Insights from Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023 about Ruby

Insights from Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023 about Ruby

Key takeaways about Ruby from the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Numbers (source):

  • All respondents: in 2023 Ruby has 6.23% while in 2022 had 6.05%. It also moved up a spot in 2023

  • Professional Developers: 2023 is at 6.94% while in 2022 was at 6.72%

  • Learn to code: in 2023 is at 2.55% while in 2022 was at 2.52%

What does this mean:

  • Ruby is growing in adoption, with a higher adoption rate for professionals than for beginners.

  • Our efforts to bring new people toward Ruby are working but at a slow pace. Here we need more power, more people and more money and energy to spread the idea to learn Ruby for people that are learning to code.

  • I started to see more new content created addressed to beginners in the last 3 months that might contribute toward the end of this year to more beginners discovering Ruby

Top paying technologies

Numbers (source):

Ruby is this year (2023) in 4th position from the top, with an average of $98.552, moving up from last year (2022) when it was in the fifth position with $93.000


What does this say:

  • Even if they were quite a few layoffs in the Ruby community, the remaining Ruby developers had (as a group) an increase in their compensation

  • Ruby is still among the top 10 top-paying technologies

To consider

  • This is a survey filled in by people that are using Stack Overflow.

  • This year's survey had more responses than last year's survey, 90.000 this year compared with 70.000 last year and so in some cases (like the growth of Ruby in the Most popular technology category) it means not only a percentage growth but also in absolute terms.

  • (subjective) Stack Overflow is not too friendly to Ruby beginners because there are a lot of old questions with answers not being updated to match the current knowledge, version, and capabilities of both Ruby and Rails in 2023.

What can we do?

First, when considering the Ruby community as a whole, I believe that there are likely more senior members than junior ones, with a ratio of at least 2:1 or greater. Although I don't have data to support this claim, my impression is based on the online presence of community members in social media, forums, and comments.

I think there are already projects in the community (both new and old) that are great and successful in addressing the needs of senior programmers. With more to be launched and I discover more and more every week while I curate content for Short Ruby Newsletter.

As others have pointed out in various discussions this year, we need to invest more effort in welcoming new people to the ecosystem. This means creating more content for beginners, more jobs and at-work learning experiences for beginners, and providing learning materials and books for those just starting. A broader range of perspectives and voices will help attract a larger audience.

In today's rapidly evolving online content, we should also try to find ways to encourage beginners to share their experiences and write tutorials to teach others. We should want to put Ruby on the beginner's radar and talk about why they should pick Ruby as a programming language and then provide learning support.

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