Colorful iconography that says "2021 developer survey. In May 2021 over 80,000 developers told us how they learn and level up, which tools they're using, and what they want.

Thoughts on 2021 StackOverflow Developer Survey

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The StackOverflow Annual Developer Survey measures the developer community on the popularity of software development stacks and gathers demographic information. While it has substantial methodological issues (internet surveys!), I often find myself perusing the results and reflecting on the major technology trends of the day. Below are my highlights from this year’s results:

The Love of Rust 

As I’ve written elsewhere, Rust is very commonly brought up in my conversations with developers. For the 2021 results, it was the most loved language out of 82,914 responses. It is essentially C++ without the headaches of dangling pointers, along with Haskellian traits.   

Python Desires

I most often recommend Python for new builds, particularly with stacks driven by a machine learning feature set. My default recommendation for microservices is Python, although I’m less attached to what the eventual selection is.  For the 2021 results, Python was the most desired language, beating out Go and Rust (along with popular go-tos like JavaScript; TypeScript; et al).

jQuery Finally Steps Down

I’ve been surprised at the staying power of jQuery for years; John Resig’s endeavor to save us from cross-browser torture had a lasting impact on the community. This year was the first time that a SPA framework took the top spot - React. I’m not surprised as it was bound to happen, but hats off to jQuery for holding the top position for so long.

AWS Stays On Top

AWS simply cannot be beat on developers preferred cloud platforms - it’s held the top spot for years by a huge margin. That said, Google Cloud and Azure gain ground every year. I haven’t done the trend forecast, but my view is that AWS will remain the top preferred platform into the latter half of the decade at least.

 

Date posted: August 13, 2021

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About the Author

Tony Rost, Chief Technology Officer

Tony believes that customers' technology problems can be solved with deep respect, sound data, strong process, and adventurous teams. He uses data-driven methods to improve all stages of the development lifecycle – from design, to beta, to final deployment. With numerous ties to the open-source community, Tony also works to solve client problems faster and more effectively with well-tested open-source solutions.

Several dozen products have shipped under his guidance over the past 14 years: collaborative internal sites at Nike, social networking integrations with Adidas, server-monitoring websites at Hewlett Packard, open source contributions to Drupal, entertainment sites such as The Emmys, community sites such as FearNET, and HTML5 apps for tablets and Smart TVs.

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