Whatever happened to Operator Billing?

In 2003 Europe’s mobile operators launched Simpay, promising to let us buy flowers and concert tickets across Europe, with the price added to our mobile phone bill. By 2005 that had morphed into PayForIt, for UK operators only but with similar aspirations, and a similar lack of success. A decade later, mobile network operators are still being cut out of the payment loop, but not for lack of trying.

Operator billing should be the perfect m-commerce platform: Mobile operators store prepaid credit for 77% of their customers, according to the GSMA, and have credit agreements with the other 23%. They have experience dealing with critical systems, and real-time credit checking systems built to take huge loading, so they should be the obvious winners in the m-commerce business. As then-CEO of Vodafone Arun Sarintold the FT in 2007:

“The simple fact that we have the customer and billing relationship is a hugely powerful thing that nobody can take away from us … Whoever comes into the marketplace is going to have to work through us.”

Only they didn’t, and they don’t, and these days operator billing is a minority pastime everywhere – except Africa and the Middle East.


Mobile operators in Africa

The data comes from the VisionMobile Developer Economics survey, which reached more than 11,000 mobile developers at the start of 2016. Almost 2,000 of those developers are involved in m-commerce, but only 16% of those have integrated operator billing into their applications.

In Europe, where operators have perhaps tried the hardest to become the wallet of the future, that number drops to 12%, and in North America only 8% of m-commerce developers have bothered to work with the operator to handle billing. In 2010 Verizon launched its own payment service, based on the BilltoMobile platform, but BilltoMobile has been losing money ever since, and in May this year was purchased by UK payment processor Bango.

The argument against operator billing has always been that of interoperability – developers integrating with one mobile operator’s billing system would have to port their code to support another. That was the problem that Simpay, and PayforIt, were designed to solve, and they are far from alone in solving that.

The GSMA’a OneAPI started out as platform for interfacing with SMS Centres and network call management, but quickly focused into a cross-operator billing system to attract operators who proved reluctant to spend money implementing the whole standard. Even GSMA’s decision to host a OneAPI proxy (making it much easier for operators to integrate) wasn’t enough for the operators, and the standard now languishes as a vertical API within a handful of network operators.

In May 2016 yet another attempt was made, with nine of the largest mobile operators joining up to endorse the “Open API” from the TM Forum (an industry body with a decent history of setting architectural standards in infrastructure). This latest set of APIs covers a very wide remit, but includes much that the OneAPI set out to achieve including the resolution of billing events.

Other cross-operator alternatives, such as Telefónica’s BlueVia, have achieved some level of success, but it is probably too late for mobile operators to become the default billing platform they imagined that they would be. Only in the Middle East and Africa is mobile operator billing being used by a significant proportion of m-commerce developers; everywhere else that role is being filled by other players.

Just as Apple and Google provided operator-independent app stores, those companies provide the perfect alternative for developers looking to collect money. Billing through the app store itself, or via the electronic wallets run by Apple and Google, is increasingly popular – and both companies have extended the functionality in recent months.

Credit cards also remain popular. Most credit card processing is done via third-party companies, such as Braintree and Stripe, who compete to provide the best APIs and value-added services. Meanwhile various banking consortia are jumping into the frame, and Visa and MasterCard are funding various competitions intended to raise the profile of their own developer programs, and demonstrate their utility beyond basic transaction processing.

With such strong competition in place the opportunity for operators to step in and take the market is long gone, and developers won’t be easily wooed away from third-party providers. With a coordinated approach the operators certainly could have grabbed the market, but arrogance, lethargy – and the fear of creating an illegal cartel – prevented that future from happening.

The world of mobile commerce is evolving fast, and is only going to become more important as it grows and changes so rapidly, but mobile network operators will struggle to be more than a big player in it.

If you’d like to know more about which m-commerce platforms are gaining ground, or what developers are looking for in an m-commerce platform, then take a look at The evolving state of mobile commerce, a report published by VisionMobile in collaboration with Braintree.


If there were 100 Developers in the world

Have you ever asked yourselves what would it be like if there were only 100 developers in the world? Well even if you haven’t, we are sure we have just made you think about it.
Based on our Developer Economics survey that reaches 30,000+ devs per year, across mobile, IoT, cloud, desktop, AR/VR, machine learning , we designed a very interesting Infographic illustrating this scenario.

