Julia got in the "most loved languages" of the StackOverflow Survey

One of the thing which was keeping me hesitant in starting learning Julia few months ago was the fact that it was not mentioned in StackOverflow’s 2019 survey.
The situation changed a lot with this year’s survey.
That’s it, I just wanted to share the news.


Incidentally the “wanted” for Julia is 2.3%, that is only 2.3% of the people survey that are currently not developing in Julia have expressed interest in using it


I am always surprised to read things like this.

If I am even mildly interested in a language, I would just check out its website, maybe a simple tutorial, or look at its manual. An investment of approximately 10–20 minutes would allow me to decide if the language is worth evaluating further or is something I would never be interested in. Particularly for Julia, the following would catch my eye: focus on speed, multiple dispatch, parametric types, macros.

Then an extra few hours, or maybe a whole afternoon of trying out the language or just reading the manual would usually be enough to decide if I want to explore the language in depth, maybe program in it for a week or two.


Yay we are back on the most dreaded language list again.


Is the dreaded language the percentage of people who have tried Julia and don’t like it? I have a hard time believing Julia is prolific enough for people to be using it against their will, unlike some languages which have cornered their niche.

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To argue the other side, utility of the language may not be the only consideration, and inexperienced users may have a harder time testing out a new language quickly. Popularity makes learning, sharing, collaborating, marketing, and future-proofing easier. It also lets more experienced users help less experienced ones decide what languages are worth investing time into.

Your approach may very well be better, but I think this is a common rationale.

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For each Julia lover in this forums there probably a bunch of students that blame their failure/toiling on the teacher’s choice of demanding the final project of the course to be done in Julia and have this experience fresh in their mind.


Even in grad school, I knew a few “stack overflow programmers” (i.e., someone who programs by googling for StackOverflow questions similar to the problem they’re trying to solve, and then hack at the answers until it works for their particular problem).
I understand why they would dread Julia.


Possibly, but do you think that the “popularity” in surveys like this actually measures anything related to the above?

Eg consider C, about 33% “loved” and 67% “hated”. Yet it has plenty of learning material (probably more than most languages), is easy to collaborate in (as a lot of people know some C, and is quite easy to read with little investment), and is arguably as future-proof as a language can be (note that I skipped marketing; I don’t know much about it).


Good point, but C is old. We want the new hotness. :laughing:

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Anybody else noticed that Julia came out 9th top paid programming language globally?

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My hypothesis is that a significant amount of the people using Julia are tenured professors.


I would guess that a significant percentage of Julia users are in academia or research, and are not paid to program per se — it just happens to be necessary for their work. Julia, Matlab and R are possibly special in the sense that most of their users are not trained or employed as programmers.


No, from the site, it’s:

% of developers who are developing with the language or technology but have not expressed interest in continuing to do so

Seems really poorly worded to me, but :man_shrugging:


I think that “dreaded” is a poor label for it, my understanding is that it is basically 100% minus “loved” so I would just omit it as a redundant measure from the graphs.

Thinking about this a bit, I think a language can be “loved” if people who are thinking about not using the language any more leave really, really quickly. Then most of the current users will be people who are planning to stay.


I don’t necessarily disagree, but I think you’re not getting into the mind-space of someone relatively inexperienced at programming who doesn’t feel equipped to evaluate or compare langauges well (not implying this is the case with OP, I have no idea). For such people, things like general popularity and word of mouth recommendations from people they trust are essential.

Experts are wise to trust themselves; non-experts are wise to trust the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ or experts.


… and they usually choose the first.


“Dreaded” and “loved” are both stupid terms, given the way the survey instrument is worded. Also, depending on how the “in the future” question is worded, I might not include julia, because I’m currently using it. Especially if it comes after the “what are you using now?” It could be ambiguous :man_shrugging:


I would argue that even experts should pay close attention to popularity, and actually the Julia community should be well aware of this. One frequently reported strength of Julia is its community, and you cannot have a good community without a reasonable number of users (aka popularity). Another example is the Atom -> VS Code move of the Julia community, which as far as I understand happened mainly because Microsoft cut the funding for Atom, not because VS Code is a technically superior editor.


I don’t think this is true.

Open source communities need contributors (of some form — including reporting issues, etc), not “users”.

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