HackerEarth Reveals Devs Desires For Change
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 13 May 2020

HackerEarth is sharing the results of its Developer Survey for the first time and provides some interesting findings about the relationship between happiness and work environment and the factors that would help them be more productive. 

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HackerEarth, based in India and San Francisco, provides tools for recruiters to remotely assess coding skills and claims to have a developer community numbering 4 million. The 2020 survey was conducted in January and attracted responses from 16,655 developers, students and working professionals, across 76 countries.

It reports as it top finding that Data Science is the domain that most interests respondents - 63% of student developers and 61% of working professionals want to move into this lucrative area. Other domains of interest for student developers include Cybersecurity and IoT, while working professionals are interested in IoT and Blockchain. 

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This "wished-for" distribution is certainly a contrast to the current actuality where web development predominates with a total share of over three quarters. Be they beginner or experienced, most devs have expertise in full-stack development, followed by front-end and backend development. 

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The wished-for languages also tend to show a bandwagon effect with Go coming top for both students (29%) and working professionals (32%).

There are some interesting differences between the distribution of languages that respondents know between students and working professionals and also an anomaly - Java and Java 8 are separate categories and it is not possible to know if Java 8 is a subset or if the two should be combined:

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Students are much more likely to know C++ (62%) and Python (55%) than are more experienced programmers for whom the corresponding starts are 36% and 40% respectively.  Python is in fact the second most popular language that working devs want to learn (24%). Both groups have Kotlin as the third language on the wish list - 28% for students and 21% for professionals. in second place for students comes JavaScript (29%) a language which only 27% already know, although 54% count HTML/CSS as a known language. Among those with working experience 34% know JavaScript and 46% HTML/CSS.

Another difference between the two groups of respondents was in their preference for operating systems - students favored Windows while working professionals espoused Linux, specifically Ubuntu.

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Looking at how they improve their skills, there was a marked difference between students and working professionals - a bigger proportion of students used all of the resources suggested. Among students coding platforms such as HackEarth were the most popular but overall YouTube tutorials were the most used resource and online educational platforms such as Coursera and Udemy were used by almost two-thirds of students and half of working professionals.

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Asked how their productivity could be improved, "Fewer Meetings" was the predominant response, followed by "Multiple Monitors", a strategy I Programmer has found extremely beneficial. Personally, I can't imagine a clutter-free working space, but having a clear no-interruption policy, another wish expressed by many, is definitely something that is desirable by those trying to concentrate on code. See On the Unhappiness of Software Developers) for how being serially interrupted while coding is what makes us most unhappy.

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HackerEarth came up with a happiness quotient and found that that developers who work at an enterprise company scored the least on the happiness index, with 70% of them saying they weren’t happy with their jobs. Around 14% of developers at growth-stage startups, those with 11-200 employees, also said they weren’t happy with their jobs. However, most developers still wanted to work in enterprises and growth startups probably due to factors such as better compensation and job stability. 

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More Information

The 2020 HackerEarth developer survey

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