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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Jun 05, 2019 — DevOps Expert

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019: The DevOps Findings


  • Python is the fastest-growing major programming language, beating out Java and standing as the second most loved language (behind Rust).
  • DevOps specialists and site reliability engineers are among the highest paid, most experienced, and most satisfied with their jobs.

How old were you when you wrote your first line of code? What languages are you looking to add to your programming arsenal? How does your salary look next to your peers’?

Over the last decade, the online developer community forum Stack Overflow has posed similar questions to its audience in the site's annual Developer Survey. With close to 90,000 responses from around the globe, the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019 is the world’s largest survey of people who code.

The 20-minute survey asks participants an array of questions to get a sense of the career paths, favorite programming languages and tools, working preferences, and everything else relevant to today's software developers. In its ninth year, the survey is once again heavy on the software delivery findings. Below is a quick look at some of the more interesting results relevant to DevOps. You can also check out the full survey results over at the Stack Overflow site.


About 50% of the survey respondents identified as full-stack developers. Respondents were able to select multiple identification types, with the average respondent indicating three types. The survey's most common pairs are combinations of back-end, front-end, and full-stack developer.

11% of the respondents consider themselves DevOps specialists.

There is a wide range in development experience among the respondents, with 45% indicating that they only learned to code within the last 10 years, and over 40% indicating that they have less than five years of professional coding experience. Respondents identifying as DevOps specialists, however, tend to be a bit more seasoned, averaging close to 10 years of professional coding experience.

The Most Popular Technologies

JavaScript is once again the most commonly used programming language among the Stack Overflow survey respondents, though Python's popularity continues to skyrocket. Since 2017, Python has surpassed C#, PHP, and now Java in usage, edging out the latter in this year's survey.

When it comes to web frameworks, nearly half of the respondents indicated that they use jQuery. And for databases, MySQL is the most commonly used for the second year in a row.

The survey also asked about development platforms, including container technologies, for the first time this year. Linux (54%) and Windows (51%) ranked first and second in terms of usage, while Docker came in third (32%).

Most Loved, Dreaded, and Wanted Languages

Rust continues its run atop the cool club, clocking in as the most “loved” programming language for the fourth year in a row. As mentioned above, Python is continuing to win favor amongst developers, ranking second as the most loved and first as the “most wanted” language. VBA was indicated by 75% of respondents as the most “dreaded,” while Objective-C and Assembly weren't far behind with response rates of 69% and 65%, respectively.

In the databases category, Redis was the most loved for the third year in a row. The love was not extended to for Couchbase and Oracle, which rank as the most dreaded databases. But interest in MongoDB continues to grow, with respondents pointing to it as the most wanted database for the third year in a row.

Linux is once again the most loved platform for development, with Docker and Kubernetes also feeling the love this year. All were indicated as most loved by at least 75% of respondents. WordPress was voted most dreaded by 60% of respondents.

For web frameworks, React.js and Vue.js are viewed as both the most loved and most wanted web frameworks by developers, while Drupal and jQuery are the most dreaded.

And despite being underused, .NET Core and Torch/PyTorch are both loved by developers. The two were indicated by 77% as most loved in the "other frameworks" category, though they are only used by 23% and 3% of respondents, respectively.

Grow DevOps Across Every Role in Your Organization

Development Environments and Tools

Stack Overflow broke up the results for its developer environment tools questions by web developers, mobile developers, and SREs/DevOps. Visual Studio Code dominated across the board, being used by 55% of all respondents.

As for the DevOps specialists and SREs, 55% indicated they use Visual Studio Code, followed by Vim (44%) and IntelliJ (29%).

Close to half of the respondent's use Windows as their primary operating system, with the rest split between Linux and MacOS.

And when asked about using container technologies, close to half of the respondents indicated they aren't. As for the other half, 38% use containers in Development, 30% in Testing, and 26% in Production.

Top Paying Jobs and Technologies

Now, to the part of the results we really care about––compensation.

Let's start with programming knowledge. Keeping in mind that the survey responses came from around the globe, respondents who use Clojure, F#, and Go, earn the most, with median salaries above $80,000 USD. Among respondents based in the United States, Scala brings home the bacon with a median salary of $143,000 USD.

Stack Overflow also asked a handful of compensation questions relative to job type.

Engineering managers make the most, averaging $95k among the survey respondents. SREs rank second at $85k, while DevOps specialists are third at $71k. Developers who work with data (data scientists and engineers) and those who work in DevOps and site reliability are high earners for their level of experience.

Career Values and Job Satisfaction

In an ongoing trend with the Stack Overflow Developer Survey findings, developers tend to be more satisfied with their career than with their current job––40% are very satisfied with their career while only 31% feel the same about their gig. Job satisfaction is highest for those identifying as SREs, DevOps specialists, engineering managers, and senior engineering executives. A quick glance back up to the compensation section of this blog might shed a little light on why.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that among professional developers, those who work as senior engineering executives, DevOps specialists, and SREs are looking for work the least.

Only 15% of respondents are actively looking for a job, though over half of the respondents have taken a new job within the past two years, indicating that frequent job changes are common for developers. And in related news, almost three-fourths of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities.

As to the factors that contribute to job satisfaction, 54% of respondents indicated the that most important factor is the languages, frameworks, and other technologies they'd be working with. Office environment or company culture, a flexible schedule, and professional development opportunities each got nods of importance by over 40% of respondents.

Jump over to Stack Overflow for a look at the full report.

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