Those are just two takeaways from the company's new "2018 Developer Skills Report," which surveyed more than 39,000 developers around the world. HackerRank specializes in competitive coding challenges to help employers gauge talent and help the talent prove themselves and prepare for job interviews.
The company published survey results in a comprehensive, interactive report that lets users change parameters -- such as age groups of respondents -- to drill down into the data.
When asked what language they prefer, however, Python ruled among all age groups except for those 55 years or older, who narrowly prefer C.
Also, Python was No. 2 on the list of languages developers are planning to learn next (about 32 percent), behind only Go (about 38 percent).
"Python is known for its simplicity, readability, and vast possibilities of scientific libraries," the report noted. "It's also growing as part of introductory computer science courses."
Using its age-group differentiation, HackerRank offered some thoughts on generational differences among programmers about their preferred languages:
This is interesting, since many of the newer languages, including Go, embody learnings from older languages. One of Go's primary designers created C decades ago. There's an innate thirst for knowledge among younger developers. They are more likely to learn languages across the board -- even those that they dislike -- than older developers. The latter would choose their pursuit more selectively, based on their experience and what they think will stand the test of time.
Other data points from the report include:
- Node.js is the preferred dev framework (73 percent), followed by React (69 percent) and ExpressJS (56 percent).
- When measuring frameworks wanted by employers against frameworks known by developers, React had the biggest gap. "In other words, there's a big opportunity for developers to learn React as a marketable skill that companies need today."
- StackOverflow is the No. 1 tool for self-learners overall, but after that ubiquitous Q&A site, younger programmers prefer YouTube videos more than books, while older coders prefer books over videos.
- The top core competency sought by employers is problem-solving skills, with programming language proficiency coming in a distant second place.
- When gauging developer qualifications, executives most value portfolios, such as GitHub or other personal projects. Previous work experience was next, followed by years of experience.
- When hiring programmers, the biggest challenge was said to be assessing skills before an onsite visit, while resume screening was the No. 1 tool used for such assessments.
- On the other side of the coin, developers narrowly sought a good work-life balance over professional growth and learning opportunities in their job searches.
- The most important factor in contributing to that work-life balance was flexible working hours, followed by remote working and "focus on outcomes, not hours."
- VIM was by far the most popular code editor (67 percent), with Emacs coming in a distant second (14 percent) and newcomer Visual Studio Code registering with 4 percent of respondents.
Community discussion about the survey can be found on the Reddit social coding site.
The survey was conducted online, with respondents recruited among HackerRank's community by e-mail and via social media sites. The survey ran from Oct. 16 to Nov. 1, 2017.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.