Dear all taking our Developer Economics surveys – or wondering why you should

First of all – thank you. Thank you for taking, or even for just considering taking, our Developer Economics Survey. Some of you have given us feedback (yes, we do read all of it!) asking what the survey is about, where we use the data, why we do this, and “who are you people anyway”? Right. About time we provided a comprehensive answer then! Transparency is, after all, one of our core values.

  • “Be more transparent about how you will use the data, who you will sell it to, how much you intend to spam me, and why, exactly, are you offering a range of inducements at later stages”
  • “Explaining a bit more what is this for. :)”
  • “More detailed description of your activities and details of cooperation with you for new users.”
  • “You just started to ask questions w/o sharing why you are asking your questions… Why?”
  • “It’s a little hard to be sure who this data is for. It seemed like it came from Mozilla, but got so many questions about Microsoft it made we wonder!”
  • “It’s cool but needs to be explained in more detail”

Our mission is to help the world understand and support developers.

In this way, we aim to contribute to evolving technology in all the ways that matter to developers and, consequently, to end users too. The Developer Economics surveys are our means of doing just that. Yes, of course we sell the insights and the anonymised aggregate data in the process, as we also need to make a living somehow. But out of all the ways in which we could be making a living, we very consciously choose this one, as we are a team of people who first of all strive to make this world a better place in the infinitesimal ways that we can, and this is our very own geeky way of doing so. We are sworn data geeks, or as our marketing team more elegantly puts it: Data is in our DNA.

Now, as to who our data and insights go to: Our client base includes the leading tech organisations, such as Microsoft, Intel, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Mozilla and many more. We take pride in supporting them to design future technologies around actual developer needs and wants – your own needs and wants. So please be truthful in your answers, or you may lead the decision makers, and therefore your development tools, in a very wrong direction!  

Not all of our data is behind a paywall though. 

As a thank you to all of you who contribute to our life’s work, we release our free State of the Developer Nation report, filled with what we hope is valuable information for all developers out there, whether professionals, hobbyists, or just students on the onset of their exciting journey in the world of software development.

There are also free interactive graphs that aim to help you benchmark yourself (or rather, your technology choices) against the rest of the community. Check out the resources space on our Developer Economics website for all the data goodies we have to offer. 

It’s not just data we give back to the community. 

For the past three surveys and for every qualified response that you provided us, we have been donating $0.10 to a good cause within the developer world. In previous years we supported the Raspberry Pi foundation, and at the same time asked you to tell us where you think our contributions would count the most.

Many of you suggested we should support women in coding, and also developers in Africa. Combining the two suggestions, this time around, and for every qualified response that you provide us, we donate $0.10 to the South African Chapter of Women in Big Data. 

Thank you for making this happen!

  • “How are you supporting female developers?”
  • “Help the developers in west Africa gain the knowledge we desire.”
  • “It would be great if sub-sahara African countries could get more attention and accessibility to internship with all these companies.”
  • “Just want to suggest that you consider investing in Nigeria as the youth are passionate about learning but the constraints are just too much. To give you an idea, compare our achievements with the available resources.”

Onto the key question: what data do we collect? Here are the highlights. 

We track key trends in ten development areas, namely mobile, desktop, web, backend, industrial IoT, games, augmented and virtual reality, consumer electronics, machine learning and data science, and apps/extensions to third party ecosystems (such as voice or CRM platforms). For the areas you tell us you’re involved in we ask you which programming languages, tools and platforms you use, how happy you are with the ones that you use (say, with your selected Cloud PaaS), and what you consider important in tools/platforms of this category (for example, scalability, ease of development, community). We ask you not just about the “how”, but also about the “what” and the “why”: why you got into development to begin with, what type of projects you’re working on, if and how you’re building a business around software development, and more. By understanding your motivations, projects and aspirations the technology builders can design solutions that are better suited to help you achieve your goals. We also ask about your learning interests, methods, and needs. Hopefully, that will lead to learning experiences suited to your style. Last but not least, and in order to help focus efforts on the most promising technologies, we gauge interest in and measure adoption of relatively new or emerging technologies, such as fog/edge computing and self-driving cars.

Developer Economics Survey: We know it is long.

Taking in your past feedback on the matter, we have put effort in making it shorter, and when some of you actually noticed I am not (very) ashamed to say I was hopping around the room in excitement. Some of you suggested that we break it down into smaller surveys. I might as well admit it, I am the villain who stubbornly resists that change!

The reason is simple: most of you are involved in more than one development areas, using multiple categories of tools, and the whole point here is to capture your full experience, across all sectors, and to map synergies between tools and platforms. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we were to ask you about each of the areas in a separate survey (plus we would be pestering you to take a survey ten times as much! You’re convinced now, right?). As another of our core values is to be data-driven, here’s the key data point behind this decision: “More than 80% of developers are involved in 2+ of the development areas that we track, and half are into at least four.” 
This is just an outline of who we are, what we do, and why. In case you have any comments or questions, please feel free to drop us a note and let us know of your thoughts. If you have already taken our 18th Developer Economics survey, we hope you enjoyed it and that you’ll spread the word among your friends – we’d love to welcome you all to our community. If you haven’t yet taken the survey we very much hope that you will, and that you won’t forget to say hello under that “Anything we forgot to ask?” open question at the end! There are 20+ pairs of eyes eagerly reading your feedback almost in real time, and virtually waving back to you. See you there.

