RebelLabs regularly dusts-down its virtual clipboards to survey developers and create reports from their findings. Its 2016 Developer Productivity Report results are just in contain some interesting findings.


One revealing element of the survey shows the preferred IDE of sampled respondents being IntelliJ, over it’s free-to-use alternative Eclipse. Simon Maple, IDE battleHead of Developer Advocacy at ZeroTurnaround, RebelLabs parent organisation, commented, “The Eclipse vs IntelliJ battle is interesting because of the difference in cost for the products, Eclipse of course being free compared to the Ultimate edition of IntelliJ (which most use over Community edition) being a commercial offering. Many wouldn’t have believed IntelliJ could overtake Eclipse based on this fact alone.”


The survey also shines a usage light on Java EE, which has been subject of so much recent conjecture and posturing. “It’s great to see many adopting the latest version of Java EE,” says Maple, “but perhaps a wake up call, that fewer people are using Java EE today than in 2014. This could partly be fuelling Oracle’s well-documented neglect towards Java EE”.


A summary of raw results and key trends is below:


Raw results

• Three out of four respondents (74%) think they’re better than the average person in their role.
• One third of respondents (34%) have adopted a microservices architecture.
• Of the two thirds (66%) that haven’t adopted microservices, only 12% are currently planning to do it in future.
• 62% of respondents are using Java 8 in production.
• Java EE 7 is the most popular version with 31% of respondents stating they use the latest version, while 42% of respondents don’t use Java EE at all.
• 46% of respondents use IntelliJ more often than any other IDE, finally overtaking Eclipse on 41%.
• 68% use Maven as their main build tool, with Gradle on 16%.
• Tomcat is still the most popular application server in production and development with 42% market share.
 Oracle DB just pipped MySQL to the most used database with 39% and 38% of respondents claiming to use each, respectively.
• MongoDB is the most popular NoSQL DB with 15% of respondents using it today.
• Spring totally dominates the web framework market with Spring MVC and Spring Boot taking first *and* second most popular frameworks with 43% and 29% using them, respectively.
• Jenkins dominates the CI Server market with 60% of respondents favoring the butler solution.
• Git owns the CVS market with 68% of the share, as SVN struggles on 23%.
• Visual VM continues to be the most popular profiler with 38% respondents making use of it.
• New Relic is the leading APMs with 11% share.
32% use Docker but 54% don’t use virtualization environments at all.
• 71% of respondents claim to be agile.



• Both early adopters (67%) and technology sheep (58%) favor Java 8, showing how established the latest version is.
• Early adopters are more likely to move away from Java EE, with more technology sheep (33%) preferring the latest version than early adopters (28%).
• Early adopters favor Spring Boot, Play 2 and Grails, snubbing Struts, Wicket and Play 1.
• Jetty and Tomcat are the preferred application servers for a microservices architecture, with WebLogic, WebSphere and GlassFish in particular seeing reduced usage (almost half) in microservices environments.
• PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, Cassandra and Couchbase see heavily increased usage in microservices environments (up to six times), with Oracle DB dropping by 8%.
 Spring Boot and Play 2 are twice as likely to be used in a microservices environment than not, whereas JSF is almost half as likely.
• One in two (50%) microservices environments use Docker for virtualisation.
• Agile teams are more likely to write formal technical specifications than non-agile teams.
• Eclipse usage continues to decline consistently. IntelliJ share continues to grow consistently. IntelliJ predictably overtakes Eclipse by usage.
• Maven continues to be market leader with steady growth. Gradle continues to grow slowly but not significantly enough to challenge Maven.
• Spring’s dominance is shown in its continual growth from 2012 to 2016, including very fast adoption for Spring Boot.
• JSF usage declines slowly over time, while Stripes, Tapestry, Wicket and Play 1 look to be on the way out.
• Git shows fast growth over the last four years from 27% to 68% share. SVN on the other hand shows substantial market share loss in the same period from 55% down to 23%.


In all, 2,040 participants completed the survey fully. In the process a very generous $1,000 donation to the Devoxx4Kids initiative was generated.


You can see the full report HERE


RebelLabs Unveils 2016 Developer Productivity Report Findings

About The Author
- Mark is co-founder of and organiser of Devoxx UK. He is involved in several technical community initiatives, including Outside of work he can be found bumbling around the countryside in his VW camper rediscovering his inner hippie, giving his opinion to anyone who'll listen - and many who won't anyway.

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