Main image of article Developers Prepping for Artificial Intelligence in 2018
What are the most popular programming languages among developers? According to a new survey from DigitalOcean (PDF), PHP remains on top (with 27 percent of 2,500 respondents indicating it was their language of choice), followed by Python (24 percent), JavaScript (15 percent), and Java (8 percent). That dovetails neatly with other rankings such as the TIOBE Index, where languages such as Java, C, C++, and Python continue to dominate. DigitalOcean’s results are no surprise, given the multitude of systems that rely on these languages; if you build for the web and mobile, for example, chances are excellent that you’re interacting with PHP and Python on a regular basis. DigitalOcean’s survey also positions Microsoft in a poor spot: some 39 percent of developers reported using macOS as their desktop operating system of choice, while 32 percent cited Linux; Windows brought up the rear with 29 percent. With regard to server OS, developers preferred Linux (89 percent) far more than Windows (8 percent), macOS (2 percent) and BSD (1 percent). But enough about the present: as 2017 comes to a close, developers are trying to determine what lies ahead. The technology industry as a whole has embraced artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning, and 73 percent of those surveyed by DigitalOcean are interested in learning about those platforms. That’s despite a minority (17 percent) having worked with A.I. or machine-learning technologies in 2017. Some 28 percent of respondents said that A.I. and machine learning were the technologies they were most “rooting for” in 2018, just behind open source (at 33 percent) and ahead of the Internet of Things (at 15 percent) and blockchain (11 percent). Despite all the hype attributed to it, virtual reality only earned 4 percent, the same as drones and robotics. If tech pros are truly interested in adopting A.I.-related skills, it could help A.I. platforms move beyond hype into widespread implementation. Even if companies publicly embrace a technology, executives’ enthusiasm can quickly cool if there aren’t enough seasoned professionals to actually deliver on the shiny new thing’s promise. Having more A.I. experts on the street could also give more companies an advantage in the “arms race” that may accelerate around artificial intelligence over the next few years.