Are You A Typical Developer?
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 13 June 2018

JetBrains has conducted a survey of 6000 developers. It found Java to be the most popular programming language followed by JavaScript and Python. Go was discovered to be the language that devs were keenest to adopt in the future. We now look at a selection of its other findings.


The methodology used to determine language popularity was to ask respondents to rank their 3 primary programming languages by the frequency of use and weights were then assigned to each position (1st - 3, 2nd - 2, 3rd - 1). Although Java came out top JavaScript was used regularly by a bigger proportion - 64% compared to 51% for Java. 

Looking at programming languages that developers are actively learning Python topped the list, closely followed by JavaScript. Go, which figured as the language developers were most interested in adopting in the future, was in fourth place in this list, which is truncated here to just the top six languages. 


The question asked here was "What programming languages have you started learning / continued to learn in the last 12 months, if any?" and only 7% of developers answered "I am not learning any programming languages." Respondents were allowed to select more than one language and the chart suggests that many of them were learning multiple languages.

The  question "What types of applications do you develop?" also led respondents to tick multiple boxes. What is interesting from this chart is the balance of day-job, i.e "for money" and "as a hobby" responses. The answer "I don't develop anything" was given by 12% of respondents in respect of paid-for work, and by only 10% in respect of hobby projects. Back-end and front-end web development dominated this chart, with "for money" being more prevalent than "as a hobby" in both cases but in the case of mobile applications the tables are turned with hobby projects outweighing paid-for activity:


 (click in graphic to enlarge)

Among respondents developing for mobile, 86% target Android, 48% iOS and only 3% other; 35% develop for both Android and iOS.

From other surveys we have learned that the majority of developers spend some of their time contributing to open source and JetBrains included the question:


Although 40% of respondents don't contribute to open source, only 3% don't want to do so. Only 6% work on open source full time and two thirds of this group are paid for it

Given that the survey was conducted by JetBrains another obvious question to ask was about the tools used by developers and the result that IDEs were used by a large majority should come as no

JetBrains makes two comments on this:

Respondents are sticking with using IDEs rather than Lightweight Desktop Editors: 82 % regularly use IDEs while only 69% use editors. 

In-cloud IDEs and editors are still an unpopular choice: only 8% of respondents work with them on a regular basis 

Other findings were that developers customize their working environment, with only 12% of those using IDEs and editors, not  customizing them and that 77% use the dark theme for their editor or IDE.

Looking at the responses to the survey's fun questions 77% of respondents listen to music while they are coding; over 40% sleep for fewer than 7 hours per night;  and coffee is the preferred beverage for 57% followed by tea at 33%.

Also from this section  we can discover that 85% of respondents code on weekends and also where they code and how many hours a week they spend doing it for work and for pleasure:



Almost two thirds of respondents do the bulk of their coding at the office, with another almost a third at home.




These results go to remind us how coding can be an all-consuming activity with 37% of respondents coding for more than 32 hours per week for their day job.

JetBrains reports has sections devoted to a dozen different languages and to Databases, Team tools and DevOps. It also takes the opportunity to introduce JetBrains' range of products.



More Information

The State of Developer Ecosystem in 2018

Related Articles

Stack Overflow Publishes Largest Ever Survey

Go Survey Revelations

Are Perl Programmers Different?

Python Development Trends



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 June 2018 )