A hand selecting from a honeycombed list of technologies

Nearly every industry is on the market for top IT talent and organizations are at war competing for IT professionals. The issue, however, is that demand far outpaces supply, resulting in an IT skills gap.

With top IT talent having their pick of which positions to accept, they can afford to be selective. And oftentimes, it’s the technologies that a company deploys that ultimately becomes the deciding factor.

So, the question then becomes, which technologies do IT professionals prefer?

Luckily, Stack Overflow has done much of the heavy lifting for us. In their annual Developer Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of people who code around the world, they learned which tools developers are using, how they learn them, and which technologies they most want to work with.

In this blog post, we summarize that report and list today’s most popular software development technologies and tools.

2021’s Most Popular Software Development Technologies

Programming Languages

For the ninth year in a row, JavaScript came out on top as the most popular programming language. The reasons for its popularity number more than a few. For starters, it caters to beginner, intermediate, and advanced developers. Two, it’s omni-platform, meaning it can run everywhere. This includes on devices like mobiles, tablets, and laptops as well as on both the client-side and server-side. Three, JavaScript is an open standard technology, making it freely available for updates, adoption, and implementation. And the final reason JavaScript remains so popular is that it utilizes modern frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue.js.

The other top programming languages were HTML, CSS, Python, and SQL.

Cloud Platforms

A cloud platform refers to the operating system and hardware of a server in an Internet-based data center. So, whether you experience a natural disaster, power failure, or other crisis, having your organization’s data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location.

There are three cloud platforms that dominate the market. While Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular, both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are gaining in popularity.

Other cloud platforms of note are Heroku and DigitalOcean.

Other Tools

Of other tools surveyed, the most popular by far was Git, with more than 90% of respondents reporting to have used it.

Git, a free and open-sourced software, is used to track changes in any set of files. It’s used for coordinating work among programmers collaboratively developing source code during software development.

Other popular tools included Docker, Yarn, and Kubernetes.

2021’s Most Loved and Desired Programming Languages

Though JavaScript may be the most popular, and most used, it is not the most loved programming language.

Of the 90,000 developers surveyed, a near 90% of respondents said that they loved Rust, making it the most-liked language for the sixth year running.

Known for its safety, speed, and efficiency, Rust is adored in the developer community. It is used to develop game engines, file systems, websites and tools, operating systems, browser components, and much more.

And in terms of desired languages, Python takes the cake. Due to its simple programming syntax, code readability, and English-like commands, Python is a lot easier to work with than other languages. It’s simplicity, however, doesn’t limit its range. It’s used in web development, data science, automation, and system administration to name just a few.

Other software trends of note:

  • More than 10,000 JavaScript developers said they wanted to start or continue working in Rust or Go, and over 20,000 wanted to give Node.js a try
  • A sizeable number of JavaScript developers, 23,712, reported that they wanted to learn TypeScript
  • Virtually the only people that expressed interest in PHP were SQL developers
  • C# is gaining in popularity with nearly 12,000 JavaScript and HTML/CSS developers each stating that they want to work in it over the next year.

While there remain to be many contributing factors to talent attraction and retention, deploying the most popular, loved, and desired technologies can only help to make your organization a more desirable landing spot.

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