Developers value flexibility, tech stack in a hybrid working world

Stack Overflow’s latest developer survey shows that most developers are working remotely and favor a flexible working environment where they can use their favorite technologies.

puzzle tower / growth / achievement / risk / balance

Most software developers are now working remotely at least some of the time, and flexibility is more highly valued than ever, according to the 70,000 developers that responded to the May 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey.

Key takeaways from the report include insights into shifting developer priorities at work and the technologies engineers most love and loathe for their projects.

New rules for developer hiring and retention

Developer teams were forced to go fully remote in 2020, and many are still grappling with how it’s impacted their working habits. This year, 85% of developers say their organizations are at least partially remote, with a near-even 43% split between fully-remote and hybrid organizations. Large enterprise organizations are the most likely to be hybrid over fully remote, at 51%.

“The world has made the decision to go hybrid and remote, I have a lot of confidence given the data I have seen that that is a one-way train that has left the station,” Prashanth Chandrasekar, CEO of Stack Overflow told InfoWorld.

Chandrasekar says that flexibility and the tech stack developers get to work with are the most important contributors to overall happiness at work. “Many developers drop out of the hiring process because of the tech stack they will be working with,” he said.

The number of professional developers that are independently employed also jumped to 17% this year, an increase of five percentage points from last year.

Organizational culture is also shifting, and cloud-native techniques have taken hold among Stack Overflow survey respondents. Most professional developers (70%) now use some form of CI/CD and 60% have a dedicated devops function. However, only 38% of respondents have an internal developer portal to find the tools and services they need. Only 16% of organizations use innersource techniques to share code and knowledge.

Technologies developers love and loathe

JavaScript continues to be the most popular programming language among Stack Overflow respondents, used by 68% of the 53,000 professional developers who responded to this question.

While popular, JavaScript is not the most loved language; that accolade went to Rust for the seventh year running, with 87% of respondents saying they want to continue using it.

JavaScript frameworks like Node and React kept their footing as the most used web frameworks, with a combined 90% usage among professional developers. Elsewhere, Phoenix overtook Svelte as the most loved web framework, while Angular.js remains the most dreaded, and React.js the most wanted.

It’s a multicloud world

AWS remains the most used cloud platform among the 44,000 professional developers that responded to this question, at 55% of respondents. Microsoft Azure (30%) and Google Cloud Platform (26%) are next in line.

“It is very much a multicloud world, and a lot of AWS developers are learning about GCP or Azure and asking lots of questions about those platforms,” Chandrasekar said.

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) options like Google Firebase (21%) and Heroku (18%) proved somewhat popular with respondents, but were less popular with professional developers than those learning to code. For newer developers, Heroku is the most popular overall platform at 35%, followed by Firebase at 30%.

Docker use is steady and rising

Docker appears to be seeing a resurgence. Usage among professional developers jumped from 55% to 69% this year, making it the most commonly used tool by professional developers. It’s also the most loved, with 77% of developers saying they want to continue using Docker. When it comes to tool usage, in second place was the ubiquitous package manager npm, followed by Yarn, Homebrew, and Kubernetes.

Lastly, Web3 still has software developers torn, with 32% of respondents favorable, 31% unfavorable, and 26% indifferent. Web3 refers to the emerging idea of a decentralized web where data and content are registered on blockchains, tokenized, or managed and accessed on peer-to-peer distributed networks.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform