Developer Tech Trends – Our Take on The Stack Overflow Survey

Sally Yau

Marketing Coordinator

This year, 70,000 developers from over 180 countries participated in the Stack Overflow survey. They answered burning questions surrounding all aspects of the developer experience, from educational background to their favourite coding language and workplace experience. 

Staying up to date with the developer community is key to understanding development trends. It’s also key to staying at the forefront of innovation.

Let’s dig into some notable insights and results that the 4mation team deem most valuable (and interesting👀) from this year’s 2022 Stack Overflow survey.

Technology – most loved, used and dreaded by developers

Rust is once again the most loved language for the 7th year. A whopping 87% of developers say they want to continue using it! JavaScript again takes the crown for being the most used language and for the most dreaded technology…sorry MATLAB.

Kieran, our Head of Engineer and senior full stack developer, says, “I can definitely see JavaScript being the most used language as JavaScript can be used both in backend and frontend development. It is also a language I recommend us as a business to focus on as it is great for building websites and web applications.”

In response to Rust being the most loved language, Kieran adds –

“I think languages like Rust and Go are nice languages – fast and fun. However, it doesn’t quite suit the applications we build here at 4mation. In my opinion, it is great for lower-level applications.”

Work environment – remote, hybrid or in person?

The workforce (and world) witnessed a historic shift in 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic. While some companies are back working in the office, it has now become the norm for most businesses to provide employees with work-from-home flexibilities. It is estimated that in 3 years’ time, around 70% of the workforce will be working at least 5 days remote

Within the developer community, 85% of developers say their organisations are at least partially remote, with only 14.58% of respondents saying they work fully in person. 

When we surveyed our staff, most 4mation developers prefer working in a hybrid environment. Working remotely came close second, and working in person received the least votes.

Even though remote working comes with its perks, Kieran, who also happens to work interstate, said that it comes with challenges.

“Trying to cultivate work relationships with people outside my team can be difficult sometimes as I am not there in person to build rapport.”

To address this issue, Kieran spends extra time in team stand-ups to build rapport. He also visits the office whenever he gets the chance.

Education – learning how to code

Learning how to code is a very unique experience. When Stack Overflow asked how developers learned how to code, 70.91% of respondents learned from online resources (e.g., videos, blogs, forums).

Our developers also reflected a similar result. Stack Overflow and Udemy are some of the most valuable online resources. Hacker News, DailyDev and Reddit are most useful in staying on top of up-and-coming tech trends. Our developers also mentioned that they learn by doing passion projects in their own time. 

This emphasises that there is no “one size fits all” approach to learning how to code. There are a lot of resources and formats out there to support an individual’s learning style. 

At 4mation, our staff has access to both physical and online resources to support all learning styles on the spectrum. We provide Udemy subscriptions and paid certifications for those who prefer learning online. Udemy is actually in the lead as the most popular online course/certification program for learning code! We also have a collection of books in our 4mation library that is great for communication and management advice.

Knowledge silos – how we combat them

In the past year, approximately half of all respondents in the Stack Overflow survey report that knowledge silos prevent them from sharing ideas across teams.

The survey reported that:
1. 68% of respondents encounter a knowledge silo at least once a week
2. 62% of developers spend more than 30 minutes daily searching for answers.

Knowledge silos reduce the connectivity between teams. With working from home becoming more prominent, teams effectively work in isolation and the sharing of skills and information across an organisation can be hindered.

We thought we would ask our developers how they combat knowledge silos within their teams.

Our team focuses on technical documentation to enable new and existing developers to be easily onboarded to new projects. Standardising is a practice we heavily apply to ensure that similar techniques and tools are used across the same project.

When asked how Kieran and his team combat silos, he highlights the importance of encouraging others to ask questions – “Having open discussions and clear questioning channels is a great way to share knowledge across teams”.

Our survey also reflected that having regular catch-ups between senior and junior developers is a great way to share knowledge across teams and for both parties to learn from each other. 

Employment – developer shortage

Undoubtedly, we are currently facing a talent shortage globally. Hence, it is no surprise that in the Stack Overflow survey, only 4.71% of developers are looking for work worldwide.

The Tech Council of Australia has predicted that by 2025, Australia will need around 1 million people working in tech. This means an additional 260,000 people will need to enter the Australian tech market in three years. As Australian businesses continue to head toward digital transformation, many fail to deliver on their potential due to chronic skill shortages.

To combat this issue, it has opened doors for non-traditional hirings like Team Augmentation and project delivery.

Team augmentation helps inject fresh talent and insights into your existing team, while project delivery provides an expert cross-functional team on-demand. They offer organisations the ability to scale projects up or down without scouting and attaining talent. This can help organisations save costs by hiring developers for a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time team.

What’s next?

From discussing ways to learn code to debating the most loved/used/dreaded technology, the Stack Overflow survey has helped us reflect on our understanding of the developer community.

By embracing a learning and growth culture, our team continues to break down knowledge silos and adapt to the changing nature of how we work due to the pandemic.

Interested to learn more? You can view Stack Overflow’s complete survey here or read the official summary here.

If you have any questions about our team augmentation service or delivery options, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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