According to Stack Overflow, around every 8 seconds, a developer answers its Q&A klaxon – equating 56,033 programmers from 173 countries in the past year – many of whom also submitted to the Q&A extraordinaire annual survey, comprising 45 questions on topics ranging from Star Wars versus Star Trek (as though that was even up for debate), to salaries and rent by city.

There are a number of interesting takeaways from this year’s study. As you’d expect, given the tendency of  developers to gravitate towards bright and shiny new things (over 70.1% globally cite learning on the job as a top priority), Rust, Swift and Go retain their seats as the most loved programming languages, with Rust topping out with 79.1% on the approval rankings. Unsurprisingly given current market trends, Node.js and AngularJS come in at number two and three respectively as the languages people would most like to be working with in 2016.

Scala also makes it into the in-crowd, with 69.4% professing their affection for the JVM language. And it’s no surprise Scala devs are so happy, given that they are the second highest paid in the US and 7th highest globally, possibly connected to the fact their language often finds a home in FinTech.

Overall, functional devs are having more fun, with F# coming out as the best paid tech worldwide. The relatively elusive Dart enthusiast can count themselves as the second best compensated, and Cassandra, Spark and Hadoop skills take third, fourth and fifth place. Although more companies are looking to capitalise on emerging data analytics tools like Spark, as we’ve seen elsewhere, demand continues to outweigh the number of skilled and experienced employees floating around the market.

Most programming rankings tend to alternate between Java and JavaScript holding gold and silver positions. In the case of top tech on Stack Overflow, JavaScript comes out by quite some margin having taken the lead back in June 2015, with 62,588 tags on the site to Java’s 55,134. As Yakov Fain has noted, JavaScript has well and truly won on the “write once, run anywhere” front, making an appearance in each of the top 3 tech combos used by Back-End, Front-End, and Full-Stack developers.

Java saw a 1.1% drop overall in popularity in the past year on Stack Overflow over the past year – a fact that may well be attributed to a massive spike in conversations around the platform
during the previous period with the launch of lambda packing Java 8. In other Java news, Eclipse ranks 5.7% higher than IntelliJ in popularity, used by 22.7% of those questioned, and NetBeans lags behind with an 8.1% share of the market.

The study reveals an interesting correlation between work satisfaction and how much developers rate their jobs. Overall, 44.5% of developers who work at home full-time claim to love their work – compared to 24.5% who are umbilically attached to their offices. Developers who work remotely also tend to be more experienced, with 40% claiming 11+ years. Working remotely tends to become more of a priority as developers accrue experience, possibly linked to the fact older devs are also likely to have more family commitments to consider than young grads, and more experienced developers simply have more leverage to set their own working conditions.

And finally, some weird findings: in spite of what the internet at large might suggest, developers apparently prefer dogs to cats, 8.2% struggle to be nice to people at work, and in case you were wondering, an overwhelming number of coders under 50 would prefer to watch the fabulous dynastic adventures of the Skywalker clan over a bunch of lame Klingons and Vulcans.

A Remote Developer is a Happy Developer

About The Author
- Editor of, focusing on all things Java, JVM, cloud-y, methodical, future-fantastic, and everything in between. Got a piece of news, article or tutorial you'd like to share with your fellow Voxxians? Drop us a line at

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>