As software development evolves, so does what developers care about
Software developers are spending less time experimenting with new tools and frameworks and sticking to what they know – although blockchain seems to be attracting growing interest from coding communities.
23rd from SlashData State of the Developer Nation report ran from June to August 2022 and reached over 26,000 developers from 163 countries.
The research aimed to explore key developer trends for Q3 2022 and beyond, including tools and programming languages used by developersand the projects for which they are used.
The study found that web developers are settling for fewer frameworks than they may have done in the past, with the researchers suggesting that developers are experimenting less and sticking to what they know and what works.
React, for example, is currently the most widely used client-side framework, according to SlashData. React adoption has remained stable over the past two years. By comparison, jQuery’s popularity is declining rapidly.
Interestingly, SlashData’s report found that web developers who use frameworks are more likely to be “very good” at delivering software than those who don’t.
Java, on the other hand, is growing rapidly. Over the past two years, the size of the Java community has more than doubled, from 8.3 million to 16.5 million, SlashData found. As a reminder, the global population of developers has grown about half as fast over the same period.
Despite this huge growth, Kotlin and Rust are the two fastest growing language communities, according to the report: both programming languages have more than doubled in size in the past two years.
Python also continued to grow strongly, adding around eight million new developers over the past two years, according to SlashData. He credited the rise of data science and machine learning as “a clear factor in Python’s growing popularity.” About 63% of machine learning developers and data scientists say they use Python, while less than 15% use R, another programming language often associated with data science.
SlashData’s 2022 report also explored how developers are involved with blockchain projects and the platforms they target.
Blockchain technologies have applications in a wide range of industries, according to the report, particularly in finance, logistics and government. As such, SlashData’s 2022 survey sought to understand where developer interests lie and why.
Of the three blockchain technologies covered in the report, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) proved to be the least attractive to developers: 58% showed “no interest” in NFTs, which SlashData said was ” probably due to its perception as a novelty”. “.
Cryptocurrencies are the most recognizable blockchain-based technologies for developers, according to the report: 27% of respondents said they were currently learning or working on cryptocurrency-based projects.
SlashData’s report also looked at blockchain applications outside of cryptocurrencies, on the basis that non-crypto applications have “the widest range of use cases and therefore the most potential to shape our world.”
The report found that a quarter (25%) of developers are currently working on blockchain applications other than cryptocurrencies or learning more about them. Developers with six to ten years of software development experience are most likely to work on blockchain projects, SlashData found.
Overall, only 9% of developers involved in SlashData’s survey were involved with blockchain technologies. This could be due to the early stage of the technology. As more learning materials are made available to lower barriers to entry, developers may be able to get involved with blockchain earlier in their careers, SlashData said.
“Blockchain, much like cloud computing fifteen years ago, has the potential to underpin and enable many other technologies and experiences, but as we saw earlier, only 9% of developers work currently working on such projects,” the report said.
“Rather than affecting instantaneous technological transformation, blockchain technologies have the potential to become a foundational technology upon which our digital experience is built, much like TCP-IP – the building blocks of the Internet – and developers will be key players in shape this particular vision of the future.”
SlashData also looked at the factors that motivate young people to get into computer programming and what they want from their career.
Most student developers surveyed identified problem solving as their top career aspiration (32%). This is followed by the desire to become an expert in a field or technology (29%), to create innovative products or services (27%) and to work on stimulating projects (26%).