Stack Overflow recently surveyed several thousand developers about pretty much everything work-related, and the results paint an interesting portrait of what the developer life is like in 2015.
Of the 26,036 people surveyed in 157 countries, 32.4 percent self-identified as full-stack developers, 13.6 percent said they were students, and 10.1 percent indicated they were back-end Web developers. In descending order, other professions included mobile developer (9.1 percent), desktop developer (8.3 percent), front-end Web developer (6.0 percent), enterprise-level lead services developer (2.9 percent), and embedded application developer (2.9 percent). But enough with the big numbers—what does your average developer actually look like?
For starters, the average developer is 28.9 years old. (“He or she was born in April 1986, just as IBM manufactured the first megabit chip,” Stack Overflow’s report helpfully mentions for context.) In countries such as Russia, Poland, and India, developers tend to skew younger; in the United States, on the other hand, the average developer is 31.6 years old.
Of those developers surveyed by Stack Overflow, some 92.1 percent were male. (Some 5.8 percent were female, 1.7 percent refused to disclose, and 0.5 percent self-described as “other.”) “Software development has a gender balance problem,” the report added. “Our internal stats suggest the imbalance isn’t quite as severe as the survey results would make it seem, but there’s no doubt everyone who codes needs to be more proactive welcoming women into the field.”
Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) never received a degree in computer science, while nearly a third never took a computer-science course at a university. Although system administrators tended to fall into the category of self-taught tech pros, others—especially those specializing in machine learning and data analytics—tended to undergo much more formal schooling, in the form of either certifications or even a Ph.D.
Stack Overflow also found that developers like to work on their own stuff, with the average one putting in more than 7 hours a week on a passion project. Of course, balancing work-life and side projects demands lots of caffeine—and the average developer suggested they consumed 2.2 servings of coffee, tea, or some other caffeinated beverage every day. (Project managers drank an average of 2.92 servings, while system administrators managed to slug down 2.58 servings.)
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