LanguagesStack Overflow Survey Surfaces Shifts in Developer Preferences

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An annual survey of more than 80,000 developers published this week by Stack Overflow suggests there’s a lot of willingness among developers to adopt new tools and platforms. For example, React.js (41%) has surpassed jQuery (34%) as the most widely used web framework, but Svelte has emerged as the most loved.

Both React.js and Svelte are gaining traction at a time when many of the applications developers are more interactive. As such, legacy frameworks for building applications are starting to give way to frameworks that are designed for building more modern applications that need to run on a wide range of mobile devices.

Those types of shifts, however, don’t occur overnight. The .Net framework, at 34%, is statistically tied with NumPy, a framework written in C that generates Python code, as being the most loved framework. Visual Studio Code (71%) led the pack in terms of the integrated development environments (IDEs) being employed.

Rust, meanwhile, remains the most loved programming language for the sixth year in a row, but Python and TypeScript are the languages most programmers want to learn that they don’t already know. COBOL was listed as the language developers dreaded the most (84%), followed by Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) at 79%.

Developer Survey
Stack Overflow Developer Survey

The survey identifies Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the most widely employed platform for building applications (54%), followed by Google Cloud (31%) and Microsoft Azure (31%). Nearly half of all developers (49%) are employing Docker containers. Nearly half of developers (45%) work on Windows, compared to 25% each for Linux and Macintosh operating systems.

The most loved databases are Redis and PostgreSQL, tied at 70% each. The most dreaded databases are IBM DB2 (75%) and Oracle (65%).

A full 93% also report they make use of some type of Git repository to store artifacts, with 85% citing Git as their most loved tool, followed by Docker (77%), Kubernetes (72%), and Terraform (69%).

Developer Workforce Outlook and Remote Work Spaces

Overall, the survey finds more than three-quarters of respondents (76%) are employed part-time. Developers, like many professionals, have become increasingly comfortable working for themselves since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, notes David Gibson, Senior Data Analyst at Stack Overflow. “It’s part of the whole workforce exit trend,” he says.

The survey also finds half of the respondents (50%) have been coding for less than ten years, with an equal percentage having written their first line of code between the ages of 11 to 17. Well, over half (60%) said they regularly learn to code using online resources.

Developers that work with Clojure, a dialect of the Lisp programming language, command the highest salaries, followed by developers that know F#, a functional-first, general-purpose, strongly typed, multi-paradigm programming language that encompasses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods.

It would not be odd, in my opinion, to note that most developers, as a rule, are not especially fickle, but they do exhibit a strong proclivity to experiment. It’s not uncommon for developers to replace one tool with another once they determine that a new tool saves them time and effort. The challenge most developers encounter in the first place is, of course, finding the time to experiment with new tools, languages, and technologies.

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