Take the survey

developer economics survey


Another Successful Developer Economics Survey came to an end!

The Developer Economics Survey runs twice every year, reaching out to all types of developers, from curious weekend hobbyists to enterprise & professional devs with years of coding experience, and to students in need to sharpen their skills. Our vision is to help developers become not only better at coding but offer the necessary resources to enhance their developer skills & make smarter business decisions. In our survey participation, we strive for diversity, including developers from around the world and from all development areas.

Another Developer Economics Survey came to an end on the 13th of August.

The Developer Economics Q2 2019 Survey ran from the 19th of June and once again it has been very exciting, fun and nerve racking! During this period, developers from all over the world, with various backgrounds had their voices heard. Here are some survey fast facts:

  • We ran for 9 weeks
  • Covered 9 languages (English, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese Simplified & Traditional, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Russian) and
  • 9 areas of development (Web, Mobile, Desktop, Cloud, AR/VR, IoT, Games, Machine Learning and Data Science)
  • Communicated internally through 9 different Slack channels on survey updates & alerts
  • Realised that 9 is our lucky number
  • Reached 179 countries
  • We read through more than 5,100 feedback comments (still answering these)
  • We received 3 comments requesting more kittens and 5 comments requesting more beer (both suggestions are now in the backlog).

We use our Developer Economics survey as an opportunity to give back to the developer community.

For each completed response to the Developer Economics Survey, we donate a small amount of money to the Raspberry Pi Foundation which supports young coders in the making. The idea is simple – the more responses we get, the more money we’ll donate. So, in essence, developers who participate are the ones who contribute in giving back to the community. We try to support different organizations in each survey wave. We welcome input from our respondents, so feel free to share any non profit organizations that support the developer community, in the comments below.

The Developer Economics community is also about fun and games, making it worthwhile for devs to invest time to take and promote the survey. In each survey wave we have prize draws and a very engaging referral program. We try to cover all tastes and always include licences and courses so developers can use rewards to improve their skills. All developers who provide their contact details are eligible to enter the draws. How do we select prizes? We research, ask for our own teams’ developers input, and we always take into account the feedback provided by previous survey winners. Here is what we had for you during the Q2 2019 DE survey:

OnePlus 6T
Microsoft Surface Pro
Oculus Rift S
Amazon Gift cards
Coding courses
Programming tools
And many more in our full list

There are extra prizes for those who complete additional questions in their area of expertise. In this way, the more responses you provide the more chances you have to win! Developers who take the survey are notified for these extra prizes and get to choose the prize they would prefer to win.

Our referral program includes developers from all over the world supporting us to reach as many developers from their communities as possible, and in return, they can win awesome cash prizes if they make it to the top of the leaderboard. Everyone who made it to the Top 50 won cash and the amazing referrer who made it to the top won $1,000 USD. But irrespective of whether you won or not, from all of us on the Developer Economics Team, thank you! You have contributed in the best possible way in helping developers understand the world and the world understand developers – which is our goal and what keeps us going.

After the survey closes and the data is crunched, we provide the survey participants with early access to key findings. These come via our State of the Developer Nation (SoN) Report and the Developer Benchmarks Graphs. Here  you can download the previous SoN report – 16th edition-  while waiting for the next one to be published in a few weeks’ time. You can find the Developer Benchmark graphs here to make sure you know your industry & stay competitive.

What more is there for those who participate? Here is what they have shared with us:

“Thanks for the nice survey. This time, not only I answered some interesting questions, but also learned something new on software products and technologies. Well done!”

 “I think this is a good survey, I also noticed some technologies I didn’t know existed. However it was very interesting filling this survey.”

 “Like the last Developer Economics Survey, this one helped me think that I have a lot to learn and also how I can do it, like what I have to do to achieve my goals. So thank you one more time. Looking forward to next DE survey.”

One of the most interesting parts of our surveys is the feedback we get from respondents. Our team always takes time to read the suggestions provided. Some of them were related to the duration of the survey, others highlighted areas we didn’t cover extensively. We take into account all feedback provided and do our best to include all areas and topics while not increasing the survey duration by much, as we realise it is already quite lengthy. If of interest, we have put together a blogpost with the most fun & interesting survey feedback we received. Enjoy it here.

From all of us in the Developer Economics Team, thank you for being a part of this journey! If this was your first time taking one of our surveys, thank you for joining us. In case you haven’t done so already, you can join our community here. Together we are creating the foundations of a world that is friendlier to developers.

Watch out for the prize draw results, the announcement of the winners, and the reports published in the following days featuring the latest trends & insights.

We hope to see you again in a future Developer Economics Survey!