Survey: Developers Seek Web, Dynamic Languages

A new Ziff Davis Enterprise report shows that developers want Web technologies and dynamic languages for new projects.

Developers are planning to use Web development and scripting or dynamic languages more than traditional procedural languages over the next 18 months, according to a recent survey conducted by Ziff Davis Enteprise.

The survey, conducted in November, showed that the majority of developers - nearly 14 percent - surveyed said they plan to begin using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L) in the next 18 months.

Meanwhile, the second most mentioned language developers said they plan to use in the next 18 months is JavaScript, cited by nearly 10 percent of respondents.

Microsoft's ASP.NET, another popular Web development technology, came in fourth, with just over 8 percent of developers saying they planned to begin using it. However, the combined category of T-SQL, PL-SQL and other SQL flavors ranked third among respondents - at 9 percent.

Rounding out the top 12 languages or technologies cited were C#, Ruby, Java, VB.Net, PHP, Model Driven Architecture, Python and C/C++. Yet AJAX garnered nearly twice as much interest than C#, the highest ranking of the bottom eight languages. Only about 7 percent of developers surveyed said they plan to begin using C#.

However, noting the push toward more use of Web development technologies and dynamic languages is one thing; getting to the why is another.

"It has a lot to do with the fact that AJAX and JavaScript is the universal meeting ground for Web development," said John Resig, the creator of jQuery, an open-source JavaScript library. "It doesn't matter if you're using ASP.NET, Ruby, Perl, or PHP, if you need to make your page interactive in a standards-based, accessible way, you turn to JavaScript."

Resig said that as developers turn to developing their next applications, "they realize that using the Web as a platform is both easier to deploy and distribute from. When the ability to distribute an application is so easy - as simple as viewing it in a Web browser - and the ease of pushing new updates becomes possible - as easy as flipping a switch on the server - the desktop as a deployment platform looks rather paltry."

Ben Galbraith, co-founder of and a software architect and developer, said, "While the server side of the Web environment continues to be populated by a diverse community of programming platforms, the client side is largely limited to AJAX, so it's going to show up as a much more popular platform. No matter what your back-end is, if you're writing Web applications, you've got to know AJAX."