Developers dread Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2, SharePoint - survey

Poll says devs wouldn’t write unethical code - probably

Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Stack Overflow’s annual survey has revealed the tools and tech that developers love to hate: Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2 and SharePoint.

According to the poll, which took in the views of more than 100,000 devs, Rust is the most loved programming language for the third year running. It is closely followed by Kotlin, which makes its debut in the survey.

Python is the language that devs who don’t yet use it most often say they want to learn and JavaScript is the most used.

At the other end of the spectrum is Visual Basic 6, which has been voted most dreaded programming language. Visual Basic 6 is also linked to lower pay, with Stack Overflow saying that devs using it are “paid less even given years of experience”.

The most monied languages, meanwhile, are F#, Ocaml, Clojure and Groovy, with devs using them pulling in average salaries of more than $70,000. Perl, Rust, Erlang, Scala and Go all bag more than $65,000.

For databases, Redis is the most loved, while IBM’s Db2 and Oracle take the top two spots in the most dreaded column. MongoDB - whose sales pitch is based around it being the dev’s best friend - takes the lead for the most wanted database.

SharePoint, meanwhile, is the most dreaded platform, while Linux is once again the most loved.

The survey also asked about respondents' working styles, with 65 per cent using two or more monitors at their main workstation and about half saying they used a standing desk.

Git is the dominant choice for version control, with 87 per cent saying they check in their code via Git. Some 8 per cent said they copy and paste files to network shares, another 8 per cent said they zip file back-ups and 5 per cent said they don’t use version control.

Other questions aimed to look at society and tech, with some 40.8 per cent saying the most exciting thing about artificial intelligence was the increasing automation of jobs.

And, in a result that might please those that don’t believe technologists consider the impact of their work, some 47.8 per cent said the developers or the people creating the AI were primarily responsible for considering the ramifications.

More than half of respondents said they wouldn't write code for a product or purpose that was “clearly unethical” - but about the same proportion felt it was upper management’s responsibility for code that accomplishes something unethical.

However, despite the survey’s size, many observers have called into question the usability of the results, pointing out that the diversity of respondents leaves a lot to be desired. Indeed, the majority appear to be straight white men (93 per cent, 74 per cent, 92.7 per cent, respectively).

Some also linked this demographic to the responses to questions about how they assess potential jobs - 30.4 per cent said that the diversity of the company was their lowest priority. ®

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