Trends from the Eclipse Community Survey 2011

We have just published the 2011 edition of our Open Source Developer Report, the results of our Eclipse Community Survey.  I always enjoy going through the results and discovering new trends that are happening in the Eclipse community.  Here are some trends that caught my attention in this year’s version.

1. Git/GitHub Continue Their Growth

The trend in source code management continues to show increase usage of Git/GitHub and Mercurial as the expense of Subversion.  Git/GitHub grew from 6.8% to 12.8% and Mercurial increased from 3% to 4.6%, while Subversion decreased from 58.3% to 51.3%.

I am a bit surprised the growth of Git/GitHub is not faster.  However, a recent survey of the different forges showed Java was the #6 language on GitHub.  I am not sure I really understand the reason but I have to believe as EGit gets better and Eclipse moves to Git, the growth will continue to accelerate.

2. JIRA must be one of the most successful commercial developer tools

Atlassian JIRA continues to grow in popularity with Eclipse users.   JIRA now has 24.7% adoption in the Eclipse community compared to 16.5% using Bugzilla.  Last year JIRA and Bugzilla were almost equally used.   What I find impressive is that JIRA is one of the few commercial developer products that shows up in the survey as being widely used.

3. Eclipse Modeling is indeed popular

Eclipse has a very successful and vibrant modeling community.  What wasn’t clear is how popular it was in the overall Eclipse community.  This year we asked who was using Eclipse modeling technology and over 30% said they were using it or investigating it.   This is really impressive and it clearly makes Eclipse modeling one of the most used technology portfolio’s at Eclipse.

4. Mobile development is happening today

 Mobile application development is definitely a hot trend in the industry.    However, I was a bit surprised that 60% have already developed or planned to develop a mobile application.  Android was the most popular mobile operating system (88.1%), followed by iOS (66.3%).  I did find it surprising the low adoption of cross-platform mobile JavaScript frameworks (8.5%).  I am a big believer the future of mobile applications is the web, so I’d expect to see future growth for frameworks like PhoneGap and Appcelerator.
5. Lots of interest in private clouds.

Cloud computing is also another hot trend.  It is not terribly surprising to see an increase in adoption of develoeprs using or planning to use cloud infrastructures.   What I did find surprising is the growth in private clouds.   Private clouds was the second most popular cloud infrastructure (23.1%), next to Amazon at (29.3%).  This is obviously good news for companies focused on selling private cloud infrastructure.

6. Stack Overflow is an important source of Eclipse information

I knew Stack Overflow was beoming ‘the’ place for developer Q&A.  What I didn’t know is that a large portion of Eclipse users, 41%, are  using Stack Overflow to get Eclipse information.   This is more than the Eclipse forums!    I need to start spending more time on Stack Overflow. If you are an Eclipse project committer and not looking at Stack Overflow, you might be missing out.

Those are some of the trends and highlights I see in the survey results.  I am certainly interested in what other people think.

Caveat Emptor: All surveys, including this one, are just one data point and by no means provide conclusive proof.  Like all surveys, this survey has a bias towards Java developers and Eclipse users.

13 thoughts on “Trends from the Eclipse Community Survey 2011

  1. Hi Ian. I downloaded the .ODS and I can’t find the question on Mobile Development (section 4), with the specifics on iOS and Android. I see JQuery in Question 22, but not that is in the area of RIA.

    Can you help me find it? Or was it somehow missed in the export to ODS?

    Thanks, – eduard/o

  2. I’m really confused as to why Eclipse doesn’t have better git support. CVS is old, outdated, and frankly should be forgotten a long time ago. SVN support I seem to recall being rather lapse in Eclipse.. Why isn’t SVN and GIT support built into Eclipse like CVS? I’ve heard multiple complaints that the Eclipse Git plugin is horrible, and most just revert to using command line for their git needs. Is better Git support a planned project objective?

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