How Stack Overflow unlocks the most anticipated technology insights


If you're a developer, odds are you've visited Stack Overflow at least once in your lifetime.

Scratch that, what am I saying... odds are you've probably visited it earlier today 😅

The much-beloved question and answer site gets 50+ million visitors every month.

People search for anything from How do I undo the most recent commits on Git? to Why does HTML think chucknorris is a color?

The parent company Stack Exchange, founded by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood in 2008, has been doing something amazing for the past ~10 years: creating a treasure trove of data in the form of annual surveys.

Stack Overflow's 2020 developer survey collected data from 65,000 participants. That's more than the whole population of Greenland.

You can see the breakdown of developer roles, the most loved (and dreaded) programming languages (any Rust fans here? 🦀), the popularity of web frameworks, top-paying technologies, and even what most people do when they get stuck on a problem (spoiler alert: visit Stack Overflow).

Once the survey is released, people can't post about this stuff fast enough, and for a good reason. The data is so insightful, you can't not read it.

It also has a FOMO factor to it: technology changes so fast, you gotta make sure you're on the right track. And with salary breakdown (US + global), it's a no-brainer to peek at who's making the real dough.

There are a few good lessons to learn here, but we'll focus on just one. ☝️

Your company is most likely an expert or leader on a particular subject or industry. Once you have a few customers or some data, you could do something similar (even if on a smaller scale).

Surveys or data analysis in your field is a good marketing strategy. And if you're able to do that every year, even better.

In the meantime, we're already waiting for 2021 developer results (go Rust!).

Action Steps:

  • What survey results or insights can you publish yearly where you have an advantage in the field?

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