Elixir Users' Survey 2015

A couple of months ago I posted a survey of Elixir users. Thanks to various people that helped by retweeting it and getting it out there, we had 405 responses to the survey, compared to 191 responses last year. A naive interpretation of this would be that the Elixir community has more than doubled in size in the past year. Based on my anecdotal experience, this actually seems like a low estimate of the increase. At any rate, thanks to everyone that filled it out.

NOTE: I'm continuing to produce Elixir screencasts, at http://dailydrip.com/topics/elixir. ElixirSips will continue to be updated with the same content, but there's a lot more over at DailyDrip.

I've finally finished compiling the results, and wanted to share them in this post. Let's get started:

How many months have you been using Elixir?

Just like last year, we see the majority in the 0-6 months range. This seems to reaffirm the growth in the community. Interestingly, more people reported having used Elixir for 18 months or longer than fit in the 12-18 months bucket.

What was your primary language before getting interested in Elixir?

Once again, this is ridiculously represented by Ruby, with all other answers coming in as noise. This surprises me a bit, to be honest.

How much do you anticipate using Elixir professionally in the next 12 months?

I've normalized this data a bit. Some of the more fun responses were things like "Our 18 year old company relies on it" and a few more like that, as well as someone using it for an academic big data project. Still, most people seem to be planning production elixir applications this year.

(For the record, I categorized responses that mentioned they didn't work into the 'prototype' bucket.)

What is your text editor preference?

These results mirror last year's almost perfectly. Vim wins, sublime text is next, and then emacs and atom fight a bit but emacs comes out on top. Interestingly, spacemacs gets its own bar this time and does just handily on its own - obviously this ought to count towards emacs, but I thought it interesting enough to leave it as is as it doesn't otherwise materially impact the rankings.

How would you rate your Elixir expertise?

These numbers mostly map to the "how long have you been using Elixir?" question, but not perfectly. At any rate, there are quite a few beginners out there, with a small number of advanced and a tiny expert contingent. This comes out as somewhat expected.

What are your thoughts on automated testing?

These numbers mirror last year's very well. Generally, Elixir folks tend to think well of tests. They either already test quite a bit, or admit they'd like to test more. This pleases me.

Have you contributed open source code in the past year?

82% of respondents have contributed to open source code in the past year. That's huge, and it can only help the language and its library ecosystem.

What is your employment status?

Elixir developers are primarily full-time employed, but 10% of respondents run some form of consulting company. This, too, can only be good news for the language, as consultancies are often the leading edge of where more mainstream usage is going to end up.

Which of these languages do you regularly use?

Ruby takes the lion's share here, followed closely by JavaScript. Python, Java, Erlang, and C# are the runners-up beyond that. I was happy to see a tiny OCaml contingent again this year as well.

Is Elixir your favorite programming language?

Last year, "It's Complicated" beat out yes. This year, there's a firm win for yes, but "It's Complicated" still comes pretty close. This chart's always interesting.

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Also, if you find yourself interested in Elixir, might I mention that I run a quite-nice (in my humble opinion) video screencast series, ElixirSips.