Developer Economics: State of the Developer Nation Q3 2015

Based on the largest developer survey of 13,000+ respondents

July 2015

Developer Economics: State of the Developer Nation Q3 2015

Based on the largest developer survey of 13,000+ respondents

July 2015

The 9th edition of Developer Economics – State of the Developer Nation report now covers all the latest trends in mobile, desktop, IoT and cloud services development. We look at the most popular platforms, languages, vertical markets and hosting providers. Find out which types of development are bringing in the most revenue and which revenue models are succeeding. We also take a deep dive into mobile commerce, the biggest battleground in today’s app economy.

Table of Contents

The report focuses on eight major themes – each comes with its own infographic:

  • The Global Developer Landscape - Developer age, gender imbalance and involvement in mobile, desktop, IoT and cloud development across regions
  • Choosing a language is a regional, and financial, matter - Developer education levels and revenues across languages
  • Mobile Platforms: And then there were 2? - The latest moves by the big platform players and shifts in developer mindshare
  • Chrome and Windows dominate the desktop mindset - Desktop platform choices and developer priorities
  • Every Cloud has a lining, but they aren’t all silver - Cloud hosting platform mindshare and language specialization
  • Smart Homes are still home to the smart money - IoT developer preferences for vertical markets and hardware versus software development
  • Developer Revenues: There more money in the cloud - Developer revenues and revenue model choices across mobile, desktop, IoT and cloud
  • Profitable developers are selling stuff, not eyeballs - How the mobile app economy is shifting towards e-commerce as it matures

Key Insights

  • It’s a very male-dominated nation. Only 6% of our respondents describe themselves as female, though the proportion was slightly better (10%) in North America.
  • It’s a population of young obsessives. 89% of developers are working across multiple areas, often filling their spare time with more software development.
  • As a Nation it’s close to the poverty line. More than half of mobile developers (51%), and well over half those in IoT (59%) aren’t making a sustainable income (less than $500 a month).
  • The Clouds here have a silver lining. Cloud developers are most likely to be doing well, 67% of them are generating decent revenue (more than $500 a month)
  • Don’t expect to see the Clouds out in public. The most popular Cloud development platform is decidedly private (targeted by 44% of developers), ahead of AWS (16) and Microsoft Azure (13%).
  • Windows Phone doesn’t come round so much these days. Interest in Microsoft’s mobile platform has declined in the last six months (from 30 to 27%), while Android is still the most-targeted mobile platform (71%) and iOS remains popular.
  • It’s a multilingual Nation, with regional variations. In North America HTML5 is widely spoken (primary choice of 47%), while Asia leans towards more-established languages such as Java and C.
  • It’s a Nation full of risk-taking explorers. More than a quarter (26%) of IoT developers don’t even know who their eventual customers will be.
  • The population is easily attracted by shiny new things. The Swift language is growing, despite the fact that 16% of developers working in Swift aren’t making any revenue at all.
  • It’s an eternally optimistic Nation. 2% of desktop developers are targeting Google’s Chrome OS, in the confidence that the day of the thin client is finally dawning.


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