Overview of the State of the Developer Nation report

The eternal battle continues – What is the fastest growing programming language in 2018?

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
© Shutterstock / patpitchaya  

It’s time to take another pick at what’s going on in the developer world! The 15th edition of the Developer Economics: State of the Developer Nation report has been released and it has some interesting insights into current developer trends.

The 15th edition of the Developer Economics: State of the Developer Nation report is out and it has some really interesting insights to offer.

The large-scale survey was conducted by SlashData over a period of seven weeks between May and June 2018 and it reached more than 20,500 developers from 167 countries.

State of the Developer Nation report has six major focus areas that include:

  • Data science
  • Developers are interested in disrupting global economies but keep working on customizing software
  • Programming language communities – an update
  • Evolving technology and new channels help more game developers make money
  • Developers are decision-makers in companies of all sizes
  • Big data and real-time predictions: to how many are they relevant?

In this article, we will focus on the findings concerning programming language communities and data science.

Let’s dig in!

The eternal battle

The report examined the active software developers using each programming language globally. The results depict JavaScript in the lead; it has now crossed the symbolic line of 10 million users. But that’s not all. JavaScript has welcomed three million developers in its community during the last year alone, placing it among the fastest growing languages. According to the report: “New developers see it as an attractive entry-level language, but also existing developers are adding it to their skillset.”

Speaking of fast-growing languages, Python and PHP have both added over 1.5 million developers in their respective communities between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018. The ever-growing rise of machine learning in popularity is a definite factor in Python’s rise in the standings. In fact, 62% of machine learning developers and data scientists use Python.

SEE ALSO: Poll results: It’s one big leap forward towards Java 11

Java, on the other hand, is steadily growing along with the global developer community reaching 7.1 million active users. As pointed out in the report, Java does not appear to be such a popular choice for IoT devices. It is, however, among the most popular choices in the mobile ecosystem and its offshoots.

Older and popular programming languages have vocal critics, while new, exciting languages often have enthusiastic supporters. This data would suggest that it’s not easy for new languages to grow beyond their niche and become the next big thing. What does this mean for the future of these languages and others like Go or Scala? We will certainly keep tracking this evolution and plan to keep you informed.

The top skills to learn in 2019

According to the State of the Developer Nation report, data science-related skills are going to be the number one developer skills in the coming year.

The majority of machine learning developers and data scientist (26%) are still exploring their options and they haven’t decided yet on a special area of focus. However, according to the report, the three most popular use cases in the past year have been image classification, customer behavior analytics, and natural language processing, targeted by at least 20% of machine learning developers and data scientists.

Whatever their motive for learning new skills is, developers are among the earliest adopters of new technologies and the ones who will drive change and innovation with their ideas


Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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