Taking Stack Overflow Trends for a spin

TypeScript — a trend that keeps on trending

Gabriela Motroc

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Earlier this week, Stack Overflow introduced a tool that tracks interest in programming languages and technologies, based on the number of Stack Overflow questions asked per month. If you want to see how popular your favorite programming languages are, try it. We chose TypeScript and the result is quite impressive.

If you want to track fellow developers’ interest in certain programming languages, this tool will come in handy. Stack Overflow Trends can be used “to track interest in programming languages and technologies, based on the number of Stack Overflow questions asked per month,” according to the blog post announcing the tool.

Although Stack Overflow’s David Robinson claims that “some technologies might inspire more questions among its users than others, the measure gives useful insights into the developer ecosystem. It’s especially useful for measuring changes over time: when we see a rapid growth in the number of questions about a technology, it usually reflects a real change in what developers are using and learning.”

That being said, let’s take it for a spin.

TypeScript: A trend that keeps on trending

Stack Overflow’s Kaitlin Pike pointed out TypeScript’s growing popularity while at OSCON in Austin.

This is how this superset of JavaScript trended over time based on the use of its tags since 2008 (when Stack Overflow was founded). Pretty exciting, right? If you want to read more about the benefits of TypeScript, check out this article.

SEE ALSO: Implementing cross-cutting concerns in Angular 2 with TypeScript

According to the graph, TypeScript peaked in late 2012, then developers’ interest remained steady. TypeScript was back on their radar in 2015 and then the real growth happened. However, keep in mind that even though it seems like TypeScript was not very popular until two years ago, the tool tracks questions asked so, as one person pointed out in the comments section, “more questions can rather prove that language is more confusing/poorly documented.”

That being said, let’s see how well Go did.

Stack Overflow Trends: Go results

No surprise here, Go is on everyone’s lips. According to Go 2016 survey results89 percent said they program in Go at work or outside of work, while 39 percent use it both at home and at work. Less than 30 percent use this programming language only at home, and 23 percent use it only at work. This programming language also ranked highest among respondents’ first choices in both expertise (26 percent) and preference (62 percent).


If we take a look at our technology trends 2017 survey results, we see that Go is in top 10 but did not manage to make it to top 5. 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.

JAXenter Technology Trends 2017 survey results

Perhaps one of the reasons why Go is so popular is its simplicity. Matt Aimonetti, the co-founder and CTO of Splice, told us last year that “as a mainstream programming language, Go is probably one of the simplest, the language specs are short, and the feature list is limited (on purpose).” He claimed that even though Go does “less magic for you, that also means greater readability and less surprises/bugs.”

But back to Stack Overflow’s new tool now. Give it a try and see if your favorite technology is growing or declining.

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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