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Fun Facts We Learned from the 2021 Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Once again, this year, Stack Overflow has checked in with over 80,000 developers world-wide to learn about their behaviours, interests and technology trends. The survey results are in-depthand filled with enough statistics to draw a wide array of conclusions.

As noted, the survey gathered information from tens of thousands of developers around the globe, most of which were from the United States, India, Germany, UK and Canada.  Seventy percent (70%) of respondents were under 35 years old and about half have been coding professionally for more than 10 years. Here are a few of the most interesting highlights we learned about developers:

  • About 1/3 of professional developers still had not written their first line of code by the time they were 18. Although learning to code in high school is beneficial, lack of experience should not stop an interested graduate from pursuing a career in tech.

  • A little more than 11% of professional developers identified themselves as independent contractors, freelancers or self-employed. (This proportion was highest in Canada and the UK.) Popularity for contracting is rising as, in their 2019 survey, only 9.5% of professional developers were independent contractors.

  • Do you turn to Google when you're stumped on a coding issue? If so, you are not the only one. In fact, 90% of professional developers said they Google it when they're stuck. Other tactics included working on something else for a bit, phoning a friend, physical activity, and using meditation to help find a way past the challenge.

  • Just under 10% of developers suffer from an anxiety disorder. About 8% said they have a concentration and/or memory disorder, such as ADHD.

  • AWS is the most widely used cloud platform, by a large gap. The second most popular is Google Cloud platform.

  • By no surprise, the top programming languages remain JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, SQL, and Java.

  • Visual Studio Code is the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of choice, by a landslide.

Stack Overflow's survey also sheds light on rates and which technologies pay the best. If that's the information you want, here's a summary of the top 5 in each category:

Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages:

  1. Clojure

  2. F#

  3. Elixir

  4. Erlang

  5. Perl (down from the top spot)


  1. DynamoDB

  2. Elasticsearch

  3. Cassandra

  4. Redis

  5. IBM DB2


  1. AWS

  2. Microsoft Azure

  3. Google Cloud Platform

  4. IBM Cloud or Watson

  5. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Web Frameworks

  1. Ruby on Rails

  2. Svelte

  3. ASP.NET Core

  4. Gatsby

  5. React.js

Other Frameworks and Libraries

  1. Apache Spark

  2. .NET Core/.NET 5

  3. Hadoop

  4. .NET Framework

  5. NumPy

Other Tools

  1. Pulumi

  2. Terraform

  3. Chef

  4. Puppet

  5. Kubernetes

Collaboration Tools

  1. TextMate

  2. Emacs

  3. RubyMine

  4. Rider

  5. Vim

These highlights only scratch the surface of the plethora of knowledge found in the Stack Overflow survey results. If you want to learn more, you can have a look for yourself here. And, if you want to learn more about technology trends and careers, be sure to check out Eagle's Tech Talk podcast where we interview subject matter experts across the entire IT spectrum.