Last year marked the 10th anniversary of our annual Developer Survey, and when we launched the questionnaire in February of 2020, we saw it as a milestone to continuity. It was another chance to gather data for some of our classic, long-running questions, sprinkle in a few new ideas, and continue working to improve in areas like diversity and inclusion. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. By the time the data was ready for release in May, the world had changed for most people. The answers respondents gave weren’t irrelevant, certainly, but so much of what was in our survey no longer reflected people’s day-to-day reality. Anyone who kept their job was suddenly working remotely, and with that came a whole set of new process and workplace issues.
One year later, normalcy is creeping back in some parts of the world, but COVID-19 continues to be a daunting and immediate public health challenge for many regions as well. Phrases like “unprecedented times” and “new normal” have become clichés. So, what do we hope to learn with this year’s survey? For starters, we embark on this new research humbly, grateful for our community, and with a strong awareness that what is true today may not be equally valid in six months.
We want to see how coders’ lives have changed during this massive work-from-home experiment. We’re asking about collaborating asynchronously and virtually, about managing projects and teams when all communication is remote. Of course, we’ll still include the old classics: things like favorite and least favorite languages. Those are the heart of any coder’s work, so tracking them tracks the evolution of the field itself.
We did manage to learn some things from last year’s survey. People who use Rust still love it, and it took the top spot for the fourth year in a row. DevOps engineers make the most money on average. And of those of you who search for an answer to your problem and find a purple link, well, half think warmly on meeting their old friend again.
Having learned how fast the ground beneath us can shift, we’re making some adjustments to our scope. While the annual survey will remain a touchstone, a yearly check in with the developer community, we’re making it smaller. We want to ask the right questions at the right time to better reflect the reality on the ground.
To supplement our annual survey, we’ll be running smaller pulse surveys throughout the year on specific questions. That doesn’t mean we’ll be bugging you for information every month; these surveys will go out to a smaller subset of our users. We’ll be publishing the results throughout the year, so you can see the data even if you don’t see the survey.
One thing to note: if you use a third-party ad-blocking plugin, you may see error messages during the pulse survey periods. Our third-party survey partner, Qualtrics, doesn’t work very well with certain ad-blockers and security software. To avoid issues that may prevent you from taking the survey, we ask that you specifically unblock Qualtrics in your plugins or pause the plugin while you take the survey.
As in previous years, Qualtrics blocks certain countries from accessing their site and data: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine (including Sevastopol). In addition, some users in China may have issues due to restrictions imposed by local internet service providers. This is unfortunate, and we can do nothing about it. We’ve continued to research alternatives, but so far have found no alternative that provides a cost effective alternative, considering the work we’ve already put in to configure Qualtrics.
What are you waiting for? Go take the survey. As always, we’re indebted to the global community of curious coders who visit our site each day and participate in this survey each year. We appreciate your participation, and encourage you to share the survey with other coders, post it on your social channels, or do a Tik Tok dance around your favorite programming language. We’ll report back later with the results!