Stack Overflow Dev Survey: Some Fun Facts & Snarky Remarks

I ran across the Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey, which is a surprisingly interesting and fun read for the geekishly inclined. Here are some random and fun tidbits:

  • “The average developer is 28.9 years old. He or she was born in April 1986, just as the Chernobyl meltdown was taking place.”

    (Did Chernobyl cause mutant ninja coders?)

  • “The programming field is growing extremely rapidly…. only about 25% of developers worldwide have more than 10 years coding experience. Most of those veteran developers have probably been coding professionally much shorter than that.”

    (Alternative interpretation: Ten years is about as long as most people can stand to do it!)

  • “48% of respondents never received a degree in computer science. 33% of respondents never took a computer science university course.”

    (Now you know why hardly anything ever built actually works properly! I kid, I kid… Univ courses don’t help with that anyway!)

  • Swift and C++11 are the most beloved languages.

    (Cultish fanpersons much?)

  • “Windows maintains the lion’s share of the developer operating system market, while Mac appears to have overtaken the Linuxes among active Stack Overflow devs.”

    (Hey, I thought I was a weird outlier in using Windows 7 rather than a Mac, but Win 7 is still the tops. Admittedly it is a stretch to even consider myself a dev, that is not my raison d’etre by any means. Whether I actually have a raison d’etre… hmm… I’ll get back to you on that…)

  • Tabs v Spaces… “Upon closer examination of the data, a trend emerges: Developers increasingly prefer spaces as they gain experience”

    (Yeah, we learned the hard way.)

  • C++ still pays rather well.

    (Someone has to sort out those pretentious buffer overruns and protect humanity from Skynet.)

  • “Niche or emerging technologies pay big bucks… It’s also likely that developers with niche competencies are just better developers all around.”

    (What about with niche incompetencies?)

  • The average salary of a US developer would buy them 18,712 Big Macs. In South Africa it works out to 19,215, in the UK a paltry 15,757.

    (Note: Only in the US do most developers actually spend their entire salary on Big Macs.)

  • Only 1.9% of developers hate their job.

    (Nowadays people really appreciate actually having a job. Especially one which can buy so many Big Macs.)

Humor aside, there’s a lot of interesting info in the survey, so I recommend taking a look.

As always, take survey results with a large pinch of salt though.

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A few fun quizzes – science, US citizenship & Arsene Wenger

I like quizzes, and I sometimes do ones I stumble across on the net.

Here are three pretty interesting ones that I did recently.

Are you scientifically literate?

Fun if you like science or want to see how much you can still remember. Quite a broad selection of topics, though a few of them are not much about whether you really understand basic science as whether you remember somewhat incidental facts or follow news coverage of science.

I scored 92%.

Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Interesting to see what kinds of things you are expected to know to qualify for American citizenship. Mostly it is history and politics. Some of the questions have a bearing on how the the US works and what is entailed in being a citizen, but some are a bit arcane and more like history trivia questions. Some of the questions are also answerable without knowing anything about the US specifically, for example by knowing which century WWII was in.

Btw, be aware that the quiz is from 2011. There are a few questions in it about who holds what office, and the answer might have been different when the quiz was set than when you take it. (At the time of writing this post, there hadn’t been many changes if any though.)

I scored 91% (IIRC). They didn’t say if that would be a pass, but I imagine so.

Arsène or Aristotle?

The answers are quite easy to guess without knowing anything about things that Arsene Wenger or Aristotle have actually said. Still nice bit of fun.

I scored 10/11.

If you do any of them, I’d be interested to hear what you thought of them!