  • How many men and women would this world include ?
  • Which continent would be the most populated ?
  • How many would be Pros and how many Hobbyists ?
  • How experienced are developers  in this world?
  • What is the most popular coding language?

If there were just 100 developers in the world, then:




How many IDEs does it take to create a programmer?

Integrated Development Environments have evolved to solve every problem a developer can have, but in recent years we’ve seen a scaling back of capabilities as developers embrace more-basic options. At VisionMobile our latest developer survey is (amongst other things) trying to find out why, though we do have some ideas on the subject.

Integrated Development Environments

When I first programmed a computer I was lambasted, and very nearly ejected from the school computer club, for not having written my program out on paper before arrival. Computer time was too precious to spend composing lines of code. Minutes at the keyboard should be spent entering pre-written programs; not making them up as one went along.

Needless to say that was a very long time ago. These days program composition is done using a screen (or several) with working code being thrown together in what looks suspiciously like a process of trial-and-error. The modern Integrated Development Environments won’t let a compiler crash for want of a missing semicolon, or the use of the Queen’s English (“colour”? Really? ).

A modern IDE will spot variables using the wrong case, and APIs which haven’t been imported, reducing the development time and making life easier for the developer – but, if modern IDEs are so great, why do so many developers choose not to use them?

Vi, Emacs, Notepad++, and Sublime, all make regular appearances in developer toolkits, despite the existence of fully-featured alternatives. You might be a savant mnemonic who’s only outlets are Street Fighter II and programming in Vi, but for most humans a menu structure and “compile” button are essentials.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio is still the standard by which others are measured, though at $499 it’s not the cheapest option which may put some people off. Eclipse provides almost as much utility for a lot less money (none at all), and Visual Studio Code (Microsoft’s free code editor) is now at version 1, and also free. A licence for Sublime Text, on the other hand, will cost you $70 – so the choice is not really about money.

We know that developers increasingly work across platforms, languages, and sectors, and this may provide an answer. Visual Studio can do it all, creating applications for mobile devices, embedded technology, and cloudy servers, but so can Notepad++, and with less effort, and better support.

Take the support site for the Adafruit Trinket (a $7 prototyping board), which provides a step-by-step guide to creating applications using the Arduino IDE, so when I want to program a Trinket then that’s what I use. I’m sure that I could use Visual Studio, and it would be pretty and probably reduce my development time, but it would take effort to get it configured and I don’t spend enough time programming the Trinket to make it worthwhile.

Similarly – if I’m knocking out some Python I’ll boot up IDLE, and when I need a bit of HTML I’ll use Notepad++. These are not the best tools available, but they are the default tools and will work with every library, plugin, and extension available. If I programmed Python every day then I’d find a better tool (or perhaps a better job), but I’m too lazy to muck about getting a proper IDE configured and will make do with what’s available.

Thanks to a development career I’ve no time for debuggers or unit testing (testing is what users are for) which makes these bare-bones tools ideal for me, but what we at VisionMobile would like to know is why you choose one IDE over another, and how many you’re using on a daily basis.

Which Integrated Development Environments are you using?

When you complete our 11th Developer Economics survey you won’t just be asked which IDE you like to use, but also what you use it for, and why you like to use it. We’ll break down the data, and share information on who is using what, and why.

We’re not just collecting data on how developers create software. We’re collecting data on how developers would like to create software, and what stands in their way. If you have 12 minutes to spare then do join us in finding out.


Every year software developers get less experienced

That might sound odd, but it’s one of many conclusions drawn from our biannual study, and presented on developer experience in our (free) State of the Developer Nation report.

The report draws on data from the world’s-biggest survey of those working in software. During the latest wave we reached more than 21,000 developers, and found that they have less experience than they did a year ago.

Developer Experience across all areas

Not individually of course. There’s no memory loss involved here. What happens is that the developer community is growing, and new programmers inevitably bring down the average level of experience. This has serious implications for the future of the industry.

If we take mobile developers, who are typical, we can see that right now 40% of them have been developing software for more than six years, but a year ago that proportion was 43%. At the other end of the spectrum we have 17% of developers with less than a year under their belt, up from 14% this time last year.

Building Developer Experience

That pattern is repeated across all sectors, even IoT (which is so nascent it often bucks the trends). While a good proportion of developers have built up their skills over time, we are going to have to adjust to a world where more software is being created by developers with less hands-on experience, and understand the implications of that trend.

