swiss developer survey 2020 insights

Monday 01.02.2021 Jonas Felix, Christian Walter

Jonas Felix, Co-Founder fossilo.com, und Christian Walter, Managing Partner swiss made software, steuern die Entwicklung des swiss developer survey.

Covid-19 not only brought the home office, but also a strong digitization push in the direction of the cloud. This is also shown by the trends in the technologies used.

As with every survey, there are always a lot of question marks in the first two rounds. In round one, the question is whether the subject matter will resonate with the target audience. In round two, one has the opportunity to make comparisons for the first time.

Thanks to around 960 participants in 2019, it was clear that the swiss developer survey had been able to arouse strong interest. Even more, in 2020 the number of participants grew to over 1,000. These two more than solid performances also opened up the possibility for us to start making comparisons this year.

Covid-19 measures in the IT industry

As fate would have it, this is happening in an exceptional year. The Covid 19 pandemic has now lasted more than 12 months and will probably continue to occupy us in 2021. However, the IT sector is in a good position, because it is one of the few sectors that could benefit from the current situation. This is reflected in the high marks that developers give their employers for their handling of the pandemic. Over 95 percent attest to their employer's quick and competent response to the pandemic: working from home was made possible in full (93 percent) or in part (72 percent). In addition, over 80 percent of developers also feel comfortable in their home office, and teams continued to function well (96 percent). The coders are not worried about the future of their workplace. However, more than half believe that society will change as a result of the pandemic. A detailed analysis can be found here.

Tech Trends

At the technological level, initial trends can also be identified. Below are some insights:

  • PostgreSQL is the unexpected survey highlight across the board. Many developers state that they want to introduce PostgreSQL in the company (rank 1) and that they personally would like to use it again (rank 1). At the same time, many users like the database very much (rank 2). One could say that one of the oldest databases is currently on the upswing.
  • When it comes to languages, Python, Golang, Kotlin and TypeScript are the highlights, especially when you consider what developers would like to start using (rank 1-4). For companies, it could therefore be worthwhile to focus on these languages to attract new developers.
  • At the same time, the topic of containers, and Kubernetes in particular, continues to make strong inroads, ranking #1 in "Like to use" and #3 in "Adopt". This cloud-centric development is confirmed by the good performance of technologies on the next technical "level below". With Ansible and Terraform, Infrastructure-as-Code is gaining traction. Both frameworks rise high on the wish list of frameworks to introduce.
  • Further, the web is increasingly set as the front end: In the top 30 frameworks, there is practically no longer any technology with a focus on desktop client solutions, and all trends are shifting to web front-ends. In the future, the term software solution or application will be primarily equated with web applications, if this is not already the case today. If, on the other hand, development is done for the desktop, the term desktop applications must be used more and more.
  • In terms of tools, JetBrains technologies dominate (rank 1), followed directly by Visual Studio Code (rank 2 ) and, almost humorously, Notepad++ (rank3). This is followed by nothing for a very long time until other editors or IDEs are mentioned.
  • The topic of hype technologies appears to be treated more calmly by developers than in the media. A notable newcomer here is IoT, while edge computing continues to lag behind. The majority of developers continue to be very skeptical about blockchain - they don't see it as being all that important to their work, either now or in five years' time. However, machine learning is still clearly in the lead, albeit with a slight drop.
  • Companies such as SAP, Oracle and IBM, which rely on highly proprietary models, are clearly struggling. Solutions from these companies do not fare well in practically all sections of the survey.
  • Microsoft proves that this does not have to be the case: Despite many skeptics, there are practically just as many supporters. Among other things this might be because Microsoft has understood that open source and flexibility are absolutely central and that the business model no longer runs via CD sales with strict guidelines, but via continuous service. With continuous service, you can even be much more successful commercially if you open up the technological basis for it.

These are just a few excerpts from the extensive results. It is worthwhile to dive into the individual sections and browse a bit. In the end, the interrelationships are complex and a simple perusal of listicles only offers very limited insight. In this respect, have fun thinking!

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