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Job hunting, paychecks and a love of Rust -- the Stack Overflow Survey

With 64,000 responses from 213 countries/territories, the Stack Overflow Survey is a comprehensive snapshot of developers today. Here's what you love, hate and want more of.

Today's software developer hates Visual Basic, wants to work remotely, and is ever so slightly more likely to be a woman than in 2016.

Those are just some of the results from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey. The 2017 survey received over 64,000 responses from people in 213 countries and territories, said Jay Hanlon, vice president of community growth at Stack Overflow.

What was Hanlon most surprised by? "We asked professional developers how long they've been doing their jobs," he said. "Half of them answered less than five years. That blew my mind. Even assuming some skew in the data ... that indicates the developer profession is growing extremely rapidly. The whole idea that everyone is a developer, or is becoming a developer via boot camps or whatever, is turning out to be true."

Here is a look at some of the other significant findings:


According to the Stack Overflow Survey, 24.2% of developers want complete silence when they're working, although over 53% aren't going to judge you if your keyboard is noisy. But the noise issue may play into a more significant trend -- the desire to work at home. Hanlon said 11% of developers who answered the survey said they worked remotely full time, while another 19.4% do so at least part time. But of those either looking for a new job or open to a good opportunity, 53% said the chance to work remotely was one of the top things they were looking for. And those happiest with their jobs as developers were remote workers. "What this means is that 10 years from now the idea that a company requires every developer to be on site is going to seem quaint," Hanlon said.

Show me the money

As a whole, developers don't think they make enough money. The survey indicated median U.S. dev salaries range from $70,000 to $108,000, Hanlon said, but 56.5% think that's nowhere near enough. Most likely to feel underpaid are those working at government or nonprofit jobs, while those in the finance sector were more likely to think they're overpaid. Salary dissatisfaction may be one reason over 75% of developers surveyed said they'd be open to hearing about an interesting new job opportunity, while only about 13% were actively looking for a job.

Gender bender

In this year's Stack Overflow Survey, 10% of respondents said they were women, up from 6.6% last year. Women were also twice as likely to have been coding for less than a year than men. And some developer roles have a higher number of women than others, Hanlon said, including data science, mobile and web designers, and QA engineers.

It's all about the tools

This year developers are most likely to be on the Windows desktop platform, but they are most eager to be developing on the Android platform. They hate SharePoint and love Linux. Not surprisingly JavaScript is the most widely used programming language, but Rust is the one everyone wants to be using.

How the programming languages stack up

The hiring takeaway

For companies looking to hire developers, Hanlon pointed to one very interesting set of numbers in the Stack Overflow Survey. "We asked developers how they found their current position, and 27% found it through friends or family telling them about it," he said. And another 18% of developers were directly recruited by their employers. "So in other words 45% of devs found a job without looking for a job. So traditional headhunting is not going to work here. An enormous amount of developers are going to look at how a company positions itself and what it can offer. That's a big change."

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