One of those implication is a shift in the popularity of certain programming languages over their more-traditional brethren. This time we’re focusing in on the last six months, but if we again look at mobile developers we can see them embracing scripting languages, at the cost of Java and the various forms of C. Objective C takes the biggest hit, assaulted by Apple’s new wonderkid Swift on one side, and the (JavaScript powered) cross-platform toolkits on the other. Objective C is dropping fast, while C/C++ has a gentle decline and C# is just about holding its mindshare (thanks to Xamarin, which compiles C# to Android and is now a Microsoft property).

On the cloud the trend is less pronounced, but still evident. Java is growing, but so are all the other languages. PHP… C#… Python… in fact all the top languages have gained mindshare as cloud developers become increasingly polyglot while giving up on some of the niche dialects.

Developer Experience: the rise of high level languages

One area on the rise, across all the sectors, is the use of visual tools for software development. These drag-‘n-drop environments are often looked down upon by “proper” programmers, who respect the digital hierarchy (where Assembler is king, dialects of C make up the court, Java is left outside the room, and scripting languages aren’t permitted into the palace). These visual tools are still only used by a minority (25% of mobile developers, 19% of cloud) and fewer still rely on them as a primary tool (5% across mobile and cloud) but that proportion is growing steadily, and relentlessly.

The fact is that there aren’t enough low-level programmers to go around, and most applications don’t need them. Visual tools, and scripting languages, are good enough for the vast majority of applications in any sector. That applies across consumer and enterprise markets, as users of all kinds start creating apps with a few clicks. However, there is a question about how long can we consider those users to be software developers, and the tools they use to be designed for software development.

“If This Then That” ( is a marvellous tool, enabling anyone to create “recipes” where an event (“this”) triggers an action (“that”). An incoming email can trigger the (Philips Hue) lights to flash red three times, making the owner feel like Batman while simultaneously aggravating his whole family.

IFTTT users can chain recipes together, creating actions that seed multiple events, loop back on themselves, and even branch based on inputs. At some point we have to accept that the IFTTT user has become a software developer, or that IFTTT shows us what the future of software development might look like.

Not all applications will be written that way of course. Lower-level languages will still be needed to plumb the functionality together, but there will come a time when the vast majority of applications will be created by developers with no software development experience at all.

Developer Experience trends

That day is a long way off, but with every year it gets a little closer and our data shows that process is in action. You can see more by downloading our State of the Developer Nation report, or talking to us about custom reports looking at the developer community, while there still is one.

Business Community

Cloud & Desktop Developer Landscape

How is cloud and desktop developers landscape evolving? We’ve prepared an infographic with some key insights that can help you better understand the cloud and desktop development, based on our recent report focusing on the topic. Here are some of the key insights:

  • 49% of developers are working professionally across both cloud and desktop
  • 41% of desktop developers are creating applications which never leave the browser
  • 54% of cloud developers who use advertising are making less than $500/month

Check out the Cloud and Desktop Developers infographic for more insights:


Want more insights?

Find out how you can access the full report.


Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Facebook started 2016 with the bold claim that it intends to eradicate phone numbers and replace web browsing, but the Social Network has a mountain to climb before Facebook Messenger becomes the centre of our online world.


That’s the stated intention of the Zuckerberg empire – to replace all our myriad internet communication systems with one interface.

Facebook claims that its Messenger app has been installed 800 million times, but at VisionMobile our latest research shows that those installations are very much concentrated into the lower end of the market.

If Facebook is going to recruit the shops, taxi companies and airlines it needs to make Messenger a one-stop internet shop it will need to get the app installed across the demographics before Microsoft (with Skype) steps in to take the cream.

[tweetable]Facebook has long known that the days of pokes and personal walls are fast disappearing[/tweetable], and has quite a history in struggling to adapt to whatever the future might bring. Facebook Gifts/Credits/Deals/Questions/Beacon haven’t lit up the future, so now the company is betting on messaging, and value-added messaging platforms.

Such platforms are proliferating in business. The bots that proliferate across Slack and Yahoo Messenger have turned those platforms into much more than messaging, but taking that functionality into the consumer sphere is much harder.

The medium is the Messenger

With that in mind, Facebook Messenger was forked from the main Facebook mobile app back in 2011, but messaging remained possible in the main app until 2014. These days, the Facebook app will notify you that a message has been received, but if you want to read that message then you’ll have to download and install Facebook’s new Trojan Horse.

