Introducing our 2019 State of the Developer Report

If you are trying to reach developers, engage them, help them learn, or sell them something, keep reading.

We surveyed 800 developers recently to better understand what they are thinking because the stakes are high for both technology and tech-enabled companies. Developers are critical to key business processes – from building apps to digitally transforming more traditional businesses.

And tech companies are eager to get their newest products and services in front of developers because while they might not write the check, but they often decide if it will get written.

The 24-page report, available for free, goes into a lot of detail. Here are the highlights:state-of-the-developer-report-cover

  • Business pressures weigh on developers. The majority (69%) agree or strongly agree that upper management is keen to increase their productivity.
  • Developers believe they know what hinders productivity. Two-thirds of the developers (66%) say maintenance of legacy systems and technical debt strain improved productivity.
  • They are drivers of new product adoption. While only 21% of surveyed developers have some type of purchasing authority, 87% say they research product alternatives, and, separately, 69% identify needs and make product recommendations. They also test software where there is a free trial.

Developers also have specific work and learning styles:

  • They are self-reliant. A whopping 77% say they seek to solve a problem on their own before opening a ticket. One-third (35%) haven’t reached out for technical support in the past 30 days.
  • They are active in communities. Nearly all (94%) of the developers say they are active in at least one developer community. And 88% expect the vendors of products they use to offer an online community.
  • They have specific preferences for how they like to learn. Tutorials are their top pick (83%), 74% like blogs, and 66% like short articles. And while podcasts might be all the rage — only 18% say they like to learn from podcasts. Social media is last at 10%.

One interesting finding is that video comes in fourth as a popular content type at 61% (those surveyed could choose more than one content preference and video came in fourth.) With YouTube as the second leading search engine, you would think video would rank above more traditional forms of content like a short article or a blog post.

We asked our developers about video and they explained why it isn’t a top pick. It’s much harder to grab a code snippet from a video than it is a blog, tutorial, or short article. Video is great when you are learning how to play an online game, assembling a bed from Ikea, or julienning a carrot for the first time. It can help build awareness but isn’t a great content type to teach anything that involves complex, step-by-step instructions.

Engagement Changes as Developers Gain More Experience

Community involvement by years in profession

Novice developers (one to five years of experience) are participating in leadership activities at higher rates than more experienced developers (16 years or more). Our hunch is that they are testing the waters as to whether management is the path they want to take.

And what better way to do that than to moderate an online discussion? Novice developers are nine times more likely to raise their hand to do that. They are twice as likely to contribute long-form content.

Developers with three to 10 years of experience are most likely to post an answer to a question (in the 30% range), and the most experienced are right behind at 30%.

The survey data offers much more detail on topics from what developers get from participating in online developer communities to how they want to hear about new products and releases.

Share on social

Explore Full AnswerHub Capabilities

Related Articles

Tech Advocates and Marketing Fundamentals

What Is a Tech Advocate and What Does One Do? Before jumping into how to find a tech advocate, let’s just be clear on what a tech advocate is and what marketers expect (hope?) one will do. The marketer typically asks a potential advocate to try the product for a free or minimal charge in…

The Three Drivers That Make This an Amazing Time for Software Developers

Cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are democratizing technology for developers at a rapid clip. Easy access, do-it-yourself components and drag-and-drop apps have catapulted software development from the domain of techies hunched over code in siloed offices out into the daylight of everyday business, where developers are growing globally and at an ever-increasing scale. This…

51 Mobile Development Terms You Need to Know

For marketers in the mobile tech industry, developer and software jargon can be tricky to learn. Especially if you don’t have a technical background. So, to help non-technical marketers get familiar with the mobile vocab, we’ve put together a list of the most common 51 mobile development terms marketers need to know. And if you want…

Building Brand Engagement With Software Developers

In this article, I’m going to review some of the ways I’ve seen successful developer communities engage with their audience and build a solid, sustainable brand. I’m going to illustrate key points with some high-level examples that I recommend you check out further. I want to point out in advance that I’m not affiliated with any…