Although the community survey is performed regularly to track the current preferences of our users, we have not shared the results of a community survey since 2016. With Vaadin celebrating its 20th birthday this year, we thought it was long overdue that we share the opinions of our users that have brought us this far.
In the Vaadin Community Survey 2019 and User Survey 2020, we asked our community members a series of questions to help us better understand three W’s: Who you are, What you do, and Why Vaadin? We use this information to improve our services.
We’re always on the lookout for improvement ideas, feedback and up-to-date information on trends and technology stacks.
The questions in the survey included topics like your preferred Java version, favourite IDE and what you would like to see added next to the Vaadin component set. Click here to see the full list of questions and answers from last year, or read highlights of this year's results below. At the end of the post we include what we’re doing to give back to the community in return.
A big Thank You to the 539 users who took the time to participate in the survey!
User survey 2020 highlights
What is your primary role?
Vaadin’s primary goal is to enable backend developers to be more productive and there were no surprises here: the most popular answer was full-stack developer (43.1%) followed by back-end developer coming in at just over a quarter. While our primary audience is developers, project managers (2.8 %), product owners (1.8 %), designers (0.9 %) and various other roles also have seats at the table and contribute to successful product development with Vaadin.
How did you first hear about Vaadin?
The top 3 answers were:
- ‘My team started using / was already using Vaadin’ (28.4%).
- ‘Online through a search engine’ (24.3%).
- ‘A friend or colleague recommended it’ (22.6%).
Other answers included ‘Through a blog or website’ (7.2%) and ‘Online through a video’ (2.2%). It seems news about Vaadin travels mostly by word of mouth or by Google.
What are the problems you expect or expected to solve with Vaadin?
The winners in this category were Java-first development (20.5%) and fast development (18.8%), with ease of development (10.1%) also making up a significant portion. However, the other (21.2 %) and none (12.3%) responses indicate that not everyone tries Vaadin with a particular problem in mind.
This was phrased as an open-ended question and we standardized the answers.
What doubts or hesitations did you have before choosing Vaadin as a technology?
We were happy to see 19,6% of respondents indicating that they have no doubts or hesitations about Vaadin. Of those who mentioned issues, the Vaadin learning curve (8.5%) was highest, followed almost equally by the popularity (5.0%) and capabilities (5.9 %) of the framework (5.0 %), and the Java programming language (5.5 %) itself.
The largest common piece of the pie was the other (21.6%) response which is largely out of our hands.
This was also phrased as an open-ended question and we standardized the answers.
When seeking guidance about how to build web apps in Java, what resources or forums do you usually refer to?
Searching Google for answers is neck and neck with the vaadin.com documentation with each at around 13%, but Stack Overflow was the clear winner with almost half of the respondents using this forum as their primary resource.
Baeldung was mentioned by just over 8% of respondents and Medium popped up with a 2% share of the replies.
What we do with the survey information
We want to support all our users and it is our mission to provide a great user experience. These surveys help us to ensure that we are catering to your needs.
While over 500 users participated in the survey, they only represent a fraction of the Vaadin community.
Here are some highlights of what we’re currently working on:
We’ve added more content on the Vaadin Learning Center (like tutorials about the different stages of application development) to make learning the framework easier and to provide examples of what can be done with it.
Vaadin guides for business owners
Details about the different features, use cases and business benefits of Vaadin are included in the new Fact Sheet series that you can download “in black and white”.
Comparison papers between Vaadin and other UI frameworks will be released shortly. The content is meant to aid the decision-making process for both developers and managers who are considering Vaadin for their company.
We’re also updating our FAQ page to include answers to more current concerns.
We’re hosting more content online, such as webinars and hangout streams, to keep the conversation flowing during the ongoing global pandemic. This includes the annual Vaadin DevDay event that will be held online this year!
We’re also actively participating in discussions on developer forums, such as Stack Overflow and our own community forum.
We always welcome feedback
What would you like to see more of? Do you think we’re missing something completely? Please let us know by commenting below!
Thank you Matti Tahvonen and Ömer Tümer for performing the research!