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InfoQ Homepage News Stack Overflow Sentiment Survey Aims to Identify Experimental and Proven Technologies

Stack Overflow Sentiment Survey Aims to Identify Experimental and Proven Technologies

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Stack Overflow has published its 2023 Emergent Tech Sentiment Survey, aiming to gauge how developers perceive utility and impact of a range of "buzz-worthy" technologies like quantum computing, nanotechnology, blockchain, and others, as well as other more established ones including cloud computing, machine learning, robotics, and more.

Speaking about the value of this survey, Joy Liuzzo, vice president of product marketing at Stack Overflow, stresses the importance of looking at data about the value distinct technologies bring in context and not in isolation.

A lot of that has been looked at in a silo, so there's no reference point to kind of how folks are thinking about it in context of other technologies.

The survey results are resumed in a four quadrant diagram along two axes: from "negative" to "positive" impact and from "emergent" to "proven". The "Positive-Proven" quadrant included thus those technologies that according to surveyed developers bring a proven positive impact, while the "Negative-Experimental" quadrant includes more experimental technologies that have yet to prove their impact.

The survey results may appear surprising, says Stack Overflow data analyst Erin Yepis, if you compare them to the current media buzz. Indeed, in spite of all the media hype about blockchain and low-code/no-code, technologists do not seem to judge them well either on the negative-positive scale or on the experimental-proven scale.

Other technologies, like quantum computing and nanotechnologies, score the lowest on the experimental-proven scale but are above the negative-positive threshold as to their positive impact. This can be interpreted as a sign that developers think those technologies will be helpful in the future, but they are not quite there yet.

A similar kind of reasoning may be applied to AI-assisted technologies, which are receiving lot of attention recently. On the contrary, the related field of machine learning is among the best-valued technologies on both axes.

Technologists are willing to concede that AI isn’t a proven technology as of today but seem to be very positive about the direction it’s going.

Open source, which is understood, says Liuzzo, as a way to share and reuse knowledge, is definitely the best positioned technology on both axes, which is possibly no surprise, since Stack Overflow audience leans towards using open source languages and tools a lot.

Behind open source success, Yepis sees the fact that open source is the platform to go for educational purposes, which means programmers learn to program using open source tech. She also remarks, relating the sentiment survey outcome with Stack Overflow last developer survey, that the expectation to get a better salary using a given technology could be a factor at play.

There is a lot more to Stack Overflow emerging tech sentiment survey than can be summarized here, including the analysis of the impact that neutral ratings have, and of the technologies developers would like to get more hand-on training with. So, do not miss the full report if you are interested.

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