What happens when Stack Overflow’s senior research analyst delves more deeply into results from their annual Developer Survey?

Rust, Elixir, Clojure, Typescript, and Julia are at the top of the list of Most Loved Programming Languages. However, in looking at the last three years, we see a bit of movement. [While Rust has remained #1 since 2020, Elixir has risen to #2, while Clojure and TypeScript have dropped.]

In 2022, we added a drill-down to specifically show popularity amongst those learning to code. Because Stack Overflow is a learning resource, I would expect that popularity amongst those specifically learning would be a good indicator of current and future programming language popularity. There is an interesting pattern in comparing Most Loved and Learning to Code Popularity: people learning to code aren’t using the most loved languages….

Less than 1% of those learning responded they were using either Clojure or Elixir.

1.2% are using Julia
7.1% are using Rust
and 15.1% are using Typescript.

The article still tries to tease out ways to predict future popular programming languages (by, for example, the number of questions being asked about languages, especially by new programmers learning to code). But along the way, they uncover other surprising statistical truths about the limits of their data:

  • “Stack Overflow questions are more susceptible to the preferences of those using the site as a learning tool rather than those of more advanced developers.”
  • “[B]eing loved (via the Developer Survey) is not related to generating more questions on Stack Overflow. And this makes sense: posting questions most likely speaks to friction with coding, a friction that may lead to loving a programming language less.”
  • “Our latest Developer Survey showed us that ~32% of programmers have been professionally coding for four years or less, a significant amount of people who are most likely involved in learning programming languages. That is, beginner-friendly languages get the most questions and popularity, but the Most Loved languages make veteran developers happy.”

Source link