Programming languages: Developers reveal the ones they love, and the ones they dread

These are the coding languages that devs like to work with, and the ones they want to avoid.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Over 80,000 developers from 181 countries have cast their vote on their favorite technologies and once again the Mozilla-hatched Rust programming language has come out on top. 

Some 86.69% of developers picked Rust as their most "loved language" – a status it's held for the past six years in programmer Q&A site Stack Overflow's annual developer survey. The 2021 Developer Survey was carried out from May 25 to June 15, 2021, and gained responses from 83,439 developers in 181 countries. 

To come up with the "most loved" metric, Stack Overflow asked developers what language they worked with in the past year and what language do they want to work with next year. To see what they "dreaded", it asked what developers worked with in the past year but don't want to work with next year.  

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Rust is the most loved language, but only 5,044 developers nominated it, versus TypeScript, the third most "loved" language, which was based on 18,711 responses. TypeScript is a Microsoft-backed take on JavaScript with a type system that compiles into JavaScript and helps developers code up big front-end web applications more efficiently.     

The top 10 "most loved" languages in descending order are: Rust, Clojure, TypeScript, Elixir, Julia, Python, Dart, Swift, Node.js, and Go. 

Rust is proving popular for systems programming and is up for consideration as a second language to C for Linux kernel development, in part because it can help eliminate memory-related security bugs. 

While C remains a widely used language, more developers dreaded it (66%) than loved it (39.56%).

Languages that fall into the same category as C – where "dreaded" outnumbers "loved" – include C++, Delphi, Java, R, PowerShell, PHP, Perl, Assembly, Groovy, Objective-C, Matlab, VBA, and COBOL. Not all developers get to choose what language they'll be working with next year, but Stack Overflow's numbers suggest that developers may try to avoid these languages in the future. 

That's bad news for Java, which is loved by 47% of developers and dreaded by 52.85% of them. Still, this measurement was based on nearly 30,000 responses, making the group who use Java much larger than developers who use Rust. 

In fact, the number of responses from Java developers was only outnumbered by JavaScript (54,000) and Python (40,000). For Oracle, Java was the crown jewel of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. Oracle earlier this year lost its decade-long legal battle with Google over its use of Java application interfaces in Android.   

The most loved database are: Redis, PostgreSQL, mongoDB, Elasticsearch, Firebase, DynamoDB, MariaDB, SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. 

SEE: This old programming language is suddenly hot again. But its future is still far from certain

Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the most loved cloud platform with the biggest number of responses (30,000), followed by Google Cloud Platform (17,000), and Microsoft Azure (17,000). Google Cloud Platform could deliver an upset to Microsoft Azure next year if Stack Overflow trends are reflected in actual business decisions. 

"While AWS is the most loved platform, we see a large influx of AWS developers wanting to develop in Google Cloud next year," Stack Overflow notes. 

"8,586 AWS developers want to work with Google Cloud, while only 7,668 Google Cloud developers want to work in AWS. Developers currently using Heroku or Digital Ocean prefer to start working with or continue working with AWS, then Google Cloud, and lastly Azure."

Frameworks with more developers who loved it than dreaded it include Svelte, ASP.NET Core, FastAPI, React.js, Vue.js, Express, Spring, Ruby on Rails, Angular, Django, Laravel, and Flask. 

The most loved tools are Linux creator Linus Torvalds' Git, the container platform Docker, and Google-made container management system Kubernetes. 

Microsoft's cross-platform code editor Visual Studio Code (VS Code) has the largest population (58,000) and is the second most loved editor behind Neovim with a population of just over 4,000. VS Code is by far the leader as the "most wanted" editor, followed by Android Studio, Xcode, IntelliJ and Vim.

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