Asked and answered: the results for the 2022 Developer survey are here!
You’ve been waiting patiently, but now the wait is over: the results of the 2022 Developer Survey are here. Over 73,000 developers from 180 countries each spent roughly 15 minutes answering our questions. This year’s survey was longer than previous years’ as we wanted to follow up on new threads as well as provide a historical throughline with the questions we ask year over year. We are so grateful to you for the time you spent on our survey.
Our new questions focused on how coders learn their trade. We found that older code crafters are most likely to learn from books, while the new generation of coders (under 18) relies on online materials and their friends and family. The overall percentage of those learning to code online, however, increased from 60% to 70%. With so many people working remotely after the pandemic—nearly 85% of organizations represented in this survey have some remote workers—it could be that more and more of our daily lives are moving online as well.
Additionally, as the pandemic drove us out of the office and into remote work, remote work may be driving us away from full-time employment to more self-directed work. The percentage of professional developers that state that they are an independent contractor, freelancer, or are self-employed has risen by about five points to 16.6%, while the percentage of those in our top five responding countries (United States, India, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada) who have full-time employment has fallen. Has the switch to remote work triggered a new wave of entrepreneurship as well?
Our other new line of inquiry was version control. We had previously included Git in the “Other tools” section, where it took top honors. It was no surprise that Git was far and away the top version control system, especially among professionals, but what was surprising is that 17% of learners do not use a version control system at all. I guess they’ll wait until onboarding at their first job.
Two years ago we asked how you felt about searching for an answer and finding a purple link. Sparked by that, the team wanted to see how many of us are visiting the same question more than once. Our data experts found that the majority of people come back to an answer over and over: 62% of regular Stack Overflow users visit the same question multiple times in a three-month period.* One of our data scientists tells us he probably visits this question once a month. Why remember everything when you can use Stack Overflow as your second brain?
In this year’s survey, we had a special section at the end where we asked professional developers to tell us what impacts their productivity at work, how often it happens, and how much time it takes out of their day. More than 36,000 developers answered. Their responses can help the developer community start to quantify the impacts of the daily, invisible productivity frictions.
In short, most professional developers are experiencing some level of decreased productivity every week. 68% of respondents say they encounter a knowledge silo at least once a week. For people managers, often the more experienced developers, 73% report encountering a knowledge silo at least once a week.
About 63% of all respondents spend more than 30 minutes a day searching for answers or solutions to problems, with 25% spending more than an hour each day. This productivity impact can add up. For a team of 50 developers, the amount of time spent searching for answers/solutions adds up to between 333-651 hours of time lost per week across the entire team.
On the other side, 46% of all respondents spend more than 30 minutes a day answering questions. 32% of people managers spend over an hour each day just answering questions, while only 14% of independent contributors spend over an hour answering questions. Again, this productivity impact can add up. For a team of 50 developers, the amount of time spent answering questions adds up to between 278-568 hours of time lost per week across the entire team.
Check out the full results from this year’s Developer Survey here. If you’re interested in digging into the data and finding your own insights, we’ll be releasing the results dataset later this year. And as we have done for a while now, we’ll continue to run smaller, focused surveys on everything from web3 to what makes developers happy at work.
Our mission is to empower the world to build technology through collective knowledge. You all have helped make this survey possible, and we hope that the results give you insight into where the world of software and technology is today. Please share the results of this survey and we’ll see you next year.
If you have questions about the survey results, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*activity from Feb 1 through April 30 of this year; “regular users” are defined as those who visited Stack Overflow more than 5 times over the 3-month period – recurring users should mimic a typical employee who attempts to ask any question from a coworker.Tags: developer survey
Do you have an ETA for when the raw data will be released? I have some analyses I want to do with the underlying data.
The interpretation of spending time “searching for answers or solutions to problems” as lost productivity strikes me as a bit misguided. The full survey laments that this is “time that could be spent learning …”, yet this is exactly what I see it as. It’s not as if all developers can learn all they need to know on their own time, or in school/training, and then have no gaps in their knowledge or memory, or only work on projects or with technology directly related to what they were trained on. (Not to mention the irony of a Q&A site viewing “searching for answers” as wasted time, unless they’ve fully internalized the notion that development == copy/pasting S.O. answers.)
