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Mahesh K
Mahesh K

Posted on

Why I choose to devalue StackOverFlow Surveys

Almost every developer forum that I visit these days is talking about the stackoverflow developer surveys. But I choose to ignore it. Why? There are many reasons for that.

So let's address few of them.

Reality is different than Wishful Thinking

You can take a look at the bad advice given on sites like stackoverflow, quora, hashnode and even on dev.to. You will find preaching such as shown in image below.

stackoverflow

Noticed how this person who answered didn't mentioned a single framework of golang which is like React, Angular etc to save customers time and money. Yet this person thinks in 6 months Node will be dead and Go lang is the future.

Replace this Node hate with Anti C++ commentary in order to praise Rust.

Lot of developers spite hate against PHP. Call Python dead over Ruby (because they learned it instead of python). Call Node dead over Go lang.

Why give such bad advice to newbies in programming field?

Do try to understand the fact that clients and the big companies don't want to pay for wishful thinking. They look at the frameworks and the right tools to get job done and they use it. That's why your favorite Ruby, Rust, Golang is yet to be so common in industry, and spitting hate against PHP, Python and Node is not going to make them love Rust, Ruby and Golang.

If you happen to spend time in some developer forums and chat these days, it's usually a session of brainwashing of some sort. Especially when the people at top like John skeet, Jeff etc on Stackoverflow have some brainwashing to do on you. Look I come to your site for getting answers to my questions, not learn about socialism revolution of new age.

Lot of wrong things are being portrayed through such surveys and taken as potential industry standard. So here's the everything in short.

  1. SO surveys don't define industry.
  2. SO surveys does not mean X language should be dead.
  3. SO surveys shows opinion of people who stay there ruminating the same old opinion echo chamber.
  4. Opinion of popular SO member does not mean I have to accept it as industry standard.

Feel free to disagree with me. I just wanted to vent out. Lot of wrong career advice is being given by fanboys of the language while keeping the reality out. I hope this changes in future.

Top comments (13)

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

I agree that there is a lot of wishful thinking, though you cannot ignore 90000 people. After all, most of the results are reflected in job adverts too.

I prefer other surveys as well, like the skill-up from Packt but for different reasons.

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abeburnett profile image
Abe Burnett

I might suggest a visit to the Pluralsight Technology Index. I built it to solve for many of these complaints. It's early days yet, but I still think there's some value to our perspective. Rest assured we're working to improve every aspect of the PTI (more data sources, more refined filtering, etc.).

pluralsight.com/tech-index

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elasticrash profile image
Stefanos Kouroupis

I won't disagree with any of your conclusions but one thing I have I'll disagree is that, if you know how to read surveys properly your opinion is indeed hidden among those results. Maybe it's not visible to everyone but as far as it concerns me it's a well structured survey. Well structured surveys hide things beyond any nerd's surface

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

I think it might be useful as just a point of reference on new tools and you might want to pick up.

Other than that it will be totally really subjective in nature on what to use or not to use for your company.

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aldass profile image
Al Dass

It's obviously not perfection but, better than the alternative of "subjective feelings" from my limited sphere of tech ppl I gleen info from...like all surveys, they are useful only if taken with a grain of salt. For me they provide prospective outside of my sphere of tech influence as long as I always apply critical thinking to what's being peddled.

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brunoborges profile image
Bruno Borges

You should see this thread: twitter.com/brunoborges/status/111...

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johannesvollmer profile image
Johannes Vollmer

Not disagreeing with you, but have you ever tried both C++ and Rust? You shouldn't call recommending Rust over C++ brainwashing unless you know both languages, really.

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maheshkay profile image
Mahesh K

Yes, I tried both the languages. Rust is too early to call for this much level of preaching that it gets on stackoverflow. Same with Go lang. It's the fanboyish approach I hate because people are using those surveys as if it's reality, which it's not.

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johannesvollmer profile image
Johannes Vollmer

I certainly would not recommend using Rust in all situations, but maturing the language will only improve as more and more people start to use it.

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maheshkay profile image
Mahesh K

The thing is Rust and Go are yet to be matured to be adopted like say React in javascript. Do we see Rust being adopted by Intel to make all those performance and adoption claims? yet stackoverflow surveys are being quoted as if it's credible IEEE journal. That's my issue with stackoverflow, its like cult using their own propaganda on programming community.

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maheshkay profile image
Mahesh K

Totally agree.

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