What can GNOME learn from the StackOverflow 2021 Developer Survey?

StackOverflow is annually conducting a survey with its users focused on understanding what are the most popular tools and trends in software engineering.

This years’ result are out now and you check them at Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021

GNOME is a community, a desktop environment, and a platform. We certainly can learn from the survey results and improve our developer experience story and our newcomer onboarding.

Learning which programming languages, libraries, frameworks, IDEs, databases, etc… are trending can help us understand what our [developer] users want, as well as help us shape our developer docs (coincidentally, our new developer documentation website just got published).

What are your thoughts on the survey results and which areas do you think we can work on to improve the developer experience using GNOME?

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When looking at the most popular programming languages we can see that web development and scripting languages are leading. This could be an opportunity for us to improve these language’s support in GtkSourceView and GNOME Builder, for example.

In the other tools category, Git is on top, and this could be a good sign that apps such as Gitg or meld could become quite relevant to some of our users.

Speaking as a drive-by-contributer i think we shouldn’t focus or change the inherent goal of GNOME Builder (be the best possible IDE for GNOME applications + flatpak) because of the survey. If we change that goal i think its reasonable to focus on the most popular programming languages. More interesting for me is (with a GNOME Builder developer hat on)

  • is that Visual Studio Code is so much more popular than any IDE out there (70 %).
  • Also Qt is named as a framework/library but GTK isn’t. And Flutter is more popular then Qt?
  • Online learning is a must according to that survey (thanks ebassi → developer docs are the best step towards that)
  • Git integration in Builder should make an leap (with a similar featureset then VS Code?)

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I think its important to reason about from different point of views.

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