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Stack Overflow’s annual survey shows coding is still a job for the boys

Statistically, this could be you. If your name is Bill Gates

STACK OVERFLOW has released its annual ‘state of the sector’ survey based on its survey of over 100,000 developers around the world.

The site, which has one of the biggest developer communities in the world, has one of the few surveys with a big enough sample size for us to take seriously. 

There are few surprises in the regular categories, but for the first time this year, AI and DevOps questions were added.

Starting at the beginning, with who these mighty compilers of code are: 57.9 per cent of respondents are back-end developers. Full-stack devs account for 48.2 per cent, while front-end devs account for 37.8 per cent. Obviously, they can be more than one thing because that alone makes 145.9 per cent.

Of those 56.4 per cent are working in the open source arena in some capacity. 80.8 per cent code as a hobby as well as at work.

The most common length of experience in coding is three-to-five years, with under 10 years forming the vast majority of respondents. Just 3.8 per cent have more than over 30 years experience and of those, 1.7 per cent have 30 or more years of professional experience. Once again, the vast majority have been in the game professionally for under 10 years.

So who are these coders? Well, the vast majority (92.9 per cent) are male, with most having a BA (46.1) or an MA (22.6) and as you’d expect, 63.7 per cent come from a Computer Science major. 74.2 are white, 93.2 are straight.

Most (49.2) are 25-34 years old. Younger makes up 26.1 per cent but it soon tails off with 24.7 per cent 35 and older, of which just 1.8 per cent are over 55.

Most are childless (71.1). Over 50 per cent spend 9-12 hours at a computer every day, and only 12.5 er cent spend more than 2 hours a day outside.

Disability is an interesting one. 8.5 per cent have a mood/emotional disorder. 7.8 have anxiety. 5.9 have concentration and/or memory issues and 2.1 per cent identify as a person with autism. In total, 11,431 identified as being mentally different.

More interestingly, additional skills are most likely self-taught – 86.7 per cent said they had taught themselves a new language, framework or tool without formal training, with most either using the official documents or Stack Overflow.

So what are the most used skills?

Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL are all used by over 50 per cent of respondents, whilst VBA, Kotlin, Scala, Groovy and Perl are used by less than five per cent.

Frameworks and libraries are more scattered with Node.js by far the most popular at 49.6 per cent, followed by Angular, React, .Net Core and Spring. Bottom of the list are Spark, Hadoop and Torch/PyTorch with less than five per cent.

Most used databases are MySQL at 58.7, SQL Server at 31.2 and PostgreSQL at 32.9. Least used are Apache Hive, Google BigQuery and Apache HBase.

Platforms used sees Linux over Windows at 48.3 vs 35.4. Third is Android at 29 per cent.

Despite beating the pants off Wear OS in the shops, a mere 1.9 per cent of those responding develop for Apple Watch.

The full survey is, as ever, ridiculously comprehensive, and you can trawl through it here.

But just to say, if you want to make real money, Engineering management and DevOps are where the biggest bucks seem to be. The average salary of the latter is $72,000pa – against $51,000 for a front-end developer. But leaping in with a bullet at number three – Data Scientists/Machine Learning specialists can expect $60,000.

The future is clearly lucrative. μ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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