Overview of the DigitalOcean Currents report

JavaScript dominates open source, Java trails behind

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
© Shutterstock / grmarc

The time has come for another Currents report! The fifth edition of the Currents Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud is here and in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the open source movement, it is focused solely on the open source ecosystem. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most interesting highlights.

The fifth edition of the Currents Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud is here and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the open source movement by focusing its latest survey on the open source ecosystem.

With more than 4,300 respondents, the Currents report brings some truly interesting results to light. In this article, we are going to have a closer look at some of the most interesting highlights.

The essentials

What better way to start this review than with the most popular languages used in open source projects? The fact that JavaScript is dominating the open source ecosystem comes as no surprise, with 62% of the respondents reporting using it as their primary language in open source projects.

What seems very interesting is Python racing behind JavaScript with 52%. There’s a huge gap of  23% between the first two spots and the third place which is occupied by PHP, going neck and neck with Java in the fourth spot.

SEE ALSO: What do developer trends in the cloud look like?

When it comes to the most exciting open source projects, results show that React.js is by far the most mentioned project followed by Kubernetes and Docker.

Following the general hype around TensorFlow, the project made it in the top 5 with 226 mentions.

Open source culture

Time to dive deeper into the heart of open source community and find out what motivates them, what prevents them from getting more involved in the community and their concerns.

When asked about the main motivation for participating in open source projects, the participants listed the improvement of their coding skill as the number one driver, while the desire to be part of a community is also very important among the respondents, managing to score the second position.

But how about what holds developers back from participating more in open source projects?

In general, the most common reason behind the lack of participation in open source seems to that developers simply don’t know where to start! More specifically, 52% of the respondents that reported starting their open source journey only a year ago said that it’s unclear how they can get involved while 49% feel like they don’t have the right skills.

Getting involved in open source is awesome but there are some moments when you need to step back and identify when using open source is not the appropriate move for your company.

Documentation, security, integration, and maintenance concerns seem to be at the top of the list. However, individuals seem to value those concerns as well, especially issues concerning security. When asked how secure the respondents perceive the open source technologies to be, the answers given draw a very cloudy image.

Least secure — most secure

Granted, the majority of the respondents perceive open source to be, for the most part, secure. However, it is troubling to see that over 30% rated open source security as average or below.

SEE ALSO: How to win the diversity battle: “Well behaved women rarely make history”


Last but not least comes the long-standing diversity topic. Only this time we have a more positive turn of events.

In the last edition of the Currents report, 95% of the respondents identified as men while a mere 5% identified as women. In this edition of the report, a small but rather significant increase of female participants was demonstrated, with 11% identifying as women.

We still have a long way to go, but every step counts!

If you are interested in reading the full version of the Currents Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Open Source Edition, you can find the PDF here


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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