet users.
  34. Miro - Online Whiteboard - Collaboration: An online collaborative whiteboarding platform, Miro facilitates brainstorming, planning, and project management with a flexible and intuitive interface.
  35. Slack - Collaboration: A messaging app for teams, Slack supports communication and collaboration through channels, direct messages, and integrations with other work tools.
  36. Confluence - Collaboration: A content collaboration tool, Confluence allows teams to create, share, and collaborate on projects in a centralized workspace, enhancing team productivity.
  37. Bitbucket - Collaboration: A web-based version control repository hosting service, Bitbucket specializes in hosting projects that utilize the Git and Mercurial version control systems.
  38. Typescript - Programming: A superset of JavaScript, TypeScript adds static types to the language, enhancing code quality and predictability for large-scale applications development.
  39. Kubernetes - Programming: An open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, Kubernetes simplifies container orchestration.
  40. Notepad++ - Productivity: A powerful, open-source text and source code editor, Notepad++ offers multiple language support, making it a favorite tool for coding and note-taking.
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