Programming Trends for 2017
51,392 developers from 213 different countries responded to the annual survey run by Stack Overflow, the well-known Q&A platform dedicated to programming. The results of the survey, first run in 2013, provide a good snapshot of programming and technological trends.
Popularity of Different Technologies
The Language Podium
At the bottom of the pile, the least-liked languages are Groovy, Common Lisp, Dart, Erlang, PHP and C. When it comes to reviled technologies, 9 out of every Visual Basic programmers hoped never to have to use that language again; but you don’t always get what you want… (We feel their pain).
Python is setting hearts aflutter, with 20.6% of programmers wanting to learn that language. At the other end of the scale, only 1.5% of programmers want to discover the charms of Perl, the eternal wallflower.
The Database Podium
As with programming languages, the idea here is to measure how attached people are to a given database technology. When it comes to database management, Redis, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, SQL Server, Cassandra and even MySQL, to a lesser extent, are the favourites. Lots of people want to learn MongoDB (20.8%), while Oracle is definitively the outcast in this family.
Frameworks, Libraries, and Other Technologies
Node.js, the most commonly used in this category, is the uncontested champion, followed closely enough by Angular.js.
React is the most loved among developers, whereas Cordova, the mobile development framework, is the most dreaded. However, Node.js is the most wanted.
Where the Girls Are
The survey results are not about to change the “brogrammer” stereotype, but they do show that women are slowly swelling the ranks, with their numbers growing by almost 2% in one year. If that rate is maintained, there will be an equal number of male and female programmers in… 2038. There is still a higher representation of females among programmers in Asia (South Korea, India, China). Almost one-third of programmers in Bangalore are women. Female programmers still seem to be concentrated in just a few fields: design, Quality Assurance (QA) and front-end development. There are also more programmers with non-traditional gender identities: non-binary, genderqueer, transgender, etc.
How do you say GIF?
Animated or not, GIF (for Graphics Interchange Format) is pronounced with a hard “g” by two thirds of programmers. We find it hard to believe that there are people who actually spell out GIF…
Tabs or Spaces?
We left the best for last. It turns out that 43% of programmers use tabs, while 38% of programmers are convinced that the first 43% have got it all wrong. You’ll also notice that there is a significant percentage of programmers (19%) who “mix it up”, those irritating beings who commit the sin of knowingly and happily peppering their code with both spaces AND tabs.
To see the full results of the survey, including developers’ aspirations and remuneration, go to Stack Overflow’s Web site.
[Graphics by Michel Karam, Spiria.]