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Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey was published this week, giving an insight into the skills, experience, and opinions of a wide slice of the developer community. Since its launch in 2008, Stack Overflow has become an essential developer tool, offering copy/paste solutions to an ever-growing number of programming problems.
The Stack Overflow survey is particularly interesting, as Stack Overflow does not focus on any one kind of developer or development; is used by professionals, students, and hobbyists alike; and has substantial use across Europe, North America, and Asia, with respectable representation from South America, Africa, and Oceania. As such, it gives a view of the software development industry as a whole, across all fields and disciplines.
Visual Basic will never die
When it comes to popularity rather than actual use, TypeScript did even better, coming in third, with Python in second and Rust at the top of the list. The most dreaded? Visual Basic for Applications, Objective-C, and Assembly. Visual Basic’s position is no surprise—the tooling hasn’t been updated for 20 years, but unlike everything else of that vintage, Microsoft still supports the Visual Basic runtime, promising not to break Visual Basic applications even on Windows 10, making it a legacy relic that the world can’t quite leave behind.
Overall, the survey found that DevOps specialists and site reliability engineers have the highest job satisfaction, are among the best paid, and are the least likely to be on the lookout for new positions.
Each year the survey also asks unique questions about technology issues of the day. This year, developers were asked about blockchain. Gratifyingly, some 80 percent of respondents said that they’re not using blockchain at all. 12.7 percent said that they were using blockchain for something other than digital currency, and the remaining 7.4 percent were working with cryptocurrency in some capacity. Even with this low adoption, there was surprising enthusiasm about the technology: quizzed on their opinions about blockchain, 29.2 percent said that it was useful in many roles and could change many aspects of our lives; 16.8 percent called it a passing fad; and 15.6 percent said it was an irresponsible use of resources. But there was some good news: the enthusiasm was “largely concentrated among young, less experienced developers,” with Stack Overflow’s analyst writing that “the more experienced a respondent is, the more likely they are to say blockchain is an irresponsible use of resources.” The cynicism of age and experience shows its value again.
When asked which individual person would be most influential in tech this year, Elon Musk topped the poll with 30.2 percent naming him. Only one woman, AMD CEO Lisa Su, made the top 25.
Listing image by Stack Exchange