Open Source, not AI, ranks highest for ‘trustworthiness’ amongst developers and technologists

A new survey from Stack Overflow reveals developer and technologist’s sentiment towards some of the most talked about technologies, such as Cloud, Blockchain, AI and Quantum Computing.

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Over 2,000 developers and technologists scored 21 different technologies in terms of how ‘proven’ and ‘trusted’ they perceive each technology to be, and also in terms of its ‘Positive Impact’ on the world. The technologies were then ranked and mapped against each other to determine the utility, impact and future potential of each technology, and to identify which are just stuck in a hype cycle.

Despite the media attention it’s receiving, AI-assisted technologies ranked just 11th out of 21 technologies for ‘most proven’, and 10th out of 21 for ‘positive impact’. Interestingly, Open Source ranked highest amongst developers and technologists, coming in at 1st for both ‘most proven’ and ‘positive impact’.

However, AI-assisted technology ranked by far the highest when developers were asked which technology is going to be the next one everyone will use. In fact, 33% said AI-assisted technology, whereas 10% said machine learning and 8% said cloud.

Cloud computing also came out favourably amongst technologists and developers, ranking 2nd for ‘most proven’, and 4th for ‘positive impact’.

The lowest performing technology was Low-Code / No-Code, which ranked 19th for ‘most proven’ and last for ‘positive impact’. However, Blockchain also performed poorly in the eyes of developers, ranking 17th for ‘most proven’ and last for ‘positive impact’.

Interestingly, Quantum Computing ranked last for ‘most proven’, but 11th for ‘positive impact’, and nano-technology ranked second-to-last for ‘most proven’ but 9th for ‘positive impact’.

Robotics were also perceived positively by developers, and were ranked 4th for ‘most proven’ and 6th for ‘positive impact’, and 3D Printing was ranked 6th for ‘most proven’ and 6th for ‘positive impact’.

A full list of the results can be found below, and on the Stack Overflow website, here.

Joy Cicman Liuzzo, VP of Product Marketing for Stack Overflow, commented:

“Whilst there has been a lot of buzz around AI, a lot of that attention has focused on the technology in a silo, with no reference to how it’s viewed in context to other technologies. And clearly, it doesn’t rank as highly as many might anticipate.

“This could be because developers are both curious and skeptical by nature, and it takes a lot to prove to them that something is interesting.

“However, AI-assisted tech did rank highest for future potential, suggesting that, whilst maybe not quite there yet, AI-assisted is going to be an extremely powerful resource for getting things done quickly. This is already being showcased by features such as autocomplete in your code-editor.

“Interestingly, respondents found Open source software is the overall choice for most positive and most proven scores in sentiment compared to the collective set of technologies we polled our users about. In addition to being the foundation for most modern software today, open source is fueled by a culture of collaboration, sharing and learning - which likely contributed to this halo effect in responses from the developer community and technologists alike.”

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