13 June 2023

Stack Overflow Annual Developer Survey Finds 77% of Developers Favorable of AI Tools, but only 48% Trust the Accuracy of those Tools

More than 90,000 coders provide insights into the technologies and vendors they want to work with.

New York City– June 13, 2023Stack Overflow today announced the results of its 2023 Developer Survey. Celebrating its thirteenth year, this definitive state of software development received 90,000 responses across 185 countries. Stack Overflow has a long history and strong foundation of enabling technical innovation both in its global public community and within private organizations ranging from startups to global enterprises via Stack Overflow for Teams. Similar to the knowledge captured within the Stack Overflow platform, this annual survey remains an integral part of the developer community and a glimpse into all aspects of their workflow - including the technologies they want to use the most.

The survey continues to grow in size and focus - and one of the growing areas of interest in this year’s survey focused on a new technology section added around artificial intelligence, including AI Search tools and AI Developer tools, which Stack Overflow is investing in heavily.

“Part of innovation is exposure to how things could be done differently. Without that, there’s no learning; no experiencing alternative techniques, means no innovation. Previous surveys showed the learnings and impact of the rise of remote and hybrid work, we are now seeing those same respondents embrace opportunities to intentionally leverage generative AI and automation in their everyday work flows to increase their productivity and speed of learning in this next phase of technology evolution,” said Khalid El Khatib, Chief Marketing Officer at Stack Overflow. “In a smaller survey conducted in March 2023, we found that developers were equal parts curious and skeptical about AI. With our 2023 Developer Survey, fielded just a few months later, we see that perception is still holding - however it is clear that curiosity is starting to outweigh the skepticism. We at Stack Overflow believe that the developer community can play a crucial role in how AI accelerates, ultimately helping with the accuracy and quality coming out of GenAI offerings - and in that, further improving the modern tech landscape as we know it.”

Key findings in this year’s survey pertaining to the use of AI/Machine learning include:

  • The majority of respondents to the survey are professional full-stack developers, with 70% already using or planning to use AI tools in their development process.
  • 77% of respondents feel favorable towards using AI tools as part of their development workflow - but we do see some differences between groups. 33% of respondents said increasing productivity is the most important benefit of using AI tools as part of a development workflow, however, only 42% trust the accuracy of the output of AI tools used in their development workflow.
  • In terms of tools they are currently experimenting with, 83% of developers indicated they have worked with ChatGPT as an AI Search Tool, and GitHub Copilot was easily the most worked with AI Developer tool this year with 44% of respondents indicating they have worked with it and 78% indicating they want to work with it next year.
  • Professional developers from India, Brazil, and Poland are most likely to use or plan on using AI tools as part of their development workflow. UK, France, US, and German developers are more likely to say they don’t plan on using AI tools.
  • For professional developers, they see the biggest benefit of using AI tools as part of their workflow as increasing productivity (37.4%), with secondary benefits of greater efficiency (27.9%) and speeding up learning (27.4%). For developers learning to code, they see the biggest benefits of using AI tools as part of their workflow as speeding up learning (42.4%) and increasing productivity (41.5%), with a secondary benefit of greater efficiency (33.7%).

With more than 50 questions this year about 370 different technologies, the annual Developer Survey dived into a lot more than just AI as it polled the developer community. In terms of key takeaways from the larger tech landscape, we also learned about their favorite languages, databases, cloud platforms and more:

  • Developers from more than 185 countries participated with the top 10 responding countries being the United States, Germany, India, UK/Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Poland, Netherlands, Australia and Brazil.
  • Stack Overflow continues to be a must-visit resource with 92.5% of respondents visiting regularly.
  • AWS remains the most used cloud platform for all respondents. AWS handily makes it to the top spot at 52.7%, with almost double as many respondents who selected Azure – the second most used cloud platform. People learning to code are still using AWS (26%) the most but it is much more at parity amongst their top 3 cloud platforms (26% Google Cloud and 25% Firebase).
  • This year, Docker is the top used other tool amongst all respondents (53%) rising from its second place spot last year.
  • JavaScript’s streak continues, as for the eleventh year in a row, it is selected as the most commonly used programming language. Python has overtaken SQL as the #3 top language developers have worked with this year. Rust, GO, and Kotlin stand out as languages that more developers want to work with than have worked with. Python, Rust, Go, Powershell, Ruby, C++ and C all show an increase in percentage of users having worked with them in 2023 versus 2022.
  • In databases, PostgreSQL took over the first place spot from MySQL. Professional developers are more likely than those learning to code to use PostgreSQL (50%) and those learning are more likely to use MySQL (54%). MongoDB is used more by those learning to code than professional developers (33% vs. 26%) and it’s the second most popular database for those learning to code (behind MySQL).
  • The three most popular synchronous tools are universal for all respondents are Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom. Zoom was top of the list last year but is third place this year with 10% less people having worked with it in the past year. For those learning, Discord and Whatsapp are used more than any of the top three (70% and 45% respectively).

“For nearly 15 years, Stack Overflow has been a top destination for technologists to solve problems. The problems they were solving for in 2008 are not the ones they’re solving for in 2023. This survey is a reflection of the trust and validation our community gets by sharing insights with their peers,” said Prashanth Chandrasekar, Chief Executive Officer at Stack Overflow. “There is no doubt that generative AI will democratize coding and grow the developer community by several folds. The quality of the data feeding those systems is what will ultimately determine the success or failure of this groundbreaking technology. We are focused on ensuring our growing community has access to highly trusted knowledge as they solve key technology problems. The future of the modern tech landscape - will be about quality of data, trust in the accuracy of data, and the communities of experts and human beings curating that data. Stack Overflow will play a key role in the intersection of AI and Community.”

To read the full results from Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey, visit: https://survey.stackoverflow.co/2023/

About Stack Overflow

Across both its public and private platforms, Stack Overflow is empowering developer communities to discover the information, answers, and learning opportunities they need – when they need them. Millions of the world's developers and technologists visit Stack Overflow to ask questions, learn, and share technical knowledge, making it one of the most popular websites in the world. Stack Overflow’s market-leading knowledge sharing and collaboration platform, Stack Overflow for Teams, helps more than 15,000 organizations distribute knowledge, increase efficiency, and innovate faster. Founded in 2008, Stack Exchange, Inc., the owner of Stack Overflow, is headquartered in New York, NY. Stack Overflow is a registered trademark of Stack Exchange, Inc.