More than 50,000 developers—56,033 to be exact—in 173 countries around the world responded to the survey. Stack Overflow is so popular among developers that every eight seconds, a developer asks a question on the site. In January alone, 46 million people visited Stack Overflow to get help or give help to a fellow developer.
"This is a highly impressive survey and one of its kind," said Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC. "Stack Overflow has an incredible user base and it is great to see them survey them with such a fairly extensive survey. While I think we can learn a lot from such surveys, we have to realize that there are always limits to what can be intuited. They asked 45 questions, which is at the high-end of the scale of survey length that people—especially developers—are willing to answer."
"What's happening is the ramp up in tooling as well as standards with ECMAScript 6 is making it a lot easier to hire one developer to do everything—the back end or the front end," he said. "And that's where a lot of our customers are going."
Meanwhile, the use of the Swift programming language is exploding, the survey showed. Swift grew faster than any other technology last year, the survey showed.
"We see trends like Swift going up dramatically and Objective-C is going down," Alvaro Oliveira, vice president of talent operations at Toptal, told eWEEK. Toptal provides freelance software engineers and designers to companies in need of development talent. "Swift came along and it just made the entry barrier way lower for developers focused on building iOS apps."
Thomas Murphy, an analyst with Gartner, said he is intrigued by the survey results regarding Swift.