back to article Stack Overflow survey: Microsoft IDEs dominate, GCP and Azure battle behind AWS

Stack Overflow has published its latest developer survey, revealing widespread deployment of Microsoft's development tools as well as Google Cloud Platform and Azure jockeying behind AWS. The technology section of the survey is where we may get clues about trends in programming languages and platforms. Perhaps the most …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So even with all those many many students that leave university knowing nothing but CSharp.NET and Visual Studio, it is still barely above Vim in terms of usage.

    Now one might argue that it is because stack overflow is traditionally a web development community, however before Visual Studio Code became popular, Visual Studio held the vast majority, even though it is fairly lacking for web development.

    Something isn't quite right with these figures or I am missing something. Though perhaps I shouldn't look into them too much.

    1. Geoffrey W

      Visual Studio is barely above Vim because Visual Studio Code has eaten it's lunch. You said yourself that VS had a vast majority before VSC came along, so all those VS users simply switched to VSC. VSC is pretty much a stripped down version of VS, and is becoming more accomplished with each iteration. VSC is the new VS. It's still Visual Studio. I'd be more surprised if that were Vim at the top, but it isn't. Nothing has changed really. It's all Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Visual Studio Code is much more like Notepad++ (with tonnes of plugins) rather than Visual Studio. For example it does not really have the concept of .sln files. Whilst this is ideal for those using CMake or GCC. It makes it not an option for those who need the original Visual Studio.

        So strangely it seems that for all of those guys saying (for decades!) that Vim sucks because it doesn't support project files and tight integration with the compiler toolchain and debugger. It turns out they weren't that important after all. Plugins suffice (just like Vim) and for VC++ the CDB or WinDBG external tool is suggested. Again, just like with Vim.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          There's no discernible difference between functionality given by a plugin and it being baked in. VSC has so many plugins offered for download at one's convenience it's becoming difficult to keep it simply as a dumb editor.

          Over in C++ land, VSC is doing a much better job than the last version of Eclipse CDT I tried.

          I think we're seeing the proper value of a decent IDE like VS, when one examines the latest debacle to befall PyPI. Clearly there's a lot of devs out there who lack the wisdom of practising safe hex when they go fetch God knows what from who knows where and just run it. Something like VS plus NuGet does at least walk you through the whole thing and tell you "you're about to do something dodgy, are you sure?".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "...a decent IDE like VS"

            I'm not a Microsoft fan at all, at alllll (0% MS products here) and VS is and probably will remain the most convenient IDE... it's grudging to say, but it's the truth. Is it the best? Probably, sure, but you'll have to pay to play.

            As far as VS Code and real projects, I'll hard pass. The only difference with VS Code and something like CodeBlocks (or whatever) is that you have to install your own plugins, while VSC just downloads it for you. I've been using VSC on and off for nearly 3 years with various Arduino/Embedded projects so I'm FORCED to know how it's plugin system works, but when you need to open many files for C++ projects, it just simply falls down (and that rightfully can be blamed solely on Electron).

            Whoever thinks that VS Code is becoming the new VS simply doesn't write system code (and doesn't understand how Microsoft as a company works). Now maybe they'll merge them and sell a costly "pro" version and a overpriced "enterprise" version, but you'll wind up with trickle down features into all product versions, features like the "ribbon".

            1. Geez Money

              Yup. There's definitely a hard limit to how heavy a project can be before you need VS non-code or equivalent to handle it unless you want enormous slowdowns/freezes every time you do anything that requires processing a lot of your files. MS has tamed Electron better than anyone else seems to have managed, but using Electron is always a bad idea period. Very poor architecture choice for them, but it made sense at the time because Electron was new hotness and using it gave them geek cred.

        2. Geez Money

          "Visual Studio Code is much more like Notepad++ (with tonnes of plugins) rather than Visual Studio. For example it does not really have the concept of .sln files. Whilst this is ideal for those using CMake or GCC. It makes it not an option for those who need the original Visual Studio."

          vscode imports sln files, some real world projects have solutions full of customized scripting which is tightly coupled to VS's msbuild or some custom piece of code which don't do as well, but if you're mostly using a solution file for its inherent features you shouldn't have any issues.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...even though it is fairly lacking for web development.

      I'm not sure that's a valid statement. From the very first days of ASP.Net and C# I found debugging both server side and client side code in the same session incredibly powerful and easy to use.

      Anecdote time...

      Despite my earlier forays into C# for web development, my webhost refuses to use anything Microsoft on their servers (one day I'll probably end up ditching them purely for that reason). So I picked up PHP and wrote a lot of things using that. For many years I used PHPStorm as my IDE of choice for developing and maintaining my websites. Until it randomly stopped working earlier this year. (It was an old version, but the fact it just completely gave up and refused to start speaks volumes, but I digress.) In all those years, I never quite managed to get PHP debugging working properly - despite my best efforts.

      To be honest, I never really liked it as an IDE, but apathy wins a surprisingly high percentage of the time.

      Anyway, I decided to give PHP Tools for Visual Studio a go. Installation went smoothly, setting up the project was simple enough. Editing works - a little better, in fact, because it's the same editor I use for everything else. Intellisense is a little lacking - but hey, it's not as bad as the C++ Intellisense - I honestly have no idea why that continues to be so piss fucking poor. Debugging... just worked. Set the start page for the session, hit F5, and away I went with a local session being fired up in IIS Express.

    3. Geez Money

      Not sure where any of this is coming from but the most used language out there is javascript and vscode is far and away the best javascript ecosystem (as well as for many, but not all, other languages). At this point even most Enterprise Java shops are switching to vscode as their primary.