That analogy isn’t perfect: the horse of Troy was disguised while Facebook has made no secret of its plan to migrate key internet functionality into the Messaging client. If Facebook can’t own the interface to your phone (it tried that), then it will own the interface to the internet, which the company believes will be Facebook Messenger.

The inspiration behind this idea isn’t hard to see. In China, where Facebook/Google/Twitter fears to tread, the competitive market created in their absence has driven huge innovation as companies strive to differentiate themselves with new features and functionality. Every month, 600 million Chinese are using Weixen, Tencent’s WeChat client, to book taxis, check into flights, play games, buy cinema tickets, make doctors’ appointments, and even manage bank accounts, all without touching the web browser.

[tweetable]In China, messaging has become the platform of choice for accessing a wide variety of services[/tweetable], and Facebook plans to replicate that model in the rest of the world – with it owning the messaging platform, obviously.

This process has already started with Facebook integrating Uber into its messaging platform. It’s worth noting that Uber isn’t integrated into the Facebook website, or the mobile client, but into the Facebook Messenger app.


And Uber is just the beginning. As David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, makes abundantly clear: “We can help you interact with businesses or services to buy items (and then buy more again), order rides, purchase airline tickets, and talk to customer service in truly frictionless and delightful ways” – and that’s before Facebook becomes your personal assistant, Facebook M.

“Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations to suggest ways it can make your life more, as they say in such circles, “delightful.”

The Facebook wall will be supplanted by the Custom Conversation, providing a personalised interface (colour, style, emojis) for every chat thread. The visual equivalent of a ring-back tone, customised for every caller, will enable you to decide how both sides of the conversation see their interface, unless the other side has other ideas.

Walled garden of Zuck

In Facebook’s brave new world, everything is done through Facebook Messenger, and Facebook takes control of the delivery channel, removing that irritating “Open in Web Browser” which takes so much control away from the Social Network.

But that brave new world is predicated on the idea that people will install Facebook Messenger, rather than relying on the website, and email notifications, to stay in touch. Our research, in partnership with Celltick, looked at the top 10 applications installed on different handsets, and shows that while many low-end handsets do have Facebook Messenger installed, the application is almost invisible in handsets costing more than $200.

In high-end phones, Skype consistently rates top – well above the main Facebook application – and Facebook Messenger isn’t even in the top 10. In handsets costing less than $200, Facebook Messenger rates around four or five – a couple of positions below the main Facebook application, and very close to Skype.

What this means is that those who can’t, or won’t, invest more than $200 in a handset are happily installing Facebook Messenger, while those with a bit more disposable income are refusing to commit.

What it makes abundantly clear is the opportunity this presents to Microsoft. If messaging really is the future of mobile interaction, as Facebook seems to think, then Skype is perfectly positioned to grab the most important demographic.

If Microsoft were half as willing as Facebook to launch into value-added messaging, then it could make Skype into the messaging platform of the future, if indeed users really want such a platform at all.

You can read more in our free report, here (email address required.) ®

Article first published on the Register


So… is HTML really a programming language?

Earlier this year we polled more than 13,000 developers during our biannual Developer Economics survey (updating now), and 11% of those developers told us that HTML is their primary development language – that’s Hypertext Markup Language to the uninitiated. This response immediately begs the question: can HTML really be considered a “programming language” at all, or if we should consign to being a tool for the layout of JavaScript functions?


Which is your favourite programming language? Take the DE survey and be the judge of which language will sit on the throne.

Developers answering our survey were asked to pick from a list of languages, HTML5 was on that list, along with JavaScript and more-traditional languages including C and Java. Most programmers work in more than one language, so perhaps those who selected HTML5 as their primary language really meant that they were JavaScript programmers who used a lot of HTML? It’s a nice thought, but the idea breaks down when look at those additional languages and see that only 13% of those who said their primary language was HTML admitted to also using JavaScript, so how are these people creating applications?

14% said they also use ActionScript, which can also come wrapped in HTML, but 12% of those primarily using HTML said they also program in C/C++, which is a combination we’re unlikely to see in the same project.

HTML was never designed as a programming language – the original 18 tags permitted the most-basic of layout options. The only interesting tag was the hyperlink itself; the revolutionary concept that created the web as we now know it, the rest are trivial. HTML was based, loosely, on SGML, which is another bastard offspring of XML – the eXtensible Markup Language – but the key word across these is “markup”: all three are intended to provide syntactical data to accompany textual information*, not applications as we know them.

