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Open Source Survey Shows Python Love, Security Pain Points

ActiveState published results of a survey conducted to examine challenges faced by developers who work with open source runtimes, revealing love for Python and security pain points.

The company, which specializes in providing development tools based on open source languages, garnered 1,407 responses from 92 countries and presented them in its new Developer Open Source Runtime Pains Survey. Methodology details weren't provided.

Python, a hot language in the open source development world boosted by its analytics and data science utility, figured prominently in survey.

For example, the survey asked respondents to rate their level of satisfaction with all of the languages they used, and Python came out on top. "Python achieved the greatest number of respondents, 68 percent, with a satisfaction level as very satisfied or greater."

Judged on those criteria, Google's Go language was No. 2, and actually edged Python in the "extremely satisfied" ranking, 36 percent to 34 percent.

"Go was a close second with 61 percent of respondents ranking satisfaction level of very satisfied or greater," the survey said.

Addressing the other end of the satisfaction spectrum, the survey said, "Conversely, Objective C had the fewest number of respondents, only 26 percent, with a satisfaction level of very satisfied or greater. Note Elm had only 27 percent of respondents with a satisfaction level of very satisfied or greater."

ActiveState
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Pain Points (source: ActiveState)

As far as the greatest pain points, security was predictably at the top, reinforcing past findings that were revealed in articles such as:

In the new survey, ActiveState said, "The two items that caused the most pain points and challenges for respondents were security and stability, 50 percent and 47 percent respectively, experienced some or a lot of problems with these. Security was defined as being up-to-date with the latest or most secure version of packages used. And stability was defined as building new releases that behave the same as old releases. Finding packages or modules for an open source language distribution, had only 22 percent of respondents experiencing some or a lot of problems."

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly half of respondents -- 44 percent -- reported they only spend two to four hours a day programming
  • 74 percent said they spend most or part of their time each week managing dependencies and development tools
  • 56 percent of respondents found adopting a new language to be difficult
  • 67 percent said they'd opted out of implementing new tools because the pain of adding a new programming language outweighed the advantages
  • Linux and Windows had similar usage rates when programming projects, with Linux being used by 80 percent of respondents and Windows being used by 77 percent of respondents.

"The survey results set the baseline for understanding the challenges faced by coders (developers, engineers, data scientists, Q&A, etc.) when working with open source runtimes," the company said. "And the resulting survey data is an invaluable tool to measure and track progress towards solving open source runtime pains that developers are experiencing."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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