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DZone Research: Our Readers and Open Source

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DZone Research: Our Readers and Open Source

DZone recently put out a survey to see what our audience thinks of open-source software. Here's what you had to say about the OSS ecosystem.

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Recently, we here at DZone put out an exploratory survey to learn more about what our readers think about OSS. As the official launch date of our Open Source Zone draws ever closer, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the data and insights you all provided us with. (For the curious, we received 887 complete responses and 346 partial responses to our survey.)

With that in mind, we're going to start off with some basics — the general interest in and use of open-source software.

The Relationship With OSS

Unsurprisingly, our readers love open-source software (for the most part). I say "unsurprisingly" because, after all, DZone.com started our existence as Javalobby, and according to our survey results, more than 75% of respondents say they use Java in their current projects.

But before we dive into specific open-source projects or platforms, let's start with the basics. We asked, "How would you describe your relationship with open source software?"

The results were telling.

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Overwhelmingly, our readers expressed an interest in working on OSS projects. In fact, most of you (65.7 percent) have already done so and want to do it again in the future. And of those who haven't worked on OSS projects before, 27.5 percent said you were interested in doing so at some point in the future. That's a staggering 93.2 percent of respondents saying they want to take part in the OSS ecosystem.

But what will those projects be? Well, mostly hobbyist work and personal projects, according to you fine people, as well as a desire to participate in open-source communities.

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We'll visit the specific OSS uses and challenges developers encounter in a future post, but suffice to say that there's still some skepticism of open source in enterprise environments. With that in mind, that seems to have somewhat crumbled away in recent years, and as you can see, open-source-related projects in companies make up the second-most popular reason behind OSS.

But here is, perhaps, the most burning, divisive question of our age: Is open-source software important to your organization? (Emphasized for importance.)

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Oh.

Well... the present is one thing, but the future is another entirely. OSS might be relevant now, but we also asked our readers if they felt it was going to be important to their organizations in times to come. Their response?

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Well... it's an exciting time to be involved in open source, it seems!

What's Popular?

We also wanted to know what sorts of open-source software and platforms our readers are using. Obviously, there are literally hundreds of possibilities out there, but we had to cut it off at some point. All that considered, the frontrunners were Java, Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Node.js.

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Obviously, the write-ins picked up where we left off, mentioning popular platforms and languages like R, Postgres, C++, MariaDB, and Docker.

In that same vein, we wanted to know what problems developers look to open source to solve. We asked, "What categories of open-source software do you use?"

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As you can see, the big winners were language libraries, CD tooling, databases, middleware, general dev tools (such as compilers), testing tools, and containers. That's a pretty varied field, but it's looking like (aside from languages and general programming tools) DevOps has been the biggest beneficiary of OSS in recent times.

The Influence of Open Source

And finally, for this article, we also wanted to know how important open-source software is to the wider development ecosystem. To that end, we asked, "What are the most influential open-source projects?"

And here's what our audience said:

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Obviously, Java was the leader in that bunch while Apache's massive suite of OSS was ranked second. Nothing else broke 50% in the running, but as you can see, Spring and Python came the closest, and even then, Spring is used for enterprise Java work — so Java's influence is still prevalent. It's clear that, at least among our audience, Java's impact on the larger dev ecosystem is without compare. Of course, with Java still as popular as it is according to the various indexes out there that rank programming languages, that's probably to be expected.

Conclusion

So, with that in mind, we'll wrap up this introduction to what we've learned about OSS from our audience! But there's still plenty of data to look through and share, particularly about the specific uses and challenges of working with OSS as well as how our readers want to learn about working with open source.

Stay tuned to see what else you all had to say!

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Topics:
open source ,java ,open source ecosystem ,oss

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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