Home / Recruiting Blog / Job Trends & Job Posting Keywords / Most Commonly Used Skill among Developers is JavaScript

Most Commonly Used Skill among Developers is JavaScript

Stack Overflow’s 2017 Survey – March 2017

Most Commonly Used Skill among Developers is JavaScript

In March 2017, Stack Overflow, a community of 5.0 million programmers helping each other, released the results of their 2017 survey of more than 64,000 developers.

The demand for software developers continues to explode as consumers demand more programs and applications. Synonymous to programmers, engineers, coders, architects, and consultants, software developers are employed by nearly every major company. To give you some insight into what developers are up to our Monster Intelligence team dug into Stack Overflow’s 2017 study to bring you the most relevant insight.

Key Insights about Developers:

  • Like last year, most developers surveyed consider themselves web developers (72.6%), although many also said they are working to build desktop apps (28.9%) and mobile apps (23.0%)
  • While only 13.1% of developers are actively looking for a job, 75.2% of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities
  • 53.3% of respondents said remote options were a top priority when considering a new job
  • A majority of developers, 63.9%, reported working remotely at least one day a month, and 11.1% say they’re full-time remote or almost all the time
  • The highest job satisfaction ratings came from developers who work remotely full-time
  • 56.5% of respondents said they were underpaid with those in government and non-profits feeling the most underpaid, while those who work in finance feel the most overpaid
  • JavaScript is still the most popular programming language according to 62.5% of respondents, with SQL (51.2%) and Java (39.7%) coming in second and third, exactly the same as last year
  • Since Stack Overflow started conducting the developer survey, Python and Node.js have grown in popularity, while the usage of C# and C have declined
  • 24.2% of developers want complete silence when coding

"In a hiring landscape where developers are in constant demand, understanding the talent you want to hire is the single most important thing you can do to attract – and retain – the right developers," said Stack Overflow VP Jay Hanlon. "Thanks to the generosity of the largest community of developers in the world, the developer survey is an invaluable tool for any employer who wants insights into what actually drives and motivates developers throughout their careers."

Education among Developers:

  • The most popular way to learn programming is ‘Self-Taught’
  • Nine out of ten respondents overall consider themselves at least somewhat self-taught
  • Among professional developers, 55.9% have taken an online course and 53.4% have received on-the-job training
  • 11.3% of professional developers got their first coding job within a year of learning how to program
  • Among professional developers, 36.9% learned to program between one and four years before beginning their careers as developers
  • One-eighth (12.5%) of professional developers learned to code less than four years ago, and an additional one-eighth (13.3%) learned to code between four and six years ago
  • More than two-thirds (67.6%) of respondents have at least a bachelor’s degree
  • The most common undergraduate major is computer science or software engineering (50.0%)
  • 32% of those surveyed said their formal education was not very important (20.5%) or not important at all (11.5%) to their career success
  • Among computer science and computer engineering majors, many (49.4%) said their formal education was important or very important
  • Coding bootcamps are rising in popularity among both developers (45.8%) and non-developers looking to transition into a new career (54.2%)

Programming Languages:

  • Most common used programming languages were JavaScript (62.5%), SQL (51.2%) and Java (39.7%)
  • The growth of Python is notable, overtaking PHP for the first time in five years and ranking as the most wanted language this year, after ranking fourth in 2016
  • For the second year in a row, Rust was the most loved programming language (73.1%) and more developers want to continue working with it than any other language
  • Swift, last year's second most popular language, ranked as fourth (63.9%)
  • For the second year in a row, Visual Basic (for 2017, Visual Basic 6, specifically) ranked as the most dreaded language; 88.3% of developers currently using Visual Basic said they did not want to continue using it
  • 65% of developers pronounce "GIF" with a hard "g," like gift

Frameworks, Libraries, and Other Technologies:

  • Most common used frameworks, libraries and other technologies were Node.js (47.1%) and AngularJS (44.3%)
  • React is the most loved among developers (66.9%), Cordova is the most dreaded (61.2%), and  Node.js is the most wanted (22.2%)


  • Most common used databases were MySQL (55.6%) and SQL Server (38.6%)
  • Redis is the most loved among developers (64.8%), Oracle is the most dreaded (63.1%), and MongoDB is the most wanted (20.8%)


  • Most common used platforms were Windows Desktop (41.0%) and Linux Desktop (32.9%)
  • Linux Desktop is the most loved platforms among developers (69.6%), SharePoint is the most dreaded (70.9%), and Android is the most wanted (20.6%)
  • Survey respondents say that communication skills and a track record of getting things done trumps the number of hours worked or bugs solved, by a wide margin
  • The most common ways to measure a developer's success is by customer satisfaction and their ability to deliver a project on time and at budge

Development Practices:

  • Agile (76.9%) and Scrum (65.2%) are the most popular methodologies for developers to keep their projects on track
  • 42.8% of developers have used pair programming to improve their code quality and skill set
  • 69.2% of developers surveyed overwhelmingly prefer Git for version control
  • Most developers agree that “good enough” is good enough that it is better to ship and then iterate (60.2%)
  • The majority (52.6%) of developers check in code multiple times a day
  • A happy developer is a developer who can ship

Women Who Code:

  • Overall survey respondents are heavily skewed male with 7.6% identifying themselves as women up from 6.6% last year
  • Proportionally, women are more represented among data scientists, mobile and web developers, quality assurance engineers, and graphic designers
  • Among male and female respondents, nearly twice the number of women said they had been coding for less than a year (10.7%)
  • The majority of women (66.2%) have been programming for less than 6 years

Employment among Developers:

  • 70.3% of developers are employed full-time
  • 10.2% of developers work as independent contractors, freelancers, or are self-employed
  • Developers tend to be more satisfied with their career than with their current jobs
  • 75.2% of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities
  • 13.1% of developers are actively looking for a job
  • In general, developers prioritize opportunities for professional development over any other factor when assessing a potential job
  • Most preferred compensation and benefits selected by developers are vacation/days off (57.0%) and Remote options (53.3%)
  • According to respondents, developers supported customer satisfaction and being on time and on budget as the best ways to evaluate the performance of a fellow developer
  • Respondents believe communication skills and a track record of getting things done are most important when evaluating a developer for hire
  • Most developers (59.6%) like some music while coding
  • 24.2% want complete silence while coding
  • When considering a new job, 53.3% said remote options were a top priority
  • The highest job satisfaction ratings come from developers who work remote full time

To learn more about what developers have to say, you can view the full results of the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017 here.

Want to know more about the top trends in hiring Developers? Check out the Software Engineering Market Overview from Monster Intelligence. And for more hiring trend studies from the Monster Intelligence team click here.