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Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016

by on Mar 18, 2016 |

Stack Overflow appreciates that out of more than 40M people visiting their website each month, 15M are professional developers. In this year’s annual survey Stack Overflow asked 45 questions to the 56,033 users who accepted to participate. We are covering here some of the most interesting results.

Little has changed in terms of the most popular technology compared to last year’s study, the first 12 technologies remaining the same with small variations in percentages. JavaScript remains the most popular technology for 55.4% of developers, followed by SQL (49.1%), Java (36.3%), C# (30.9%), and PHP (25.9%). There is some variation when it comes to the type of development performed, as shown in the following table:

so-2016-popular

These numbers show that the web has totally won, JavaScript being way ahead of the pack at 85.3% for Full-stack development and 90.5% for Front-end. What was not so expected was to see JavaScript taking the first place in popularity for back-end development, ahead of Java and C#.

When it comes to languages/technologies they love, developers prefer Rust, followed by Swift, F#, Scala and Go. Compared to last year, Swift and Rust changed places, C++11 is nowhere to be found, while F# and Scala are up. Visual Basic has become the most dreaded technology on Stack Overflow, accompanied by the usual companions: WordPress, Matlab, CoffeeScript, LAMP and Cordova. Salesforce is down from the first spot taken last year, and there are two new comers into the list: SQL and Objective-C. Now that Swift has become a viable tool for iOS, it seems that developers start showing their dislike for Objective-C. Android, Node.js and AngularJS lead in the most wanted list:

so-2016-ldw

Jobs in finance and cloud computing get the highest remuneration in US. Same story worldwide. An exception seems to be Dart, which is very close to the first place worldwide but it is not so sought after in US. (In the following table top payments are expressed in USD for US and as percentages of averages worldwide.)

so-2016-money

The average developer uses between 2 and 3 development tools, Notepad++ sharing the first spot with Visual Studio. The following table shows the top ten tools:

so-2016-tools

57% of developers check-in code multiple times a day while 10.6% check-in once a day.

Stack Overflow’s study is one of the largest if not the largest developer survey so far, and provides a good picture of the development landscape worldwide. It still does not include answers from non-English speaking developers or those who are not comfortable taking a survey in a foreign language.

On average, a developer asks a question on Stack Overflow every 8 seconds, amounting to over 12M questions and over 18M answers since the website started in 2009.

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JavaScript not most popular by Richard Eng

There are all kinds of selection bias in the survey. JavaScript being on top is highly questionable. The truth is that most language rankings do not place JavaScript on top. IEEE Spectrum, which is based on 12 metrics from 10 data sources, places JavaScript at #8. PYPL puts JavaScript in #5 position. TIOBE says JavaScript is at #7. CodeEval ranks it as #6.

Also, The Hacker Life presents some interesting analysis about tech jobs in various kinds of companies versus programming languages. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, JavaScript is less popular with startups than with older, well-established companies. Startups generally favour Ruby, C, and Python. Even the older companies show a greater preference for C++, C#, PHP, and Perl! At least in the job market, JavaScript is nowhere near the most popular.

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Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

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