VB 6 Tops Stack Overflow's 'Most Dreaded' Programming Language List ... Again

Although Microsoft programming languages fared quite well in Stack Overflow's huge new developer survey, Visual Basic 6 was again named the "most dreaded" language -- just like last year, and the year before -- with VB.NET and VBA not far behind.

"Visual Basic" by itself was the most-dreaded language in the 2016 survey, so some form of VB has held that notorious position since the 2015 survey, when it was No. 2 behind most-dreaded Salesforce. Here's this year's top 10 most-dreaded languages:

Most Dreaded Languages
[Click on image for larger view.] Most Dreaded Languages (source: Stack Overflow).

Stack Overflow, which surveyed more than 100,000 developers in 183 countries, defines "most dreaded" by the "percent of developers who are developing with the language or technology but have not expressed interest in continuing to do so."

Overall, three Microsoft-backed programming languages -- TypeScript (No. 4), C# (No. 8) and F# (No. 9) -- cracked the Top 10 list of "most loved" languages, defined by the percent of developers who are using a technology and have expressed interest in continuing to develop with it:

Most Loved
[Click on image for larger view.] Most Loved (source: Stack Overflow).

Microsoft also dominated the most popular developer environments, with Visual Studio Code (34.9 percent) and Visual Studio (34.3 percent) taking the top two slots, followed closely by Notepad++. In last year's survey, VS Code placed no higher than fifth place among all segments -- Web developer, desktop, sysadmin/DevOps and data scientist/engineer.

This year, however, VS Code was No. 1 among Web developers and overall, while Android Studio beat it for No. 1 among mobile developers and Vim beat it among the sysadmin/DevOps crowd. Visual Studio proper was no lower than No. 4 across all segments.

"Visual Studio Code just edged out Visual Studio as the most popular developer environment tool across the board, but there are differences in tool choices by developer type and role," Stack Overflow said. "Developers who write code for mobile apps are more likely to choose Android Studio and XCode, the most popular choice by DevOps and sysadmins is Vim, and data scientists are more likely to work in IPython/Jupyter, PyCharm, and RStudio."

Among most-loved frameworks, libraries and tools, .NET Core placed fifth, reportedly loved by 66 percent of respondents. However, it was No. 8 on the most-dreaded list and No. 5 on the most-wanted list (percent of developers who are not developing with the language or technology but have expressed interest in developing with it).

Microsoft's cross-platform mobile tooling didn't fare so well, though, as Xamarin was the second-most-dreaded offering -- behind Cordova -- among frameworks, libraries and tools.

Among databases, Microsoft Azure (Tables, CosmosDB, SQL, etc.) was No. 5 and SQL Server No. 10 (Redis, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch and Amazon RDS/Aurora headed the list).

Windows was by far the most-listed primary OS among developers, followed by macOS, Linux and BSD/Unix, which only garnered 0.2 percent of the responses.

You can read much more about the new Stack Overflow survey, just published today (March 13), at our sister site, ADTmag.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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