Python overtakes Java's popularity among developers

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Python overtakes Java's popularity among developers

The rise and rise of programming language Python continues, with the almost-scripting-language moving past Java in developer community Stack Overflow's annual survey of developers.

The survey, taken by nearly 90,000 developers, found Python is the fourth-most popular programming language. While Python's 39.4 percent usage rate among professional developers trailed JavaScript (69.7%), HTML/CSS (63.1%)  and SQL (56.5%), it overtook Java in this year's survey, and beat C# and PHP in 2017.

That makes Python the “fastest-growing” major programming language, the survey says. And given that JavaScript, HTML and SQL are not general purpose languages, Python emerges as the top tool for application development.

Python also topped the charts for the language developers most want to learn, but came in second behind Rust when developers were asked what languages they love.

The survey also asked which languages developers most dread. That list was topped by Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications, which knocked off last year's "champion", Visual Basic 6.

The survey ran from 23 January to 14 February, with close to 90,000 respondents — with 2434 from Australia and Oceania.

Show me the money

While developers clearly admire Python, the survey reveals it doesn't pay.

Python coders were only the 12th highest paid globally with a median salary of US$63,000. developers chasing big dollars will do better working with Clojure (US$90,000 average) or Scala.

Stack Overflow's survey also asked a diverse set of questions about developers' work histories and lifestyles, including the kind of music they listen to focus while coding. That last question was mapped as follows.

Developers' favourite music to help keep focus while coding

“When asked what musical artist or genre helps them focus, respondents replied with an enormous variety of music, including classical music, video game or movie soundtracks, more kinds of metal than some of us knew existed, and music without lyrics or vocals,” StackOverflow said.

“A [small] percent of respondents were clear that they prefer silence for concentrating.”

Results of the survey can be found here. Stack Overflow promises a full data release soon.

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