The annual Stack Overflow Developer Report has been going for almost a decade and holds the record for being the largest and most diverse survey of coders across the world.
This year’s survey results bring together a whopping 65,000 developers’ preferences outlining how they learn and upskill, which tools they are using and what they want from their careers.
55% of this year's respondents identify as full-stack developers and about 20% consider themselves mobile developers. The most common combinations include back-end, front-end, and full-stack developers.
It is important to remember that this survey was taken before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and that the salary data does not reflect the economic impact the pandemic has had. For that reason, we haven’t gone into too much detail on the survey’s employment stats in this blog, but you can still view these in the full report here.
Most loved tech
For the fifth year in a row, Rust held the top spot for the most loved technology. In second place was TypeScript with Python falling into the third position on this year’s list, closely followed by Kotlin and Go.
In terms of web frameworks, ASP.NET Core proved to be most popular followed by React.js and Vue.js in third place.
When it comes to platforms, Linux, Docker, and Kubernetes make up the top three most loved by developers. On the other hand, WordPress continues to be the most dreaded platform joined by Slack Apps and integrations.
Survey data also revealed that just under half of developers use Windows as their primary operating system with the rest split between macOS and Linux.
A total of 825 respondents said they use GitHub as their main collaborative tool, followed by Slack and Jira.
When asked about researching new tools, 60% of developers said they ask other developers about new tech or visit developer communities like Stack Overflow. Trying out new tools via free trials also proved popular. Unsurprisingly, around 57% of respondent felt they have a great deal of influence over the technology purchased by their organization.
Women developers account for almost 12% of developers in the US. In countries such as Germany, Brazil, and Poland, the participation rate is about half of that, which goes to show there is still much work to do to reach appropriate gender representation in the field. This is consistent with other research that women leave tech jobs at higher rates than men, highlighting that the industry has a way to go towards creating an environment where they feel included and can thrive.
Approximately 1% of this year’s respondents that write code professionally are transgender.
According to this year’s data, developers who use Perl, Scala and Go tend to have the highest salaries globally averaging at $75k. It is interesting to see that while Perl is among the most dreaded languages, developers willing to use this technology are compensated with a higher salary.
In the US, Scala Developers topped the income chart with an average salary of $150k followed by Go with $140k.
Approximately 75% of respondents worldwide completed at least the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher. Of the respondents that write code professionally and studied at the university level, over 62% have a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering and just under 10% have a degree in another engineering field.
Learning new tech
Around 75% of respondents said they like to learn new technology skills every few months to keep up with innovations highlighting how crucial it is for developers to keep their skills fresh in order to stay relevant in their field.
Visiting the Stack Overflow developer community was the first thing developers (a huge 90% of respondents) did when they got stuck on a problem. 52.8 % also found that watching tutorial videos or calling a co-worker or a friend was helpful.
78% of respondents said they also code as a hobby. However, developers with children or other caretaking responsibilities were less likely to do so.
Over 75% of developers surveyed work overtime at least occasionally, defined as one or two days per quarter with 25.5% working overtime 1-2 days a week or more.
Almost half of the respondents rated their company’s onboarding process as good while a fifth had no onboarding process at all. It would be interesting to see how the sharp increase in remote onboarding would impact these stats and if companies have invested more in their online onboarding experiences.
Overall, developers seem to be satisfied with their jobs, with almost 65% reporting that they are either slightly or very satisfied with their job.
When asked about which three characteristics would most influence their decision to choose one job offer over another, the languages and technologies they would be working on were the most important. The office environment, company culture and flexibility of schedule were also top priorities.