Developers in Australia have the highest average age in the world – at 29 – according to a survey from Stack Overflow.
They also have the most experience compared to their global peers, having been coding for an average 11.7 years.
The age and experience of Australian developers was close to those in the United States and United Kingdom, but significantly higher than those in Russia, Poland and India, where devs were typically only 22.7 years old with 4.2 years’ experience.
Globally, the overwhelming majority of developers surveyed (50.8 per cent) were aged between 25 and 34. Three quarters were aged below 35.
Among the 101,592 software developers from 183 countries questioned, almost 60 per cent of respondents identified as back-end developers. Full-stack developer and front-end developer were the next most popular designations. About 20 per cent consider themselves mobile developers.
Respondents were able to give multiple answers to the question regarding their role. The most common pairs were combinations of back-end, front-end, and full-stack developer. Pairs that were highly correlated are database administrator and system administrator, DevOps specialist and system administrator, and designer and front-end developer.
“Python has risen in the ranks, surpassing C# this year, much like it surpassed PHP last year. Python has a solid claim to being the fastest-growing major programming language,” the report said.
Rust was found to be the ‘most loved’ programming language followed closely by Kotlin, a language which was asked about for the first time this year.
“This means that proportionally, more developers want to continue working with these than other languages,” the report said.
“Also for the third year in a row, Visual Basic 6 ranks as the most dreaded programming language. Most dreaded means that a high percentage of developers who are currently using the technology express no interest in continuing to do so,” the report added.
Node.js and AngularJS continued to be the most commonly used technologies in the ‘frameworks, libraries and tools’ category, with React and .Net Core also important to many developers.
TensorFlow was a ‘most loved’ technology, while Cordova was ‘most dreaded’.
The most commonly used databases were MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MongoDB.
Redis proved to be the ‘most loved’ database. The most dreaded databases were IBM Db2, Oracle, Memcached, Apache HBase and Amazon Redshift.
For the first time this year, Stack Overflow asked respondents a broader set of questions about their gender and identity.
True to stereotypes, the survey found a whopping 92.9 per cent of respondents were male. Only 6.9 per cent identified as female with 0.9 per cent saying they were non-binary, genderqueer, or gender non-conforming.
Gender was a factor in the number of years an individual had spent coding, with men typically having more experience than their female counterparts.
“Twice as many women than men have been coding two years or less, evidence for the shifting demographics of coding as a profession,” the report said.
Gender also played a role in what developers sought in a prospective job. Women say their highest priorities are company culture and opportunities for professional development, while men say their highest priorities are compensation and working with specific technologies.
Respondents who said they were professional developers were typically ‘white or of European descent’ (74.3 per cent), heterosexual (93.2 per cent) and had highly educated parents.
The survey also found that “mental health issues like depression and anxiety are particularly common among our respondents”. Some 8 per cent said they had a mood or emotional disorder, and a similar number had an anxiety disorder.
More than 80 per cent of respondents say that they code as a hobby and other interests didn’t seem to affect this.
“Those who said they are parents or have other caretaking responsibilities, those who exercise daily, or those who spend the most time outside were slightly more likely to code as a hobby than other groups,” the report found.
Around 3 per cent of respondents hailed from Australia and New Zealand.