But HTML has come a very long way since then, and has capabilities we would normally associate with a development language. Drag and Drop, Geolocation, and Local Storage, are blurring the line between applications and web sites, allowing cross-platform development where the only way to spot the difference is the title bar at the top of the window (and sometimes not even then), and there are a host of applications which bear testament to the fact that HTML can be used to create real applications.

Zero Lines JS is a fine example. A graphical game, requiring the player to navigate their ship between approaching enemies at increasing speed to a suitably-irritating soundtrack. It might not be the next Watch Dogs, or even the next Candy Crush Saga, but it would be hard to deny that it is a real application and one which (as the name infers) is written entirely in HTML with a few Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Less gaudy is the aptly named “You Don’t Need JavaScript for That”, which demonstrates various techniques to accomplish programmatical tasks without recourse to programming languages. Examples include a tabbed panel (bringing content to the front based on the selected tab) and an image slideshow, all done entirely in HTML5.

Purists will moan, of course, that these examples don’t make it a “real” programming language, that HTML is nothing more than a markup language made to enrich documents, and there was a time when that was true. Developers aren’t as hierarchal as they used to be, but those closer to the metal still look down on those who’ve traded an intimate knowledge of the hardware for speed of development. C programmers consider objects to be unnecessary fluff, but concur with users of C++ that anything which isn’t run through a compiler is just improper (and that includes Java with its bytecode nonsense). Java programmers consider anything without proper encapsulation to be faking its object orientation, while JavaScript developers see no reason for strong typing, and consider HTML to be a layout tool.

Meanwhile those versed in Assembler look down from their ivory towers, stroke their beards, and concur that when performance really matters they will always get the gig.

But despite being at the bottom of the heap we can see that HTML5 is being used to create applications, and it must therefore be considered a programming language. We might argue whether validating a filled-out form constitutes an application, but when you can crash a spaceship into an oncoming armada then there’s little room for discussion.

At Vision Mobile we’re currently updating our survey, asking developers what language and tools they’re now using, including those who choose to program in HTML. It will be interesting to see if an increasing number think that the layout tool has evolved, or if a momentary fad is passing. Take a look at the survey, and use the feedback from at the end to let us know how you feel about HTML being included in the list of languages, and what you think might end up on that list next time.

* To be accurate, XML is intended to be a framework from which one can derive markup languages, but that’s not really pertinent here.


The Developer Economics survey is now Live.
Have your say in which should be the next most popular programming language and you may win amazing prizes and gear. Discover more.


What we’ve learned by designing 10 developer surveys

The question in question is the question of questions

This week we launched our tenth biannual developer survey – asking thousands of developers around the world what they’re working on and how they’re doing it. If you’re involved in software development, in any way, then go and fill it out – it will only take you fifteen minutes and I’ll wait here while you do.

Answers are easy. It’s asking the right questions which is hard.
Doctor Who – the fourth one

At VisionMobile we spend a lot of time composing questions, especially when we’re compiling a survey like this one. The process sounds easy enough – phrasing 30 questions we’d like answered to provide insight into the developer ecosystem, but it turns out to be a surprising challenge.


For a start we have to create a lot more than 30 questions: the survey tailors itself to ask each person about the industry in which they work, based in the first round of questions. The survey can thus be designed to last around fifteen minutes, but the whole industry can be covered.

Some questions we repeat every six months, choice of language, mobile platforms, and so forth, so we can spot developing trends, but sometimes an old question will need new options as the industry changes. A year ago we added Swift to our language list, and were surprised to see how quickly it had gained popularity, now we’ll be waiting to see if that growth has been sustained and at what cost.

Other questions are created from scratch: the technology behind the Internet of Things might not be entirely new, but the developer interest is. For the first time we’re asking about Open Source in IoT, drilling down to see how this new industry is evolving.

After the questions are written the task is far from over, for once the words are down then the “discussions” can begin. How many options should be listed? Which toolkits are worthy of mention? Whose products should be used as examples? How many IDEs can one developer realistically use? VisionMobile employs experts in many fields; with practical experience developing software and an intimate knowledge of the challenges involved, but like most developers these people are driven by a passion for their subject, and have strong opinions on the tools and techniques they consider important. The survey has to be impartial so we try to ensure that all the experts are equally unhappy, for balance.

