Programmers love Apple, dread Microsoft, and think Facebook is trendy

Today, the
tremendously popular online programmer hangout Stack Exchange released its 2016 developer survey results, the absolute best look into the state of the software industry you can find anywhere.

With 56,033 coders in 173 countries responding to the survey — more than double last year’s base — the Stack Exchange survey covers every conceivable topic, from trendy technologies to demographics.

Here are some key results:

  • Apple’s hot Swift programming language took second place in the “Most Loved” category, with 72.1% of all developers saying they use it and want to keep using it. It finished just behind Rust, a popular language that spun out of Mozilla, with 79.1%.
  • Microsoft’s Visual Basic programming language topped the “Most Dreaded” charts, with 79.5% of developers saying that they’re working with the technology, but would prefer not to do so in the future.
  • 15.8% of developers say that they don’t work with Android, but they’d like to, making it the “Most Wanted” tech skill out there.
  • Facebook’s React technology, which helps developers build apps with slick front-end interfaces, is the top-trending technology on Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange’s developer Q&A site. Meanwhile, Microsoft Windows Phone saw a massive 65.2% drop in posts, making it the biggest loser.
  • The 20-year-old JavaScript language still rules the roost: 55.4% of all developers program with it, with the SQL database language in second place with 49.1% and Java with 36.3%.

Beyond just technology, the Stack Exchange developer survey also reveals the makeup of the programmers who work in the industry.

For instance, according to the study, the average developer is 29.6 years old, with a median age of 27. That number actually varies by country, with the average American programmer being 32 years old.

Oh, and because you were probably wondering: Women made up only 5.8% of the 56,033 respondents. Of those women coders, the most popular job title was “designer.” The least common job title for women developers was “executive,” as in CIO or CTO.

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