Popularity has nothing on satisfaction

RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report: Users most satisfied with Spring, Kotlin & NetBeans IDE

Gabriela Motroc

© Shutterstock / Ravi_sunlight

It’s that time of year again! RebelLabs has published the results of their Developer Productivity Report — this year, they focused on why Java developers use the tools they use and how satisfied they are with their choices in tools, architecture, and more. We’re comparing their results with our own to see if users’ preferences have changed over the past few months.

The data for RebelLabs’ Developer Productivity Report 2017 has been extracted from a public survey they conducted in May–July this year. The report focuses on the reasons why developers use their tools and contains topics such as usage of IDEs, main programming languages, main application stack choices, the architecture of the apps, and database choices.

Download the full report. 

Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA or Netbeans: Best tooling choice award goes to …

This right here is the million-dollar question but it’s basically a matter of personal preference. RebelLabs compared the results from 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and found that respondents prefer IntelliJ IDEA, looming over Eclipse and NetBeans at 54 percent. According to their results, one in three developers uses Eclipse IDE (33 percent) and 13 percent use NetBeans.

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

We asked our readers which IDE is the best and even though Eclipse is the winner (36 percent), the difference between the three rivals is not that big. The runner-up is NetBeans with 31 percent and IntelliJ IDEA is the IDE that 31 percent of our respondents prefer.

PS: The poll is still running!

Eclipse, NetBeans or IntelliJ: Which is the best Java IDE?

We decided to launch a quick survey to see if users’ preferences have changed.

Which is the best Java IDE?

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SEE ALSO: Eclipse chasers: Top 5 Eclipse IDE posts

However, the plot deepened as RebelLabs tried to find out which scored the highest satisfaction rating out of the “Holy Trinity” of Java IDEs. As it turns out, NetBeans has the highest satisfaction rating with a score of 8.8. IntelliJ IDEA is the runner-up with 8.7 and Eclipse IDE stands behind with 7.5

In short, NetBeans won the satisfaction contest and IntelliJ IDEA won the popularity competition. Eclipse won our readers’ hearts so everyone is happy — hopefully.

If you want a second (or actually third) opinion, have a look at PYPL Top IDE index. According to PYPL, “the more an IDE is searched, the more popular the IDE is assumed to be.”

The index shows that in September 2017 (compared to September 2016) the most searched IDEs were:

  1. Eclipse
  2. Visual Studio
  3. Android Studio
  4. Vim
  5. IntelliJ
  6. NetBeans

If you want to see the complete list of most searched — and popular— IDEs, check out PYPL’s Top IDE Index.

Top programming languages

Java 9 has just been released so it might take a while before everyone gets to try it out and form an opinion. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to become developers’ favorite. Still — keep in mind that Georges Saab, chairperson of the OpenJDK governing board and vice president of development for the Java Platform group at Oracle said he expects “JDK 9 to be slower than 8 but on par with other major releases in the past.”

RebelLabs found that Java 8 (or newer) is the leader of this year’s language race, followed by Java 7 or older, Groovy, Scala, JavaScript and Kotlin. Their results are not that different from ours: As we combined the votes for “very interesting” and “interesting”, it became crystal clear that Java 9 is developers’ sweetheart this year, closely followed by Java 6/7/8.

Source: Programming languages trends 2017 — JAXenter

RebelLabs also found that the lesser used languages get the most love. Case in point: Kotlin, which made its debut at one percent in terms of language preference had the highest satisfaction score of 9.1, which happens to be the highest score across the entire report, not just the programming languages question. Impressive!

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

 Spring vs. Java EE: Tale as old as time

Respondents have decided: the Spring stack is their top choice at almost 50 percent — almost one in two developers base their code on Spring, RebelLabs revealed in their report. About one in three voted for Java EE and roughly eight percent work without any named stacks.

Spring 5, with its milestone releases available, comes with a reactive web framework baked in. Next year we might see a wider adoption of the reactive stacks, provided those 47% of Spring projects would start leveraging this new opportunity.

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

If you want to read more about respondents’ architecture choices, who won the database race and why people are reluctant to change their IDE or application stack, download the report. Good ol’ DevOps is also included in the report so if you want to find out what’s the top reason to implement DevOps, you know what to do.

Last but not least

Source: RebelLabs Developer Productivity Report 2017 — Results

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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