U.S. Tops China in Programming, but Lags in Math, Logic

A new Gild study shows that although Chinese developers scored much higher than U.S. developers in math and logic, they lag behind in terms of programming skills.

Gild, a social networking and skills sharing site for developers, has announced a study comparing U.S. and Chinese developers that showed that Chinese developers lead Americans in some categories but lag in programming skills.

Gild, a Website where developers build, share, compare and improve their skills profiles, announced the study on Oct. 18 with the results showing that Chinese developers outscore U.S. developers on math and logic by 20 percent. However, the study also found that U.S. developers significantly outperform Chinese programmers on mainstream programming languages.

As a result of the study, Gild has issued a plea to the American education system to urgently review the way math and computer programming are being taught in schools, the company said.

"Software development remains a bright spot for the U.S., with American programmers the best in the world, but is it sustainable?" said Sheeroy Desai, CEO of Gild, in a statement. "To ensure this leadership for more than a generation we urgently need to improve the quality of math skills in our schools. In fact, America should embrace and support this leadership position and introduce programming into schools. America must invest in education to stay ahead. Developing nations such as China are clearly putting an immense focus on core skills, particularly math. While nothing can replace creativity and ingenuity, the United States cannot afford to ignore the fundamentals."

The Gild international programming study examined the skills of nearly 500,000 developers via more than 1 million tests. U.S. developers fared much better than their Chinese counterparts in programming core languages. U.S. developers scored 22 percent higher than Chinese developers in C language programming. And U.S. developers scored 26 percent higher on C# and 19 percent higher on C++. Meanwhile, U.S. developers scored 24 percent higher on Java as well as 24 percent higher in Oracle database programming, the Gild study showed.

Gild touts its community as one where skills, as opposed to connections, are the primary focus. Nearly half a million developers from 150 countries use Gild to assess their programming capabilities and compare their skills profiles against others, giving the company a unique insight into skills-based trends across the world. Gild has offices in San Francisco, Bangalore and Beijing.