      Virtually every university cs program I've ever seen uses Java or some on metal C flavour as its basic languages, so the C# comment is just weird.

      As for web dev in VS, Visual Studio (non-code) has several extremely killer features for web dev that you don't get anywhere else, like being able to live attach and debug into the web server itself's code with a single button click. A lot of web only shops use it exclusively for a reason.

      Fact is nobody is really making good IDEs except for MS right now, stuff like IntelliJ is stone tools by comparison. Unless you're very attached to CLI there really just isn't a reason to use anything else except maybe habit.

  2. teknopaul Silver badge

    Stackoverflow search

    I find better results on duckduckgo about stackoverflow content than on stackoverflow's own search facility.

    I would search primarily on stackoverflow's search if it worked properly.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Stackoverflow search

      I agree about using DuckDuckGo for searching. I don't like having to either allow google's cookies to exist, or having to solve a captcha just to use it.

      From the article: it primarily represents the users of StackOverflow

      Yeah I never heard about the survey. Otherwise I probably would've participated. Chalk one up for C, pluma, FreeBSD, PHP, PostgreSQL, and NO additional "web frameworks", evar!

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Stackoverflow search

      What do developers do when they get stuck? This is of course a Stack Overflow survey; but we learn that Google is their first thought (89.69 per cent) versus Stack Overflow itself at 79.96 per cent. These figures are similar whether or not developers are professionals.

      Indeed. 95% of the time if I FIND a useful result in Google, it IS a StackOverflow link. The rest are from MS' own Q&A, you know the one where the question gets repeated every couple of posts and you're not really sure what order posts are in.

      1. Geez Money

        Re: Stackoverflow search

        "MS' own Q&A, you know the one where the question gets repeated every couple of posts and you're not really sure what order posts are in."

        Tell me you're an experienced software developer without telling me you're an experienced software developer.

  3. Peter Prof Fox

    VSC doesn't tell me how to edit

    We like our editors to be our hearths and our home. A familiar and threat-free place where we can do scrimshaw, knit, make poker-work pipe racks, train hamsters or whatever. Sometimes we go out hunting the Java dragon or COBOL monster or have a git-knot to untie. So we go, from our base into rough territory. But we are confident because we have weapons at our fingertips, ready after a nanosecond of reflex alt-ctrl-slash-bodge or whatever.

    After dozens of editors (especially notepad++ over the years), I'm now using VSC. It doesn't tell me how to edit. (Actually it does; but I found how to switch-off all the annoying prompts for things my fingers know after all these years.) There's a huge amount of cleverness going on inside. So, out of the box it is missing features or intrusive. But those things can be fixed.

    The 'code' bit of VSC is important in that it assumes you're actively coding not just hacking a config file or scanning a log file. There's always that ghost of Clippy pointing out spelling mistakes from another universe.

  4. Vizesnyolcas

    Good article, thanks!

  5. spireite Silver badge

    VS vs VSCode

    Having not used VS for some years (previous ASP.NET stuff mostly), I had a need to go back to it... though using VSCode for my Python stuff

    My God, it was never slimline, but it appears to me that it has become even more bloated, slow than it was before! That and it's lack of intuitiveness.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Funny, I still remember when people said after Eclipse IDEs became a commodity...

    ... and there was no reason to write another.

    Probably it's true only commercial IDEs have a difficult market because it's hard to compete with free stuff, even if that free stuff is so-so.

  7. texpert

    It seems the survey is biased towards Microsoft IDEs.

    Not sure is it done on purpose, but the overall view will change dramatically, if all JetBrains IDEs would be aggregated into one.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Yeah, I was going to say, isn't Android studio just intelliJ with a layer of paint?

    2. DM2012

      It actually does change it a decent amount.

      VS Code: 71.07% (Professional developers)

      IntelliJ + Android Studio + PyCharm + WebStorm + PhpStorm: 29.69+21.76+16.27+9.15+8.55 = 85.42% (Professional developers)

      Having said that, I do prefer VSC these days as a general editor.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: IntelliJ + Android Studio + PyCharm + WebStorm + PhpStorm ...

        From one perspective you're right, in that they are all IntelliJ variants.

        That said, JetBrains build and release them as different products, and (even though I know there are bundles etc) they charge for them each individually. And if JetBrains themselves treat them separately enough to warrant charging for each, then it would be wrong to consider them as one product.

        Unless you also want to combine VS and VS Code (both Microsoft) as that is the fair consequence of that logic.

  8. DrSunshine0104

    (MSSQL) Is Too Damn Expensive!

    My colleagues in IT have dropped all their MSSQL licenses just earlier this year through various means of changing databases or just offloading on to managed services.

    I have dropped my MSSQL licenses too in favor of PostgreSQL. I have to keep my major infrastructure on-premise because it is chatty GIS applications that is painful to use off-premise. Most open-source GIS and ESRI supports PostgreSQL where spatial data has always felt first class and no expensive per-core licenses. Why wouldn't you?

    1. Geez Money

      Re: (MSSQL) Is Too Damn Expensive!

      Not sure what this has to do with the article, but you'd be crazy to pay for SQL licenses in a post-postgres world.

      1. Geoffrey W

        Re: (MSSQL) Is Too Damn Expensive!

        He wants to show off his anti Microsoft credentials and do some virtue signalling, and this is all he has to offer since he doesn't use VS(C) and so can't legitimately criticize it without risk of saying something silly. Either that or he does use VS(C) but wants to keep it secret from all his cool kid FOSS friends and would rather stay away from the subject of Microsoft IDE's in case he gives himself away.

        I can say this for MSSQL, it isn't as expensive as Oracles offerings (last I looked which was quite a while ago).

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