JetBrains State of Developer Ecosystem 2023: Python Pips JavaScript in Language Learning Plans

Python comes out top, with JavaScript and Java close behind in the list of languages that people want to learn.

This year’s survey by JetBrains on the State of Developer Ecosystem shows respondents have a pretty high satisfaction in their current roles, with only one-quarter of respondents feeling neutral or negative about their positions. The lifestyle section of the 2023 survey reveals that the respondents are serious about learning in intentional and casual ways throughout their workdays.

Respondents displayed a great interest in learning new languages, with Python (27%), JavaScript (24%) and Java (21%) leading the list they have started or continue to learn. Over 50% of those who are learning new languages do it out of interest, while 44% and 43% of learners are motivated by personal projects and keeping up with the latest trends, respectively. Python’s popularity is confirmed by the TIOBE Index, and the ongoing explosions in AI, automation, data analysis and data visualization needs across many organizations make it a useful language for any developer.

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How developers like to learn

The survey responses also show that a majority of developers (67%) like to learn through documentation and APIs. No surprise there, since 75% of respondents said they have quit learning courses or programs before finishing them, with 46% citing not enough time and 39% saying the course wasn’t interesting enough. These stats may indicate that programmers like to get a handle on the basics through traditional means before researching use cases similar to their project goals.

When consuming IT-focused articles online, 62% of respondents consider tutorials to be useful to their work, followed by news (55%) and trends (54%). Developers tend to access IT news on social media 50%, IT-focused websites (48%) and YouTube (45%) where experts and practitioners tend to provide much of the content. Of the social sites, respondents reported that they actively use accounts on GitHub (76%), X (Twitter, 48%), LinkedIn (48%) and StackOverflow (47%). With the possible exception of X, each of these platforms is directly tied to professional improvement and learning. Developers are seeking professional content that makes them better at their jobs, ready to find the next one, and prepared for the next new thing.

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