back to article JavaScript, GitHub, AWS crowned winners in massive survey of 32,000 developers

A survey of nearly 32,000 developers has confirmed the dominance of JavaScript, showing a remarkable 91 per cent using GitHub, and growth in use of AWS despite the efforts of Microsoft and Google. The survey was huge, with sections on 13 different programming languages, big data, databases, DevOps, developer demographics, …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "developers are young"

    Except for those who still know COBOL.

    Or LotusScript, for that matter.

    But they obviously weren't part of the survey.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: "developers are young"

      But they obviously weren't part of the survey.

      Too busy doing real work perhaps :)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "developers are young"

      It's nice to know that my age group is basically rounding error.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Questionable methodology

    [1] The sample size is less impressive than it seems at first sight. 31,743 accepted responses, 183 "countries or regions", so an average of 173 developers from each. Seven alternative working disciplines, so an average of 25 developers per country/region and discipline. We're now dealing with very small sets here from which to develop statistical arguments.

    [2] Respondents were self selected and attracted via Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Instagram, Quora, VK, and JetBrains’ and "links to some user groups and tech community channels". Consequently it primarily represents a particular culture within the developer community (one that spends time on social media and possibly even one where javascript is preferred).

    [3] The raw results were then "weighted", first using some quite arbitrary assumptions and then applying a mathematical "third stage" of "30+ [undisclosed] linear equations and inequalities" using "the dual method of Goldfarb and Idnani (1982, 1983)" which it's up to the reader to go and investigate.

    This is not how reliable research is reported (even supposing the results are valid).

    1. GrumpenKraut

      Re: Questionable methodology

      And comparing C++ directly to HTML/css is as useful as comparing a car to an umbrella.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: Questionable methodology

        Or comparing Objective C to a programming language.

        1. GrumpenKraut

          Re: Questionable methodology

          No down-vote from me, but wasn't Objective C (at least at its time) a decent language?

          Or are you just ... ? ------------>

          1. karlkarl Silver badge

            Re: Questionable methodology

            With direct access to native C API's, I can honestly see Objective-C making a comeback and Apple picking it up again. Life is too short to write Swift/C bindings.

            So Swift will be (re)replaced with Objective-C. You heard it here first folks! ;)

          2. Blank Reg

            Re: Questionable methodology

            No, Objective C was always an abomination

      2. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Questionable methodology

        I was thinking similarly.

        Not so much an indication of language popularity but rather of the commonality of development areas (eg. client side vs server side vs generic coding).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A survey of nearly 32,000

    Are they still on 16 bit? Keeping it just under the 32768 barrier.

    I must be old to remember having to do that.

    1. Gecko

      Re: A survey of nearly 32,000

      They can probably stretch to 64k as they could get away with using an unsigned integer.

  4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge


    HTML/CSS and SQL are languages?

    1. Gunboat Diplomat

      Re: Wot?

      Well, the L in SQL stands for language and there are all sorts of crimes against computing you can commit with stored procedures. Apparently some versions of SQL are even Turing complete (joy of joys).

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Wot?

        As of the 2008 standard, ANSI SQL (ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075:2008) is Turing-complete.

        HTML + CSS is Turing-complete.

        In any case, this canard is tired and not a useful distinction. HTML and CSS are not natural languages, and expressing intent in them requires some1 understanding of their specification and a fairly complex mental model that has some correspondence to the actual model defined by the specification and implemented (to some degree of fidelity) by major browsers.

        The fact that HTML + CSS can't easily be coaxed into evaluating arbitrary computable functions doesn't in itself support the claim that the type of labor involved in creating an entity using them isn't essentially of a kind with programming.

        The argument is stronger for SQL, which is clearly a declarative programming language by broad consensus.

        1Often, alas, not enough. But some.

  5. Handy Andy

    Developer age

    I'm one of the apparently rare 'not young' developers.

    I am pretty confident I never saw an invite to fill in the questionnaire. Maybe they should have puts ads in Sage magazine?

    ...or do you have to be active on twatter and faceache to be a dev these days?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Developer age

      Because you're not a "partner".

      These surveys essentially pick what they want as an outcome for promotion, and they don't have to try very hard to do it. Lets say you make "Super-Fresh-White-Blast" teeth cleaner, we'll they would then go around and open the front lobby door to every dentist office and yell "Who wants their teeth cleaned!", then on to the next door. Sometimes bribing the dentist comes into play, *if* the partners paid enough

      For plausible deniability, these surveys always keep C at a flat line. To further that, they always state that the majority of developers are young, which is always the truth in anything creative (ie. there's more younger blacksmiths, painters, carpenters, etc.). The whole survey is a statement of the obvious with a toggle to the top for whoever paid, but make no mistake, the only "survey" undertaken was in editing.

      P.S. HTML is a programming language... sure.

  6. Stephendeg

    What types of software do you develop?

    A bit surprised that no-one who responds to the survey is actually building *applications*?

  7. RyokuMas

    The question is...

    ... how much of Javascript's "popularity" is due to each of the following:

    1) Development of new systems or additional functionality in existing Javascript or well-established frameworks

    2) Exploring the latest "framework-of-the-month"

    3) Maintaining/repairing the shit code in production that has come about as a result of 1 & 2?

  8. Plest Silver badge

    A pissing contest!

    I'm certainly no statistician but I note there's a general downward trend in the use of all the languages with few exceptions. So where did all that dev talent go?

    It's all a pissing a contest in the end anyway. "Oooh, you're still using C++! *pffft* Dinosaur!". At the end of the day we work to serve the needs of our companies and supply the products they need. So long as we're good at the agreed languages and the agreed languages are up to the task of serving the needs of the businesses we work for, who gives a rat's arse what language you use so long as the code works, is stable, app tests run fine and biz people are happy!

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