Stack Overflow's 2021 Developer Survey Uncovers New Trends in Tech and Work – InfoQ.com

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InfoQ Homepage News Stack Overflow’s 2021 Developer Survey Uncovers New Trends in Tech and Work
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Sep 01, 2021 3 min read
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Olimpiu Pop
Stackoverflow’s 2021 developer survey focuses mostly on work outside the traditional office. With younger respondents, this year's survey shows shifts in the way they learn and work, and with more interest in health. On the technology side, it has been a year of consolidation: React, Rust, and Clojure being more used and present, while Redis keeps attracting attention.
Cloud platforms had their own category in the survey, for the first time, being separated from the general platforms category. React became the main web framework, while Clojure turned heads as the best paid programming language out there.
Among the cloud platforms, Azure was the main winner, while AWS still leads the pack gaining 54.22% of votes, being followed by GCP and Azure with 31.05% and 30.77%, respectively. It is worth mentioning the gains Azure made last year, including among professional developers where it occupied the second position, surpassing GCP.
On the Web Frameworks scene, React.js finally took the pole position (with 40.14% of the total responses, 41.4% among the professional developers) surpassing once pioneer, jQuery. Newcomer Svelte is the most loved framework, while Angular is the most dreaded. React takes the prime position again, being wanted by 1 in 4 developers, while being the 4th most loved framework.
On the programming languages scene there is a lot to be said, but there are several notable trends. There are over 10k JavaScript developers who want to start or continue developing in Go or Rust. The majority of the developers who want to use Dart are currently using JavaScript. SQL developers are the only ones who want to work in PHP.
Looking at the benefits of being proficient in a language or another, the gold medal for the best-paid programming language is given to Clojure developers, with a median salary of 95k, 14k more than the silver medalist, F#. Last year's leader, Perl, occupies 5th place. Even though it occupies 7th place from the perspective of the salaries, Rust is the most beloved language of the year. Clojure is the second most beloved programming language, followed by TypeScript in the third position. The most dreaded programming language remains the old-timer, COBOL.
In the databases area, there are no big changes: for the fifth year in a row, Redis is the most beloved Database; PostgreSQL barely passes MongoDB with less than one percent of votes as the most wanted one. IBM DB2 is for the second year in a row the most dreaded database.
In the other tools category, Git leads the pack with a broad majority of adoption by 93.43% of the respondents, making it an essential tool to being a developer. Docker, in second place, seizes 48.85% of the responses. The tool category that a developer would probably use the most, the IDE, is dominated by the Visual Studio family of products: Visual Studio Code occupying the first place with 71.06% while second place is claimed by Visual Studio with 33.03%
When it comes to the workplace, this edition of the survey is focused mostly on things outside of the traditional office environment. The main demographic shift being observed is the ever-decreasing age of developers: 50% of the respondents indicating that they have been coding for less than a decade, and more than 35% having less than five years in the trade. Each generation appears to learn using different mediums: younger generations prefer video content or blogs, to schools or even books. 60% indicated that they learned how to code from online resources. Another trend, potentially accelerated by the pandemic, is the awareness of mental health’s importance. This year, 16,000 of the respondents replied to mental health questions, twice as many as in 2020.
Work status points to another shifting trend that was probably caused by the pandemic, which saw workers from all industries stepping back and rethinking the stucture of the five-day workweek and in-person employment. Hence, a greater percentage of respondents indicated working part-time or still being in school, while the number of full-time employees decreased. Among the professional developers, 81% pointed to being full-time employees, a decrease from last year’s 83%.
Even if 2020 will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 will be marked by it as well. As indicated by responses of the 80k developers in Stackoverflow’s developer survey, most of the work was done outside of the traditional office space. Younger developers joined the industry and together brought with them new habits in terms of learning and working. In a challenging period, people have become more aware of the importance of mental health.
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