ArticleApril 3, 2023 · 8 min read time
Which are the most used, liked, and exciting technologies among Nitor's Digital Engineers? We aim to answer this question in the annual Nitor developer survey, which we conducted for the third time this year. This post gives an overview of the results and the most significant changes this year.
In the survey, we asked Nitor developers and architects which technologies they used significantly during the previous year. Respondents could answer that they like, dislike, or are neutral regarding a used technology. Additionally, respondents could indicate that they are interested in using a given technology in the future. Respondents selected technologies from a list and could also write in missing items. More than half of all Nitor developers and architects responded to the survey.
The survey was divided into twelve categories: languages, backend, frontend, native, data, testing, operating systems, editors, cloud platforms, continuous integration, deployment & infrastructure, and services. Testing and services were new for this year. This post presents an overview of each category as well as a summary with picks for technologies of the year.
Chart of the most used languages. The solid part of the bar displays the share of respondents who have used the language. It is divided into three parts for users who like, dislike, or are neutral regarding the technology. On top of the solid part, the share of interested users is shown with diagonal stripes. Finally, the label above each bar is the percentage point change in usage since last year.
React is still the most used among the main frontend frameworks by a large margin, although usage has shrunk significantly since last year (-8 pp). Angular, AngularJS, and Vue.js come next, with stable usage. Svelte has grown a bit, although usage is still low in comparison. In the React ecosystem, Create React App is still widely used, but usage is shrinking. Next.js is the most used React meta-framework and one of the most liked and interesting technologies overall. Gatsby, on the other hand, is falling behind. For ClojureScript, Reagent is the most used. AngularJS is the least-liked technology in this year's survey, with 77 % of users reporting that they dislike it.
This category included mobile and other native platforms and frameworks. Native Android is used the most, a bit more than iOS, although it has some dissatisfied users. React Native is still the most used cross-platform framework, although Flutter also has some usage and has the highest interest in the category.
This year, we expanded the database category to include data stores like S3 and Kafka. S3 was the most used technology in the category. PostgreSQL is the most used relational database, but usage has shrunk significantly while MySQL usage has grown. Aurora usage is also down since last year. DynamoDB is the most-used NoSQL database. After a surprisingly large increase in use last year, Oracle Database has dropped back down quite low. PostgreSQL and Kafka are the most-liked technologies in the category.
This question asked respondents about the operating system used on their workstations. As we did not include the category last year, the results are instead compared to 2021. macOS is used the most, followed by Linux. Linux use has shrunk, falling to second place, while both macOS and Windows use has grown since two years ago. Linux and macOS are both highly liked, among the most-liked technologies in the survey, while Windows is disliked by many. Based on this, increased Windows use might be due to project requirements instead of personal preference.
In the editor category, the rise of Visual Studio Code continues. Last year it was almost evenly used with IntelliJ IDEA, but it is ahead by a large margin this year. Both leading editors are highly liked, with IntelliJ IDEA being the third most-liked technology overall in the survey. Nano is in third place, making it the most used terminal editor, barely ahead of Vim. Eclipse is the most disliked editor and the third-most disliked technology overall.
AWS is still the most used cloud platform at Nitor by a wide margin, although usage has shrunk a bit. Azure is in second place, with stable usage, while Google Cloud use has decreased. AWS is also the most-liked among the big three platforms. Vercel, targeted primarily at frontend developers, is the most-liked technology in the category. Heroku, which discontinued free plans in August, has seen both usage drop and dissatisfied users.
GitHub Actions (GHA) continues the sharp rise while Jenkins usage drops as much. The result is that GHA now bypasses Jenkins to take the top spot, as already anticipated last year. GitLab CI is in third place with stable usage and is almost as well-liked as GHA. AWS CodeBuild and Azure Pipelines come next, but with higher dissatisfaction. Travis usage has also plunged since last year. Overall, this is the category with the fastest change, as newer competitors replace disliked older tools.
Deployment & infrastructure
This category has been relatively stable, with the most significant change being that Terraform has jumped up two spots into second place, ahead of AWS CDK and CloudFormation. CDK is the most-liked technology in the category, while CloudFormation and Kubernetes both have a relatively high share of dissatisfied users. Podman, an open-source alternative to Docker, is showing up this year, although usage is still far lower.
This was the second new category this year and included various services developers use for collaboration, communication, monitoring, analytics, etc. GitHub is the most used technology overall in the survey. It is also the fourth most-liked technology overall. Among communication tools, Teams and Slack are almost at the same level of usage, but users like Slack a lot more. Teams is one of the most disliked technologies in the survey. The same is true for Jira, while Trello is somewhat better liked.
Technologies of the year
Last year, my three picks for technologies of the year were Kotlin, GitHub Actions, and GraphQL. Of these, I could have picked the first two again, as they have continued to show strong results. I will instead pick three different technologies as winners this year. Note that these are subjective choices, although based on the data.
My first pick is Go, a statically typed compiled programming language designed at Google and known for simplicity and advanced concurrency features. Generics were long considered an important missing feature, but they were added in March last year. At Nitor, Go has seen significantly increased usage during the past year and is now in ninth place among languages. It is also the third most-liked language among users and the sixth most-liked technology overall. Satisfaction has grown significantly since last year. Go is also the fifth-most interesting technology in the survey. Go is not yet a top-tier language like TypeScript, but it is becoming increasingly important, particularly for web services.
My second pick is Next.js, a React meta-framework for creating full-stack applications, supporting both client and server rendering and static generation. Although competitors like Remix have appeared, Next.js is the most popular alternative for large-scale React applications. In October, Next.js introduced a significant update, supporting nested layouts and React server components. At Nitor, React is the most used frontend framework, and Next.js is the most used meta-framework. Next.js is the ninth-most liked technology overall, with satisfaction rising this year. It is also the eight-most interesting technology in the survey. Next.js will likely be the primary frontend framework choice for some time.
My third and final pick is GitHub. GitHub is the platform almost all developers depend on, for their own code and for hosting numerous open-source projects. GitHub continuously launches important features, like the new code search introduced last November. As a company, GitHub is also innovating with tools like Copilot, which uses AI to autocomplete code. At Nitor, GitHub is the most used technology in the survey. It is also the fourth most-liked technology overall. Although GitLab is a good competitor, GitHub will remain an essential service for many years.