Software development is a global industry these days, so the survey has to reach a global audience. Once the questions have been written, discussed, dismantled, and rebuilt to a mutually-acceptable level of dissatisfaction, then they have to be translated into almost a dozen languages, always ensuring that the clarity of the original remains intact.

Designing developer surveys once more

And then it is done. Perhaps not quite a joy forever, as Keats would have it, but certainly a thing of utility. Questions laid out, check boxes ready to be checked, radio buttons ready to be… radioed(?). Everything waiting for the thousands of developers such as you (what do you mean you haven’t done it yet? Get over there now, this minute). They are drawn by the desire to contribute to the project, or get access to some of the results, or win a prize in the draw, or just know that their opinion matters to the companies and organisations which will be referring to the data over the next six months before the whole process kicks off again.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet asserted that “To be, or not to be” was “the question”, but in these days of Continuous Delivery the questions will never end, and we have turn to a pair of Hamlet’s school friends (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, with the help of Tom Stoppard) to see where that might lead us:

Business Languages Platforms

Who, What, How, and Why: software development laid bare

Every six months we ask developers around the world those four questions, to see how the industry is evolving. Now in its 9th edition the VisionMobile Developer Economics survey reached out to 13,000 developers, from 149 different countries, and the results are available in our biannual report: State of The Developer Nation Q3 2015.


94% of our 13,000 developers are male, showing a gender imbalance which needs to be addressed if the industry is going to reflect society as a whole. North America is making some progress here, but even in the land of opportunity only a tenth of developers identify themselves as female, and the figures of the rest of the world are much worse.

It’s perhaps surprising that Africa is next best in terms of equality, while Europe is positively embarrassing with only 4% of developers ticking the box for the minority sex. South America offers the greatest imbalance, but nowhere do developers reflect the proportion of women in the general workforce.


Cloud is increasingly important for developers, and cloud developers the most likely to be generating revenue (67% of them are bringing in more than $500 a month). But there’s no rush to the public offerings such as AWS or the Google App Engine, despite all the media attention: 44% of cloud developers are creating apps in private, for use on private clouds.

The Internet of Things is also getting a lot of developer attention, though more a quarter of IoT developers (26%) don’t know who their eventual customer will be. Half of those developers are making applications, rather than hardware or firmware, reflecting the evolution of the IoT industry.

When it comes to mobile the two dominant players (Android and iOS) are squeezing out the competition and 37% of mobile developers are targeting both the leading platforms. Interest in creating apps for Windows Phone has dropped slightly since we last asked, from 30% to 27%, but developers are understandably nervous of Windows 10 and the uncertainty over Microsoft’s commitment to mobile.


Across the developer community the most-popular development language is now a combination of JavaScript and HTML5. The evolution of web languages has imbued them with functionality, while cross-compilers and packaging tools can make them indistinguishable from native applications. That’s been enough to attract 71% of developers in North America, though only 58% in Asia where old-school languages such as Java and C retain their presence.

Learning a new language is always a challenge, though the growth in Apple’s Swift shows that developers are willing to invest in their education. Swift is, perhaps unsurprisingly, attracting a good proportion of self-taught developers (27% of those primarily using Swift consider themselves self-taught), while Java, C#, and Objective C, all appeal to degree holders (around 60% have degrees) who prefer a more-formal learning environment (around 17% are self-taught).


Not all developers are motivated by money, in fact many professional developers are hobbyists or amateurs in another field. More than half of our mobile developers, for example, are also mucking around with IoT – some professionally, but mostly just to see what it can do, and what they can do with it. Developers are predominantly young, with an average age of around 30, and have both the time and the motivation to explore new areas. Many are involved in open-source projects: 11% tell us that Linux is their primary desktop target platform, despite the fact that the open-source OS accounts for less than 2% of desktop installations.

In mobile the path to revenue, if not riches, is clearly selling products and services, in the manner of Uber or Just Eat, rather than downloads and booster packs, in the manner of Candy Crush and Minecraft. Only 10% of mobile developers are chasing e-commerce revenue, but almost a fifth (19%) are taking more than $100,000 a month – a figure that only 6% of those reliant on advertising can match.

The State of the Developer Nation

The whole report, complete with graphics and figures, is a free download, and packed with more insight and analysis from Vision Mobile.