JetBrains' State of Developer Ecosystem in 2018 - Results are in!

The Java of your heart: Trends and preferences from JetBrains’ survey

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JetBrains polled 6,000 developers to identify the State of Developer Ecosystem and now the results are here. This time we’re focusing solely on Java and what Java developers prefer to use these days. Let’s dig in!

It’s that time of year again!

At the beginning of 2018, JetBrains surveyed 6,000 developers to identify the State of Developer Ecosystem and now the results are here. The results of the survey are not all that surprising, but when compared to the results of our own JAXenter Technology Trends survey, as well as a number of polls, the agreement or discrepancies between the two sources make things a bit more interesting!

What’s more, in this review we decided to focus only on Java for reasons of clarity. If you are interested in a more detailed overview of the 2018 JetBrains’ State of Developer Ecosystem, let us know!

But first, let’s paint a general picture of JetBrains’ State of Developer Ecosystem survey.

Key takeaways

The respondents were asked to rank their three primary programming languages by the frequency of use. The results crowned Java the royalty of programming languages, again! The second place is occupied by JavaScript followed by Python.

The Java of your heart

When it comes to the version of Java developers regularly use, Java 8 is by far the winner, according to both sources. Nonetheless, according to our poll, the second most used version is Java 9, in contrast to the JetBrains’ SDE survey in which Java 7 occupies the second place.

During an older interview we had with Java Champion Stephen Colebourne, he argued:

Java 8 will satisfy us for a good few years until there’s something really big and important

And that’s, apparently, exactly what’s happening as Java developers do not concern themselves, on a professional base, with the no-LTS versions [Java 9 and 10], and they are waiting for the big thing to come along, namely Java 11.

SEE ALSO: Structs in Java: How to handle them like a pro

I am certain that Java developers are well informed. It is my duty, however, to inform you that if you are still using Java 8 for business applications (81% according to our poll), you should bear in mind that there will be no more public updates for Java 8 after January 2019.

The best IDE(a)?

When it comes to the IDE/editor Java developers are most regularly using, IntelliJ IDEA appears to be the clear winner. However, for reasons of objectivity, I have to point out that IntelliJ IDEA is developed by the same company conducting the survey, meaning JetBrains of course. That doesn’t look very objective now, does it?

Just for the sake of journalistic objectivity, I refer you to an older poll of ours: Which is the best Java IDE. After you have submitted your vote, you can see that the differences between Eclipse, NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA are less than significant.

Something for the road: Highlights

Here are some highlights of the 2018 JetBrains’ State of Developer Ecosystem that I think you may find interesting:

  • Usage of older Java versions is decreasing as compared with 2017: Java 6 decreased by 4% and Java 7 by 16%
  • While 37% of Java developers use Java EE 8, another 37% of Java devs do not use Java EE or J2SE at all
  • 20% of developers package their web apps as a Docker image
  • Developers are moving away from web frameworks: the number of Java devs who do not use any frameworks has increased by 7% compared to 2017


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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