A new global survey of developers (PDF) reinforces what anyone in the tech industry has known all along: That those who build software for a living are concerned about keeping their skills up-to-date, consider themselves autodidacts when it comes to learning new things, and really like using open-source software.
The survey, conducted by research firm IDC and commissioned by the Application Developers Alliance, drew responses from 850 developers—not a massive cross-section of the world developer population, which easily numbers in the millions, but certainly enough to bring certain trends to light.
Here are some highlights from the study:
- Some 68 percent of surveyed developers had 5 or more years of experience.
- Around 57 percent said they were interested in “staying current” about development technology.
- A full 75 percent used open-source software.
- Some 83 percent considered themselves “self-reliant,” using online forums and search engines to get job-related help.
The most common tools included code text editors (58 percent of respondents), IDEs (56 percent), SQL databases (50 percent), debuggers (49 percent), and testing tools (42 percent). “Historically, IDEs have been the mainstay of professional developers as they provide a central console for managing most aspects of software projects,” added the survey report. “It is perhaps this constant integration of added function that have given developers some pause in using IDEs in all situations.”
The most popular databases and platforms include MySQL (64 percent of respondents), Microsoft SQL Server (49 percent), SQlite (39 percent), Oracle DB (37 percent), and ProgresSQL (23 percent).
Of all the data-points in the survey, perhaps the most unexpected is the heavy reliance by developers on on-premises servers for backend systems (55 percent) versus the cloud (50 percent). Given the massive amount of hype that’s surrounded the latter, one might have expected more developers to have given up on having servers onsite.
A lot of developers who read the survey will likely see themselves reflected in the results.