From Preferred Programming Languages To Pets: What Developers Like

What’s the most popular technology among developers? What’s their favourite sci-fi franchise? Do they prefer cats or dogs? Programming resource website Stack Overflow conducted an extensive survey with tens of thousands of developers to find out the answers to some insightful and quirky questions.

Coding image from Shutterstock

Stack Overflow has been running this kind of survey since 2013 to get to know its users better. This year, nearly 50,000 developers from around the world participated in the survey to reveal the technologies they like to use, their job priorities, average salary and some fun facts about their personal preferences on sci-fi franchises and pets.

First, let’s delve into the serious insights.

Technology Developers Use

According to nearly 50,000 respondents, 55.4 per cent used JavaScript followed by SQL (49.1 per cent), Java (36.3 per cent) and C# (30.9 per cent). PHP is falling out of favour with developers with usage of it dropping around 4 per cent to 25.9 per cent compared with last year’s findings.

But just because developers are dealing with a particular programming language doesn’t mean they love using it. Stack Overflow has measured just how much developers enjoy (or dislike) working with a language based on the percentage of users that have expressed interest in continuing their involvement with it. Rust is the most beloved programming language with 79.1 per cent indicating they will continue to develop with it, followed by Swift and F# at 72.1 per cent and 70.7 per cent, respectively.

Developers seem to loathe Visual Basic, with 79.5 per cent planning to abandon it. WordPress and Matlab are not getting much love either with 74.3 per cent and 72.8 per cent, respectively, looking to throw in the towel.

As for the platform that Stack Overflow users want to develop on, Android comes out on top with 15.8 per cent expressing interest to work on apps for it.

The average developer has been found to use between four and five major programming languages, frameworks and technologies regularly. The most common combination is JavaScript & SQL. The most common combination of three languages is JavaScript, PHP, and SQL.

Mac OS X is the desktop operating system favoured by developers (26.2 per cent) followed by Windows 7 (22.5 per cent). Linux comes in third at 21.7 per cent and the trend suggests that by next year fewer than 50 per cent of developers will be using a Windows operating system.

As for the preferred text editors for developers, unsurprisingly, it’s Notepad++ at 35.6 per cent. Visual Studio is the preferred integrated development environment (IDE) and is used by 35.6 per cent of respondents.

Rolling In The Dough

The good news for developers is that most of them don’t have trouble getting some kind of work. The survey showed 91 per cent of developers worldwide are either working full-time, self-employed or freelancing.

The top job priority for developers is salary (62.7 per cent) and just over half of the survey respondents said they prioritised work-life balance. Company culture is also important for developers. The average salary for an Australian developer is $75,000. Based on the Big Mac index, which measures the purchasing power parity between currencies, that would fetch 21,436 Big Mac burgers. That puts Australian in fourth place, behind South Africa, the US, and the Ukraine, based on purchasing power.

Now For A Bit Of Fun

Stack Overflow also asked some light-hearted questions, one of which was whether developers preferred Star Wars or Star Trek. The results vary by age groups but as you can see in the graph below, Star Wars is the clear winner here:

Image from Stack Overflow

And now for the all important question of the survey: Do developers prefer cats or dogs?

While Stack Overflow didn’t publish the exact results, it has said the survey findings showed most developers around the world, excluding Germany, prefer dogs over cats.

[Via Stack Overflow]

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