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Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders. Results of the global survey of programmers

Published in the Random EN group
Analyst firm SlashData recently released a new State of The Developer Nation report based on survey data from thousands of developers around the world between November 2019 and February 2020. In these reports, the company monitors key sentiments and changes in the software developer ecosystem, including the popularity of programming languages, the spread of new technologies, and the most important trends. Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders.  Results of the global survey of programmers - 1In total, SlashData analysts interviewed more than 17,000 developers (as well as data scientists) in 159 countries around the world. In today's article, we'll take a look at the most interesting data and findings from this report. Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders.  Results of the global survey of programmers - 2

The popularity of programming languages: Java is in the lead and is growing most steadily

In total, according to the report, at the end of 2019, there were 20.4 million active software developers in the world. Which programming languages ​​are more popular and which are less popular now, and how their popularity changes over time, is one of the eternally relevant topics, so it is not surprising that it receives a lot of attention in the report.

JavaScript in first place in terms of the number of developers

JavaScript remains the most popular language in the world in terms of the number of programmers - the number of adherents of this language has already exceeded 12 million people and now stands at more than 12.2 million. The JavaScript community is also one of the fastest growing today: from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2019 th it grew by more than 3 million developers. In terms of absolute indicators, this is the largest increase among all. “Newbie programmers see JavaScript as an attractive entry-level language, while more experienced developers look to add JS to their skill set. As a result, JavaScript is now used by more than half of all developers who are engaged in web applications, cloud services and all sorts of extensions for third-party ecosystems,” the authors of the report note.

Java shows steady growth year after year

Java remains the most popular programming language for mobile ecosystems (primarily Android), and is also very common in back-end development and cloud solutions. Analysts note that Java from year to year, for more than two decades, has been demonstrating stable growth. So, since the end of 2017, the Java programmer community has been growing by more than half a million people a year, and now it has more than 8 million people. In the overall ranking in terms of the number of developers, Java ranks third, second only to the absolute leader JavaScript and the Python language, which not so long ago managed to bypass Java in this indicator.

Python gained popularity thanks to Machine Learning

Python showed great growth - by 2.2 million new developers - back in 2018, and thanks to this, it overtook Java in the overall ranking of the popularity of PL. In 2019, however, the growth of new Python developers has slowed down a lot. That did not prevent this YaP from retaining an honorable second place, which, if the current pace continues, it should lose this year. The main reason for the jump in popularity of Python, analysts say, is the spread of machine learning (ML) technologies, as well as the study of data (data science), where Python is the main language. So, about 75% of all ML developers and data scientists said they use Python.

Kotlin is growing the fastest

But Kotlin became the champion in relative growth in popularity (in percentage terms). The number of Kotlin programmers has nearly doubled over the past two years, from 1.1 million developers at the end of 2017 to over 2 million by the end of 2019. “Given that Google has made Kotlin the language of choice for Android development, it can be expected that Kotlin will continue to grow in popularity and become one of the main mobile development languages,” the experts note.

C# and PHP are losing ground

But those who are not doing well in terms of popularity are C # (5.8 million active developers) and PHP (5.7 million). The communities of both have ceased to grow actively in recent years and even began to shrink. First of all, this concerns C # - the number of active adherents of this programming language in 2019 decreased by almost 1 million people. This language continues to play an important role in game development and the AR/VR niche, but its distribution in desktop development is noticeably declining, primarily due to the emergence of powerful cross-platform tools based on web technologies. PHP's popularity hasn't fallen as much over the past year, but the language is also gradually losing its popularity in the web development environment, although it remains the second most popular after JavaScript in it.

C / C ++ is still in the ranks and in demand

The community of developers writing in C and C++ remains one of the largest (fourth place in the overall standings, just behind the top three). The number of C/C++ programmers grew by about 15% in 2018 – from 5.5 million to 6.3 million – but in 2019 this figure remained virtually unchanged and remained virtually at the same level. 5.4 million developers reported that they actively use C++, while C has a slightly smaller community of active developers at 3.2 million people. These languages ​​remain relevant. In particular, C/C++ is widely used in the field of development for the Internet of things (IoT) , which allows us to predict a stable demand for C/C++ programmers in the future.

The number of developers for Apple platforms is decreasing

As for the rest of the niche languages, they do not show much growth. Swift and Objective-C remain important languages ​​in Apple platform development, but the number of programmers for both Swift and Objective-C has declined over the year. The number of active developers in Ruby and Lua has noticeably decreased. Go and Rust remain new languages ​​with relatively small communities, so it's too early to talk about their long-term prospects. Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders.  Results of the global survey of programmers - 3

Interest in new technologies and their implementation

In addition to languages, as part of this study, SlashData interviewed developers around the world about their attitude to new and emerging technologies, as well as their readiness to implement them in practice. The list of such technologies includes: DevOps, robotics, computer vision, mini-applications, self-driving cars, new technologies in the field of using biometric data for ID verification, quantum computing and a number of others. Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders.  Results of the global survey of programmers - 4

DevOps is the most actively implemented

It turned out that among these technologies, DevOps is the most popular among developers - 59% of the programmers surveyed noted that they are interested in this niche, study it, or have already implemented it in their work. Analysts say the popularity of DevOps is not surprising, as in recent years, IT companies have been striving to actively implement solutions that help make the development process more organized, stable and balanced. Java is the bulwark of stability, Python is in demand, and JS has the most coders.  Results of the global survey of programmers - 5

Interest in robotics, computer vision and quantum computing remains passive

Also, a lot of attention in developer circles is paid to such areas as robotics (54% of respondents reported their interest in creating robots) and computer vision (53%). However, interest in these areas has not yet been transferred to implementation very actively. So, only 13% of those developers who noted their interest in computer vision actually use these technologies today. Another 25% study this area. For robotics, the figures were 8% (active use) and 21% (learning), respectively. However, the low adoption rates can partly be explained by the fact that many of these niches have a fairly high “entry threshold.” In particular, this can explain the low rate of developer involvement in the development of robotics.

Blockchain is gaining popularity, but interest in cryptocurrencies is falling

It is also interesting that the attitude of developers towards blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies is changing. If earlier, in the wake of the growing popularity of Bitcoin, interest in cryptocurrencies grew rapidly, but now it has stabilized (at around 41%) and began to gradually decline. At the same time, a larger number of developers reported their interest in the use of blockchain technologies that are not related to cryptocurrencies (45% versus 41% for crypto). This suggests that blockchain is gaining popularity as a technology in areas other than cryptocurrencies.

AR/VR projects are developed as a hobby, and Fog computing is gaining popularity

And finally, briefly about the rest of the interesting findings of the study. The field of Fog/Edge computing has been gaining momentum among developers around the world over the past year. The sector of virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) remains the least active in terms of the number of developers involved in it, despite its status as extremely promising. Only 0.4% of the total number of developers surveyed reported that they work exclusively on AR/VR projects. At the same time, most developers with real practice in AR / VR are professional programmers from other fields who are engaged in this niche as a hobby. 3 out of 5 programmers are involved in the development of open source projects. 29% do it for the purpose of practice - to improve their coding skills,