Stack Overflow is taking its massive amounts of data it collects and turning them into valuable insights with Stack Overflow Trends. With Stack Overflow Trends, the organization plans to leverage more than 8,000 questions developers ask every day to track interest in programming languages and technologies overtime.
“Measuring developer interest based on Stack Overflow questions isn’t perfect: some technologies might inspire more questions than others. But we’ve found it’s a simple measure that gives useful insights into the developer ecosystem. It’s especially useful for measuring changes over time: when we see a rapid growth in the number of questions about a technology, it usually reflects a real change in what developers are using and learning,” David Robinson, data scientist at Stack Overflow, wrote in a post.
The solution looks at technologies and languages based on their tags since 2008, and it allows users to enter up to 15 tags to compare their growth and decline. The code behind the solution’s original R application is available on GitHub.
The trends also showed frontend web development was moving away from closed-source plugins, with Adobe Flash only making up .1% of Stack Overflow questions in 2016.
Other findings revealed the consistent growth of the R statistical programming language, and the use of the data analysis/manipulation library pandas for data science, and a fast surge of adoption in Apache Spark over the last few years.