AppsScriptPulse

Trend of the google-apps-script tag on Stack Overflow for 2021. Apps Script usage in decline?

Stack Overflow is a question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers. It is the flagship site of the Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It features questions and answers on a wide range of topics in computer programming.

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Kanshi Tanaike has recently published the 4th annual Stack Overflow trend report for the Google Apps Script question tag. The full report, including how the data is collected, is published here and there is some further discussion on the Google Apps Script Google Group community.

From the headline data it is interesting to see the total number of Google Apps Script questions posted on Stack Overflow has declined following previous years of continued growth. It’s important to remember that this decline is unlikely to directly correlated with general App Script usage. Factors that might be influencing the number of questions asked include like better developer documentation, larger corpus of existing Stack Overflow answers, growing number of other community resources and spaces.

Fig. 1. Year vs. Total questions, answered, solved and closed questions. These all questions include the tag of “google-apps-script” in the tags. Image credit: Kanshi Tanaike

Another consideration is Google Apps Script is increasingly positioned as a platform for citizen developers and low coders. This community may be more hesitant to ask questions on a site that has a reputation as being for ‘professional programmers’. My conclusion is the annual Stack Overflow report for Google Apps Script is always very useful to see, particularly in terms of see if there are enough people answering questions.

Finally, as a little easter egg here is a Google Sheet I’ve created which includes a little Apps Script to fetch my own Stack Overflow annual report data. Copy and open the script editor to add a monthly trigger to get the data. Next year I’m planning to look at changes in post viewcount :)

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