STACK OVERFLOW has released its latest research from its pool of developers across the world.
As a rule, we don't tend to report on surveys. We get loads every week and they tend to be self-serving and contradictory.
Stack Overflow, however, is different. Its research is based on a huge pool of users and this survey alone garnered 100,000 responses from 183 countries, making the data a bit more representative.
"Today, every company is a technology company. Without developers, the economy would not evolve at the pace we're seeing today" said Stack Overflow CEO, Joel Spolsky.
"They are the architects of code that empower our everyday lives, and the people responsible for teaching machines how to think. The findings of this survey are indispensable for businesses, as they look to enable their tech workforce and attract the best developer talent"
So what does it tell us?
First off, it looks like developers are (mostly) excited, rather than worried about the possibilities that AI brings - nearly three quarters said so and over 80 per cent said that they weren't primarily worried about losing their jobs to machines.
So who is responsible for ethics of AI? Well, only a quarter of respondents felt that there should be a formal regulatory body for AI, and whilst most think the duty lies with the creators and technologists designing AI, 58 per cent said they believed that upper management was where the buck should ultimately stop.
Away from AI, when asked about programming languages, it's no surprise that Java is top-dog again in terms of numbers of users, but Python is now second, overtaking C#.
However, when you ask developers what their favourite languages are, the responses are very different. Rust is the most popular, followed by Kotlin (recently launched as a Linux Snap), Python, TypeScript and Go. The most-hated language is Visual Basic 6 - which means the top and bottom places have been the same now for three straight years.
Databases have a huge disconnect between most used, most wanted and most needed, with SQL and MySQL the most common, Redis the best-loved and MongoDB the most wanted.
So what if you need a developer? We know they're hard to come by - just 16 per cent of respondents are actively job hunting (though 60 per cent are open to offers).
That creates a huge skills gap as demand increases, especially as young people predominate the field - 75 per cent of respondents are under 35 and 57 per cent have less than five years experience.
Games, graphics and mobile developers have the least experience and worryingly are also the most job-hungry. Employers should ask how they can retain talent in those areas.
So what languages earn the most money? F#, Ocaml, Clojuyre, and Groovy have a median of over $70,000pa, with PHP, Matlab and Assembly earning the least, alongside games/graphics designers.
The average salary worldwide is $55,000pa, with US devs earning the most ($100,000pa) and UK devs commanding around $63,000pa, ahead of the curve, but behind the likes of Switzerland and
If all this sound a bit intimidating to outsiders - don't worry, 90 per cent of developers are to some degree self-taught, so there's hope for us all. µ
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