Developers building applications in 2021 have a wide variety of technologies from which to choose – from long standing to new.
According to the Stack Overflow 2021 Developer Survey, it's actually a newcomer – Svelte – that developers are rating as the most loved web framework. Created in 2016, the Svelte web framework has surpassed React.js, Django and Vue.js, among others, as the most loved framework.
Khalid El Khatib, senior vice president of marketing communications at Stack Overflow, called Svelte's top ranking one of the biggest surprises in the survey this year.
"[Svelte's] quick rise to the top is likely because it's easy to pick up, open source and has a compiler framework that is more efficient than its peers," El Khatib told ITPro Today.
Rust Holds onto Its Crown
While Svelte has become for the first time the most loved web framework, for the sixth straight year the open-source Rust programming language holds the crown as the most loved programming language.
Rust has had a particularly eventful 2021 so far, moving out from under Mozilla and getting its own governance under the newly formed Rust Foundation.
While what is the most loved language or technology is an interesting survey question to ask, another is what is the most wanted in terms of a skill that a developer wants to have or learn. While Rust is the most loved programming language, it is not the most wanted. That title goes to Python – for the fifth straight year, according to El Khatib.
"While not as new as Rust, Python is easy to learn and applicable across industries," he said. "It’s one of the most widely implemented languages, and programs tend to be clear and readable."
For those looking for the top paying technology, 2021 also marked a shift. The open-source Perl language, which was the highest paying language in 2020, dropped to fifth in 2021, with a median developer salary of $80,000. Topping the list for highest paying programming language is Clojure at $95,000.
Although Svelte is the most loved web framework, it is isn't the highest paying. Topping the list for best paying web framework in 2021 is Ruby on Rails at $77,556, with Svelte No. 2 with a median developer salary of $62,520.
Full-Time Developer Employment Not Recovering Post-COVID
One of the other surprising findings in the report was a decrease in the number of employed full-time professional developers in 2021 compared with 2020.
According to the report, 81% of professional developers in 2021 are employed full-time, a decrease from 83% in the 2020 report. That's because more developers are moving to freelance or contract work. The reported found that 11.2% of respondents indicated they are independent contractors, freelancers or self-employed, up from 9.5% in 2020.
El Khatib observed that the changes in employment could be influenced by industries impacted by COVID-19, though the survey indicated that people are job hunting with less urgency in 2021 and are more open to freelancing and consulting.