Programmers who use spaces ‘paid more’

Computer codeImage copyright maciek905
Image caption Code can be easier to read when it is properly indented

Computer programmers who use spaces as part of their coding earn $15,370 (£12,000) more per year than those who use tabs, a survey of developers has revealed.

The survey found the salary difference stretched across different languages, countries and experience levels.

The debate over whether it is better to use spaces or tabs to indent code has raged among programmers for years.

Indents act like paragraph markers and help define how programs work.

The result was “surprising,” said David Robinson, data scientist at Stack Overflow which carried out the survey of 12,400 developers.

‘Pepsi or Coke question’

He at first thought it was just a quirk of the survey rather than a real phenomenon and said he could not explain why the difference emerged.

He even encouraged others to go through the data themselves to see if they could find a factor he had missed.

“Spaces versus tabs is the Pepsi or Coke question for developers,” said Jordan Poulton, a spokesman for London’s Makers Academy that teaches people to code.

“It’s almost impossible to draw an objective conclusion about which is the best,” he said.

Mr Poulton said there were some computer languages, such as Python, in which indenting was essential but in others, such as Ruby, it only helped to make it easier to work out the structure of the code.

Whether tabs or spaces were used could have an impact, he said, when hand-written code was turned into working software. This process is handled by a separate program called an interpreter or compiler. Some of these can crash if they encounter something, such as a tab, when they were only expecting spaces.

View the original article:

Professional developers typically set up their coding editor to use either tabs or spaces to show the relationships between functional elements, he said. Code can get harder to read if viewed in an editor expecting tabs and getting spaces or vice versa.

In the same category are

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg drops controversial stock plan Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to retain control of the company but sell his shares Facebook chief ...
UK’s credit rating downgraded by Moody’s Image copyright Reuters The UK's credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK's public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country's...
Russia: Trump and Kim are like ‘children in a kindergarten’ Image copyright EPA Image caption Mr Lavrov said the exchanges were "like when children in a kindergarten start fighting". Russia's foreign minist...
Two million couples missing out on tax break, says HMRC Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).The tax allo...
UK chip designer Imagination bought by Chinese firm Image copyright Reuters Image caption Apple uses Imagination's technology in its iPhones UK technology firm Imagination, which designs graphics ch...
Puerto Rico dam bursts in wake of Hurricane Maria A dam has failed and caused "extremely dangerous" flooding on Puerto Rico's Guajataca river in the wake of Hurricane Maria, authorities say. The Nat...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….


If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles


Comment on this story