4 min read

Stack Overflow recently published their annual developer survey in which over 100,000 developers and professionals participated. The survey shed light on some very interesting insights – from the developers’ preferred language for programming, to the development platform they hate the most.

As the survey is quite detailed and comprehensive, we thought why not present the most important takeaways and findings for you to go through very quickly? If you are short of time and want to scan through the results of the survey quickly, read on..

Developer Profile

  • Young developers form the majority: Half the developer population falls in the age group of 25-34 years while almost all respondents (90%) fall within the 18 – 44 year age group.
  • Limited professional coding experience: Majority of the developers have been coding from the last 2 to 10 years. That said, almost half of the respondents have a professional coding experience of less than 5 years.
  • Continuous learning is key to surviving as a developer: Almost 75% of the developers have a bachelor’s degree, or higher. In addition, almost 90% of the respondents say they have learnt a new language, framework or a tool without taking any formal course, but with the help of the official documentation and/or Stack Overflow
  • Back-end developers form the majority: Among the top developer roles, more than half the developers identify themselves as back-end developers, while the percentage of data scientists and analysts is quite low. About 20% of the respondents identify themselves as mobile developers
  • Working full-time: More than 75% of the developers responded that they work a full-time job. Close to 10% are freelancers, or self-employed.

Popularly used languages and frameworks

  • The Javascript family continue their reign: For the sixth year running, JavaScript has continued to be the most popular programming language, and is the choice of language for more than 70% of the respondents. In terms of frameworks, Node.js and Angular continue to be the most popular choice of the developers.
  • Desktop development ain’t dead yet: When it comes to the platforms, developers prefer Linux and Windows Desktop or Server for their development work. Cloud platforms have not gained that much adoption, as yet, but there is a slow but steady rise.

What about Data Science?

  • Machine Learning and DevOps rule the roost: Machine Learning and DevOps are two trends which are trending highly due to the vast applications and research that is being done on these fronts.
  • Tensorflow rises, Hadoop falls: About 75% of the respondents love the Tensorflow framework, and say they would love to continue using it for their machine learning/ deep learning tasks. Hadoop’s popularity seems to be going down, on the other hand, as other Big Data frameworks like Apache Spark gain more traction and popularity.
  • Python – the next big programming language: Popular data science languages like R and Python are on the rise in terms of popularity. Python, which surpassed PHP last year, has surpassed C# this year, indicating its continuing rise in popularity. Python based Frameworks like Tensorflow and pyTorch are gaining a lot of adoption.
  • Learn F# for more moolah: Languages like F#, Clojure and Rust are associated with high global salaries, with median salaries above $70,000. The likes of R and Python are associated with median salaries of up to $57,000.
  • PostgreSQL growing rapidly, Redis most loved database: MySQL and SQL Server are the two most widely used databases as per the survey, while the usage of PostgreSQL has surpassed that of the traditionally popular databases like MongoDB and Redis. In terms of popularity, Redis is the most loved database while the developers dread (read looking to switch from) databases like IBM DB2 and Oracle.
  • Job-hunt for data scientists: Approximately 18% of the 76,000+ respondents who are actively looking for jobs are data scientists or work as academicians and researchers.
  • AI more exciting than worrying: Close to 75% of the 69,000+ respondents are excited about the future possibilities with AI than worried about the dangers posed by AI. Some of the major concerns include AI making important business decisions. The big surprise was that most developers find automation of jobs as the most exciting part of a future enabled by AI.

So that’s it then! What do you think about the Stack Overflow Developer survey results? Do you agree with the developers’ responses? We would love to know your thoughts.

In the coming days, watch out for more fine grained analysis of the Stack Overflow survey data.


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