Likewise, the interpretation of “just answering questions” as “time lost” strikes me as unfortunate. I’ve worked for managers who expect things to get done, claiming they don’t care how, and being too busy or self-important to answer questions about their requirements, only to have lots of opinions about the results _after_ they were fully peer-reviewed, tested, and deployed. They just expected us to be mind-readers, and I’m glad to no longer be employed under them, but is Stackoverflow under the similarly misguided notion that development just happens in a vacuum, as opposed to being directly relevant to requirements informed by humans, and that short of mind-reading or aside from single-person hobby projects, understanding these requirements and implementing them well requires time spent communicating?
I agree with Max’s comment. When I am searching for solutions online it’s because I am trying to achieve something new that (usually) no one in my team has done before. This means that I am actively learning something new – otherwise I wouldn’t be searching. Similarly, when I’m asking questions to my colleagues or answer them, it’s because we are transferring knowledge, or in the case of asking my manager, figuring out how problems should be handled, which is exactly his job and not mine. We might also be communicating because we are working on different aspects of the same problem and need to contribute our individual perspectives on the whole. (These are all scenarios that I considered when answering the survey.) In no way would I consider any of this “time lost” but rather things working as they are supposed to.
I was also very surprised when I saw “time lost”
I paused too when I saw that searching for new knowledge was dubbed as “loosing time”. This is not only a very strange viewpoint from a website that thrives thanks to people searching for answers, but it’s also a very dangerous one overall.
Searching for answer to a development issue is actually being productive. If one is stuck because they don’t know how to achieve something, and they just stare blankly at their screen, or engage in a blind trial and error process, then this is not productive at all and will certainly result in a huge amount of time lost (not to mention frustration).
This is an engineer job to try and solve issue, and searching for knowledge about this issue is part of the process of solving it.
Agreed. I had very similar thoughts.
Exactly. In both cases, I said, “Lost time? That is *literally* the job!”
Lost time would be dealing with unnecessary hurdles like process for the sake of process, bureaucracy and politics, not having the resources you need, etc. I won’t even say non-work conversations are strictly lost time, as it builds team rapport, which is a good thing, and it’s not like anyone is really actively producing and/or thinking for the full 40 hours each week most employers still expect butts in seats for. So in addition to building relationships, it acts as incubation time, which is a critical part of the creative process. And you’d be amazed how many times I’ve had a “House moment” where a random conversation in the work environment sparked an idea, and that’s not counting the majority of times my conversations shifted back toward work eventually!
Like others, this section jumped out at me. What is the alternative? We can’t know everything. But I do understand where we’re not solving problems for users, and are instead solving problems we’ve created ourselves, fighting our own complexity.
Just wanted to +1. I also think that the term “lost time” is unfortunate. Developers are not machines, and good developer teams are based on communication between coworkers.
“…finding a purple link…” Yet, sadly, Stack Overflow’s theme doesn’t use the color purple for visited links. It uses essentially the same color blue (with a *slight* brightness difference) for visited and unvisited links, so I can’t ever tell whether I’ve visited a particular Q&A or not. Wouldn’t it be nice if Stack Overflow actually conformed to web standards by using a purple color for visited links? Then, you could make puns about it, *and* I could tell which links I’ve visited!
“recurring users should mimic a typical employee who attempts to ask any question from a coworker.” if my coworkers constantly asked what a NPE was over and over and and how to fix it as often as it gets asked by “senior developers” on SO, they would not be my co-workers for long.
Absolutely NOT lost time, as others have commented. In fact, it’s Positive Time.
Well because documentation these days is not very understandable.
In the old days Pre-Internet, everything learned was from a printed book. Some of those books I will never throw out because they are like bible books. Even the original MSDN floppies/cdroms were excellent compared to what is there today. You learned how to search and cross reference different books till you had enough data to write tiny prototypes. Heck I even went through every function in the original c libraries and coded examples of every function I could on my XT IBM Clone PC. UNIX books were great too learning fork/exec . Try X-Windows, my brain still hurts but It advanced my career.
The only issue is “bad examples”. Separating good code to learn from is the trick. And I don’t mean overcomplicated minimized syntax stuff.