Data Set Deep Dive With Val: Stack Overflow

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Brands are hyper-focused on understanding customer analytics to create the best user experience, but how often do people think about the developer experience? I think about it all the time. It’s equally important to understand the experiences of the people who are not only building our favorite websites and apps, but also advancing the future of tech itself.

I work alongside our sales team to collect customer analytics data and build platform demos for potential new clients. I spend a lot of my time working with our data connectors to gather information, as well as researching new ways to collect customer data that our connectors may not have access to. This research often requires a certain level of coding knowledge, and whenever I hit a code roadblock, I look for insight from Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow is the largest online community for professional coders and developers. More than 50 million users visit the site each month to find solutions to coding problems, develop new skills, and discover new job opportunities.

Each year, Stack Overflow conducts a developer survey, asking their community about everything from their favorite technologies to job preferences. This year more than 100,000 individuals from the tech industry completed the survey.

I ran the data from Stack Overflow’s survey through our platform and created a dashboard breaking down experiences of professionals in the tech space in 2018 to better understand trends among the community. Here are two takeaways from the survey that I found most interesting:

1. Machine Learning is an important trend in today’s software industry.

ML is quickly becoming an important trend in today’s tech industry. Languages and frameworks associated with ML are also rising in popularity. Python, Java, and C++ are a few of the most popular coding languages in the ML space; and according to Stack Overflow’s survey, these same languages were ranked among the tech community's favorites.

Professionals working within the ML space are acquiring some of the highest-ranking salaries in the tech community, showing how valuable it is. According to the survey, both back-end developers and ML specialists are making more than $100,000 per year.

2. Developers and professionals in the tech space are optimistic about the possibilities of AI.

Developers and tech pros were asked about their thoughts on the increasing roles of AI and ML in the industry, and what they thought was exciting or dangerous about each. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with 51% of individuals saying they were more excited about the possibilities of AI and ML than worried about the dangers.

Of more than 65,000 individuals who answered this prompt, 40% stated that they were most excited about AI increasing the automation of jobs.

AI and ML are streamlining tasks, allowing developers and industry pros to focus on more important projects, such as implementing more sophisticated programs into workflows and developing new technologies.

Automation and AI will spread to nearly every industry – from food service to healthcare – to make interactions quicker and more efficient. This notion can be scary for some as they fear their jobs may be in danger, but the devices which will aid these experiences will still need to be developed and monitored, plus they’re meant to make humans' jobs easier. This means that there will be a shift in jobs, rather than the complete eradication of some.

Based on the survey, the tech community does not agree on what the dangers of AI really are. Each answer was chosen fairly equally, with the top two being “algorithms making important decisions” and “AI surpassing human intelligence.”

Stratifyd’s Developer Community Is Growing

As we continue to expand our platform’s capabilities and our foothold in the market, we’ve added several engineers and developers to the team. They've built our platform and are the driving force behind our business, so we want to make sure their voices are being heard. Their experiences and opinions affect everything we do.

About the Author
Valerie Hu is a Business Analyst at Stratifyd who enjoys hanging out with friends and attending EDM concerts in her spare time.