Topic: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

SitePoint just released the results of their web developer survey.  In June and July they surveyed 5000 web developers about the technologies they use, what they're excited about learning, and where they see the future of the web going.  Scientific it is not, but it revealed some promising numbers for Ruby.

According to respondents Ruby is used as a development platform by 5.31%, well behind PHP's dominating 67.54% market penetration.  However, when asked what platforms people were not currently developing for but planning to use in the next twelve months, Ruby was the answer of 24.37% of respondents! smile

Also interesting was that 50% of respondents say they practice OOP in their development, while nearly 18% utilize MVC principles.

Get the full report here: http://www.sitepoint.com/report2006/

Josh Catone helps run this place
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Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

I'd say 5.31% is pretty darn good.  It's suprising to me that it's above Python.

Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

Yeah, sounds nice for ruby.

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Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

I got my copy emailed, didn't realise it was publically available so hadn't said anything hehe.

As ever with statistics though, it's important to take into account the sample group. Sitepoint is probably not a totally fair reflection of the entire web development community (although it is probably better than most), so it may just be that not many Python programmers visit. Python certainly isn't a focus/encouraged language for Sitepoint, as evidenced by the 'Perl, Python and other languages' forum.

Meanwhile, Ruby is the hot language of the moment and users demanded, so Sitepoint provided a Ruby-specific forum. This necessarily doesn't mean Ruby is more popular, but does mean that Ruby programmers after that point are probably more likely to stick around than Perl or Python programmers.

Not wanting to put a downer on Ruby - I love it and have never really looked at Python beyond glancing on my brother's screen when he's been showing off his latest program. The stats to me show that Ruby is definitely on the up and up (over 21% of people surveyed wanted more Ruby resources on the web), but I'm not sure it's more popular than Python (yet). That said, I have no evidence it's not either smile

There are some interesting findings in there besides language comparisons too, such as 36% of people building their own CMS rather than use a ready made option, or none at all. 28% are apparently still chugging along with static sites!

40% of people using Flash in projects surprised me (I wouldn't say anywhere near 40% of the sites I see around the web use Flash, so again suggests a bias in the Sitepoint content/audience although I've never noticed SP pushing Flash much). The percentage drops significantly for people planning to use it in the next year though.

The question on 'What best describes your primary involvement with the Web?' certainly helps show the slant in the answers - it surprised me how few employees of design firms seem to visit, suggesting the 40% owners/freelancers is largely freelancers.

Where do all the professional designers/developers working for design/dev firms go? A survey that included more of them could be an interesting comparison to the largely freelance/in-house audience Sitepoint seems to have.

Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

That's why I was suprised.  I don't think Ruby is more popular than Python at this point, though I would say it's growing faster.  It's exciting to me that it's on the chart at all.

Regarding the stats on 'What best describes your primary involvement with the Web?' I think that probably most of these people work for professional firms, or corporations, but have side businesses.  This is the case for me, and even though my corporate job is paying the bills, I would have probably put down that I'm a business owner wink

Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

adamp wrote:

I got my copy emailed, didn't realise it was publically available so hadn't said anything hehe.

Well, they haven't publicly announced it yet (though it seems they intend to)... and it did say in the email that you could copy entire slides into media coverage as long as you sourced it -- plus the email was just a link to the PDF, so no way to stop people from spreading it. wink

When you email it to 1300 people who blog (according to the survey), you gotta expect someone to link to it. wink

adamp wrote:

40% of people using Flash in projects surprised me (I wouldn't say anywhere near 40% of the sites I see around the web use Flash ...)

But consider that many of the people surveyed were freelancers who design or maintain more than one site each year.  If you create 20 sites in a year for clients, and one uses flash, you'd answer yes to "Do you use flash in your development work?" ... But only 5% of your sites uses flash.

That's really an example of a flaw in the survey than anything else (as I said, hardly scientific).  But definitely provided some interesting results anyway. smile

Also, for some perspective on the growth of Ruby over at SPF... The Ruby forum was added only after a huge number of Ruby (majority RoR) threads started appearing in the PHP, Java, and Perl/Python/Other Languages forums.  As a rule, SPF usually adds forums when there seems to be a demand for it.  I.e., they don't push any certain technology over another, it's just what the users create demand for. smile  Of course, it could be said that SPF would never have a reputation as a place to go for Python help because of the lack of a dedicated forum, but in the case of Ruby, it came to SitePoint rather than the other way around. smile  Which is encouraging to me, in terms of the growth of the language.  Rails really gave it a kick in the pants. big_smile

Josh Catone helps run this place
Rails Forum - Rails Jobs

Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

Yep, that was kind of the point I was trying to make about the new Ruby forum, I just didn't make it well - Ruby got a huge groundswell of support, especially from PHP and Java converts (which SPF caters to well), thanks to Rails and leading to the new forum.

Python (afaik) hasn't had such a killer app or framework to do the same. I do remember a few programmer friends going on about Zope five (I think) years ago, but Sitepoint wasn't the place to be for such people at the time and aside from that Zope never took off as they seemed to think it would.

Your point on Flash is well taken too, though it's still surprising even that 40% of Sitepoint visitors use it to me. This is the problem with statistics though - people could say yes if anyone in their company uses Flash. It's still an interesting drop (over 10%) from those using it to those who still intend to use it in the next year.

I think the growing focus on accessibility and usability is finally deterring (some) people from using Flash 'willy nilly'.

Re: SitePoint Web Developer Survey Reveals Ruby on the Rise

adamp wrote:

The question on 'What best describes your primary involvement with the Web?' certainly helps show the slant in the answers - it surprised me how few employees of design firms seem to visit, suggesting the 40% owners/freelancers is largely freelancers.

Where do all the professional designers/developers working for design/dev firms go? A survey that included more of them could be an interesting comparison to the largely freelance/in-house audience Sitepoint seems to have.

It doesn't surprise me seeing as how design firms are a small minority of web developers. Almost everyone I know in web development as a field either works as an employee for a non-design company (like me, I've worked for financial and software companies my whole career), or they freelance on their own. Very few are involved with agencies/design firms unless they own it and maybe have a friend/relative helping them out.

It's like IT: an overwhelming majority of IT jobs are at regular companies, not HP or IBM or Microsoft.

vinnie - rails forum admin