Tech & Work

100K developers share most loved and most hated programming languages in new survey

The Stack Overflow developer survey also looks at the perceived impact of artificial intelligence on programmer jobs.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Developers' most loved programming languages are Rust, Kotlin, and Python, but Visual Basic 6 is the most hated. — Stack Overflow, 2018
  • Nearly 75% of developers are more excited than worried about AI's impact on their jobs. — Stack Overflow, 2018

According to Stack Overflow's 2018 Annual Developer Survey, released Tuesday, Rust is the most-loved programming language. This is the third year in a row that the Mozilla-backed language has taken top honors in the survey.

After Rust, the next most loved language was Kotlin, followed by Python in third place. The fourth most loved language was TypeScript and the fifth was Google's Go. Also for the third year in a row Visual Basic 6 ranked as the "most dreaded."

Despite the affection developers hold for Rust, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, according to the survey, and has been for six years running. Python is the fastest growing.

SEE: Job description: Front-end developer (Tech Pro Research)

In addition to looking at programming languages the survey, which had more than 100,000 responses from developers in 184 countries and territories, examined attitudes toward artificial intelligence (AI), ethics, and more.

Of those surveyed, nearly 75% said they were actually more excited for AI than they were worried about it. More than 80% said that their biggest worry didn't revolve around their job being automated.

However, there are other challenges with AI and machine learning—like fairness and ethics. Most developers think that the creators of the technology should be responsible for it, and only about a quarter of respondents felt that a regulatory body should carry the main responsibility. Although, 58% said that upper management is ultimately responsible for making sure code is ethical overall.

Only about 16% of developers are actively looking for work, but 60% are passive candidates, which a Stack Overflow press release defines as "those who are not seeking a new job, but would consider new opportunities."

Demographically, 57% of developers have fewer than five years of professional experience, and roughly 75% of the survey respondents were listed as younger than 35 years old. Worldwide, the median developer salary is $55,000, but it varies widely. For example, developers in the US have a higher median salary of $100,000.

To stay relevant, almost half of those surveyed said they went to a coding bootcamp to broaden their skills. All in all, though, 90% of all developers have taught themselves some new language, framework, or tool to stay sharp.

The full report can be found here.

Also see

Image: iStockphoto/scyther5

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox