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Stack Overflow Survey 2015: Technologies Used, Loved, Disliked or Wanted

Stack Overflow has conducted and published the results of their annual survey for 2015 evaluating the community of developers participating on their website by asking or answering questions, or simply learning. The study outlines among other trends the main technologies used, technologies loved/disliked/wanted and the predominance of Git.

There are many issues covered by the survey, such as developer age, gender, experience, education, the preference of tabs vs. spaces, etc., but a couple of them draw our attention, the first being Technology Used. More than half of the respondents are using JavaScript and almost half of them have something to do with SQL databases. Java is still the strongest among server-side languages while Angular has made its appearance for the first time in this survey, taking the 10th spot on parity with Node.js at 13.3%.


While the results for some technologies are within or close to the margin error of any such study, there are some important changes worth remarking: SQL, C and C#. SQL’s decline could be explained by the growing use of NoSQL technologies. We have no idea why C has fallen 10.5% in two years considering this is a stable language that gradually will fade out but slowly, in smaller steps. What is more important is C#’s drop of 13.1% compared to 2013. It is the largest decline of all languages covered by the survey. Are people avoiding Microsoft technologies because of their price? Are the results skewed by Stack Overflow’s raise in popularity in countries like China and India where developers prefer cheaper or free tools? Have the recent Visual Studio price cuts anything to do with this?

We would also like to remark that some of the most used technologies in Stack Overflow’s survey are also among the most active on GitHub, namely, JavaScript, Java, PHP, Ruby, C++, C, C#, and Objective-C:


Another interesting statistic is related to loved/hated/wanted technologies. The following table shows in the first two columns percentages of developers working with a technology and expressing their like/dislike for the respective technology. The last column shows percentages of developers not working with a particular technology but willing to do so.


On the Loved column we remark many niche languages that people seem to love: Rust, Go, Clojure, Scala, F#, Haskell. On the Dreaded column we notice some unexpected technologies: Salesforce, LAMP, Cordova, CoffeeScript. The survey does not detail, but it would be interesting to know why developers don’t like, for example, LAMP or CoffeeScript. Android takes the top place in the Wanted column, closely followed by several popular web technologies: JavaScript, Node.js and Angular.

The source control section shows the dominance of Git to the detriment of other systems, but the survey also notices a ~10% of developers not using any VCS.


The Stack Overflow survey was conducted in English in February through their website and advertised on social media. Over 26k developers from 157 countries answered 45 questions. The study does not pretend to be an accurate representation of the world’s developer community, advising that the results are “skewed by selection bias, language bias, and probably a few other biases.”

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