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Open source technology reigns supreme for developers who by and large view it as having a positive impact on society, according to a recent Stack Overflow pulse survey. Coming in near the bottom on both rankings? Low-code/no-code development tools and blockchain.
Stack Overflow asked around 2,000 developers to rate various technologies based on whether they were proven, predicted to soon be in everyday use, and if the respondents thought the tech would have a positive or negative impact on the world. The developer Q&A site also asked respondents what technologies they wanted hands-on training with.
Those technologies respondents ranked as the most proven, as measured by a mean score out of 10, are in widespread commercial use on a large scale: open source (6.9), cloud computing (6.5), machine learning (5.9), robotics (5.7), internet of things (5.7), and 3D printing (5.6).
At the bottom of the barrel:
- Blockchain (4.8)
- InnerSource approaches (4.7)
- Low-code/no-code (4.6)
- Nanotechnology (4.5)
- Quantum computing (3.7)
“Developers are curious and skeptical, which is an amazing combination to have, because there’s an enthusiasm that comes through when there’s new technologies,” Joy Cicman Liuzzo, VP of product marketing at Stack Overflow, told IT Brew. “But there’s also a high level of ‘prove it’ that comes through when they’re evaluating technologies.”
Of these, blockchain and low-code/no-code are notable because they are already products with a large commercial base. InnerSource, a development methodology that applies open source principles to proprietary tech, can be difficult to implement in some corporate cultures.
Low-code/no-code might be less popular with developers because it might “introduce more frictions to them, or it’s going to introduce potentially more code that they have to maintain,” Cicman Liuzzo said.
When it comes to positive impact, open source (7.2) again came out on top in the Stack Overflow survey, followed by sustainable technologies (6.5), machine learning (6.5), and cloud computing (6.4). Scoring at the bottom were vector databases (5.5), followed by blockchain, InnerSource, and low-code/no-code (all tied at 5.3).
Machine learning and AI-assisted technologies fell in the high-to-middle range on both metrics, but combined had a huge lead in developer views on what everyone will be using next (43%) and where they desired hands-on training (32%).
Low-code/no-code scored poorly in those areas. While just 5% of respondents picked blockchain as the next hot technology, 9% picked it as the one they most wanted training on. Perhaps that’s due to lingering blockchain fever—blockchain is one of the highest-paying dev categories, despite the sector’s volatility—or as Cicman Liuzzo suggested, interest in understanding the technology.
“The data is telling us that folks believe in the potential,” Cicman Liuzzo said. “It’s up to technology organizations and it’s up to the industry as a whole to actually prove that out, to be cautious and strategic and thoughtful about how they’re implementing these technologies.”
Keep reading here.—TM