Python VS JavaScript: Dethroned on Stack Overflow April 5, 2019

Python VS JavaScript: Dethroned on Stack Overflow

New data shows Python pushes JavaScript out of the position of most queried language on Stack Overflow.

A study recently conducted by Global App Testing, crowdsourced QA testers with the goal of examining developers’ most significant pain points.

While JavaScript is credited with the most frequently questioned language overall, new data credits Python over JavaScript as Stack Overflow’s most frequently queried over time based on the percentage of tags for each language.

Today we’re taking a quick look at some interesting insights about Python from the research found by Global App Testing. Keep reading to find out how this contender has battled its way to the top!

The research concentrated on 11 languages: JavaScript, Python, R, Ruby, C#, C++, Java, Objective-C, Swift, PHP, and SQL, making use of linguistics to expose any major issues within the languages.

In strictly numerical terms, JavaScript was in the lead, with over 1.75 million questions asked throughout Stack Overflow’s 10-year history. Java followed with 1.51m, and C# (1.28m), PHP (1.26m), and Python (1.1m) were the other languages who made it past a million. However, following late 2018, Python has worked its way up to the top of the list.

A deeper analysis of what developers wanted from each language – the data cleaning in the study was done in Python and the word cloud builder was in JavaScript, in order to keep the results fair – revealed little information that was not to be expected.

However, an examination of the remaining languages resulted in more intriguing discoveries. For Ruby, ‘rails’ was the most popular word by a significant amount. Additional niche-purpose languages such as R, for data scientists, revealed more specific terms like ‘dataframe’, ‘datable’ and ‘ggplot’.

Global App Testing summarized the research results, saying,

“Each programming language has over time been geared toward – or was even designed for – a particular niche within tech…R is to data science as Swift is to iOS development as C++ is to video game development. This explains some of the differences in the types of problems that arise… why we see ‘database’ a commonly questioned concept in SQL but not, for example, Objective-C.”

The company added that “Despite these obvious differences, these visualizations represent some fundamental similarities within the different domains…Base-level data types such as strings and arrays – but not integers, floats, or Boolean values, apparently – are frequently pain points that cause developers of all stripes and creeds to turn to Stack Overflow.”

The developer portal has taken note of these trends prior to the study; a report from Stack Overflow last January stated that jQuery maintained its position as the most popular JavaScript framework while noting that adding the share for market voice was ‘brutal’, and even in September 2017 the company was evaluating Python for what it called ‘incredible growth’.

Photo Credit: Global App Testing – Picking Apart Stack Overflow; What Bugs Developers The Most?

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