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Rust, React, JavaScript, Python top Stack Overflow survey

Paul Krill | March 23, 2017
The programming community's survey also finds that many developers are newcomers to the field.

Credit: flickr / TNS Sofres

There may be a perception in some circles that software developers have been busy coding since childhood. But online programming community Stack Overflow in its recent developer survey found many coders have been coming aboard much later.

The annual survey, which had 64,000 developers participating worldwide in January and February, uncovered a wide range of experience levels. Thanks to online courses and coding boot camps, adults with little to no programming experience can now more easily transition to a career as a developer, Stack Overflow said. Slightly more than 50 percent of respondents had been coding professionally for about five years or fewer, while just 7.5 percent were coding for 20 years or more.

"What we do see is developers love what they do in way that most people don't," said Jay Hanlon, vice president of community product at Stack Overflow, which overall was surprised by its findings pertaining to experience. He did add that the numbers might be skewed, with younger developers more likely to participate in the survey.

The survey covered a range of topics, ranging from employment to preferred and disdained software development technologies. Stack Overflow found that only 13.1 percent of developers were actively looking for a job, but 75.2 percent were interested in hearing about new job opportunities. The opportunity to work remotely was rated a big plus by developers, with 53.3 percent calling it a top priority. Many developers felt they were underpaid, with 11.6 percent of respondents saying they were greatly underpaid and 44.9 percent believing they were somewhat underpaid.

If developers want to make the most money, the technology to learn worldwide is Clojure, a Lisp dialect for the JVM, the survey found. In the United States, Google's Go and Scala can yield the highest paychecks. "Globally, developers who use Clojure in their jobs have the highest average salary at $72,000," Stack Overflow said. Rust followed at $65,714. "In the U.S., developers who use Go as well as developers who use Scala are highest paid, with an average salary of $110,000."

Stack Overflow also asked developers about which languages they are using, as well as which ones they like and dislike. JavaScript (62.5 percent), SQL (51.2 ), and Java (39.7) remain the most commonly used programming languages. But Rust, with 73.1 percent of users wanting to keep working with it, was the most loved language, followed by SmallTalk (67), and TypeScript (64.1). "This means that proportionally, more developers wanted to continue working with [Rust] than any other language," the report stated. "Swift, last year's second most popular language, ranked as fourth." 


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