This is a very interesting report. I don’t know if this type of study has been done often. With 39,441 respondents this would seem to be statistically valid. A lot of great data points and some interesting insights.
Unlike generations thereafter, if kids of the seventies wanted to see innovative technology, they’d have to build it themselves — they had no other choice. There were no widespread resources to teach them how to build software. Almost half of all developers (47%) between the ages of 45 and 54 started coding before they were 16 years old. Meanwhile, developers between 18 and 24 today are the least likely to have started coding before 16 (only 20%).
This data doesn’t surprise me and I think it’s a little concerning. In the 70’s and early 80’s if you wanted to play on a computer there was really only one option — you learned to program that computer! Today there are so many options to get value out of technology that the requirement of programming comes from a power user need in a niche, or pure curiosity. I wouldn’t take back any of the ease-of-use progress we’ve made, but exposing younger people that are interested to real development tools seems like something we should focus on. Myself, I started coding when I was in 1st or 2nd grade on a TI-99/4A using BASIC. I fall in the “5 to 10” bucket here.
Self-teaching is the norm for developers of all ages. Even though 67% of developers have CS degrees, roughly 74% said they were at least partially self-taught.
This makes complete sense in large part because a computer science degree doesn’t teach you the tactical aspects that you need to be a programmer working in a company. To be clear, that is important stuff, but industry is generally ahead of academia and they have different goals — fundamental versus applied learning.
What little coding I do is in Python and I always recommend that people that want to learn programming start in Python. Clearly Guido van Rossum, the “Benevolent Dictator For Life” of Python, did something very right.
Also perhaps the editor wars are over?
VIM beats all other editors by a landslide.
vim is used four times as much, it turns out
emacs users in total use the same amount of memory. 😂
A lot of interesting data. The data missing from here that I would like to have seen included would have been some analysis of gender. We know that we need to work to grow the ranks of women in tech and I wonder if any of this data would have highlighted some actionable gaps.