As part of keeping developers up to date on your company’s products and services, your developer relations program staff should keep track of what is happening with the operating systems that developers use for desktop, server, and mobile platforms. A great way to keep up to date is to bookmark some of the following dashboards that report version usage patterns for users, developers, devices, desktops and platforms.
Evans Data Developer Surveys – tracking host/target OS
Evans Data Corporation was created to fill the demand for market research, market intelligence, and strategic planning in the software development industry. Since then we have become the industry leader in market intelligence focused on all areas of development from software to hardware to mobility.
At EDC we have in-depth and focused experience working with high-tech professionals, and we specialize in conducting market research in the IT and development community. We are experts in analyzing technology trends and attitudes. We know how to speak the language and ask the right questions and more importantly, we can understand the answers.
You will find host and target operating system developer usage and plans for the future in the bi-annual Global Development Survey. Evans Data’s other developer surveys can also help you target your products and services for versions of databases, cloud systems, IoT devices, AI and more. Click on the image below to see the list of EDC research and how it can help you in your developer relations outreach efforts.
Most developers will use a Windows based PC for their development even though they may be targeting Windows and other operating systems and devices. Developers target a variety of operating systems running on desktop/laptop PCs, Smartphones, Tablets, Cloud, and Embedded devices. The top two target areas are desktop/laptop PCs and Smartphones.
You will find additional research results for these host and target systems in the EDC bi-annual survey reports.
Development Related Industry/Platform Dashboards
In addition to the Evans Data developer research, as a developer myself, I also keep track of additional dashboards covering desktop/laptop PC use, mobile OS version use and programming language trends.
There are several operating system, platforms and device based version dashboards that you can also use to track adoption and impact on developers. Most notable are the Google/Android and Apple mobile operating system adoption dashboards.
Are there other Dashboards that you Use?
If you use additional, publicly available dashboards to track developer, platform, smartphone, device, etc. trends, send me an email and I will update this blog post.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
In the forty-seven years since I wrote my first program, I can honestly say that I’ve never met a developer that I didn’t like. In all those years I have created many different types of applications and met tens of thousands of programmers in buildings, in cities and at conferences across the planet Earth. While source code and hardware are two of the things that most developers have in common, there are many other tangible differences that uniquely identify each of the more than twenty-one million professional developers building cool systems and apps. Beyond programming professionals, there is a greater number of humans (and bots) that are also creating solutions using automation – sometimes called citizen programmers, solution developers, occupational programmers, and other non-traditional software engineering designations.
Of course, there are popular platforms and programming languages that bring developers together. And, the Internet has helped bring us even closer together. Yet, the global developer population is very diverse in many ways. One of the key aspects of building a robust developer community is to identify your developers.
When I’m asked about developer sizes, I usually smile and reply with something like “small, medium, large, extra-large, and massive”. When I was focused on building developer tools, my elevator pitch was “I work for a company that makes the software that developers use to make the software that humans use.”
We can use demographics, psychographics and firmographics to place some developers into manageable buckets. Yet, there are so many other ways to categorize, quantize, and organize developers based on who they are, what they do, and what they create. Some developer qualities can be defined by the types of apps they create, the computer languages they use, the type of devices they target, the social media they are active in, and so on.
A developer program is only as strong as its community. No matter the industry, to have a thriving business you need to reach out to developers who can benefit your product, platform, service, device, etc. Drawing developers into your community with world class resources, tools and activities will create a win-win environment that benefits their careers and your business. A good way to focus your efforts on a target developer audience is by categorizing developers into several, quantifiable “personas” or groups based on social characteristics, tech adoption, industry, and other characteristics.
Developer Personas I have Known – a top 10 list
Here is my top ten list of developer personas for people I have worked with over my career (names have been removed to protect the tech fanatics – you know who you are):
- Machine Language Developer – will only use assembly language and machine code to create fast running reusable functions.
- Just Give Me the Spec Architect – can take any product design concept (detailed on the back of a napkin or in a complete requirements specification) and create an elegant app solution.
- Tool Chain Engineer – lives to integrate disparate development tools into a cohesive build environment.
- Compiler Jockey – loves to create new programming languages and work with the back end code optimizer to make target processors smile (and computer fans turn on).
- Extreme Hacker – able to dig deep into any device, bios or application code to find a problem and create a patch to fix it.
- Weekend Maker – in under 40 hours with no sleep can create a truly wondrous child’s toy using an Arduino or RaspberryPi board and some tiny-C code.
- Old School Coder – creates multi-device reusable libraries using C and inline assembler that can be consumed by any programming language.
- Service Modernization Engineer – can quickly create a new REST/JSON based service API based on any older distributed computing APIs (RPC, DCE, CORBA, SOAP, etc.)
- Cloud Seeder – can quickly migrate an internal application to a public/private/hybrid cloud based infrastructure for every available, industry leading cloud service.
- Hyper Productive Software Engineer – able to produce thousands of lines of production C++ code each week for multi-year projects.
Does the Software Development Industry have a “Library of Developer Personas”?
I have found many sources of developer personas but have yet to find a complete library, compendium, database, list, etc. Maybe this is because there are so many identifiable and not so definable developers. Developer personas can often be specific for an industry, company, architecture, platform, device, service, and other characteristics that align with a company’s offerings. Just as our industry has “body of knowledge” collections like the SWEBOK, wouldn’t it be great to have a Developer Persona Body of Knowledge (DPBOK)? Who wants to help create one?
Discovering Developer Personas Specific to Your Technology – Evans Data Can Help
The value of segmenting your target audience is well known to marketers across industries. Populations don’t exist as a homogenous group but always have variations that color their perceptions and their adoption of product offerings. The same is true for developers.
Software developers can be divided in segments based on many factors. These might be how they make their money, who their users are, which technologies they use, or what their motivations are for selecting a particular technology. They may be discovered as they naturally occur through cluster analysis, or they may be pre-defined to fit categories.
Once developer segments are defined, the value in any persona study comes from profiling those segments. Profiling allows you to recognize distinct personas so you can make targeted appeals to each group. Understanding the personas of your targeted developer segments allows you to:
- Communicate more clearly with each persona
- Provide the tools and technologies each persona uses
- Provide the level and type of support each expects
- Find developers that match the personas for effective outreach
- Understand where each persona can be reached
Today, marketing is becoming a science and setting personas is the first step to applying modern marketing techniques in a world that is more and more individualized. Don’t try to lump all your developers together in a group when there are many differences that can be seen and addressed through identifying personas. Evans Data can help deliver the insights you need to really target each of the segments you need.
What are some of your Developer Personas?
I’m continually putting together a growing list of developer personas across multiple industries, technologies, products and services. If you’d like to share some of our target developer personas, send me an email.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
It used to be that only a very few specialized software companies cared at all about developers – and usually because they were selling programming tools or platforms. Now every company needs to be connected and to work interactively with their clients, their partners, their suppliers, and their customers and to do that they publish APIs. Evans Data’s recently released Developer Program 2017 survey report found that formalized programs have become a necessity for companies wishing to have their APIs adopted.
Developer Programs and APIs
Your developer relations program needs to have close participation and cooperation with your engineering team in order to inform, educate, and support community members for the lifetime of your APIs. Your company’s success and your program’s support of developers depends on:
- how you prepare for the release of the APIs,
- the types of technical content you create to support an API,
- how you prepare community members for the impacts of API changes,
- and how to help your community members get ready for API deprecation and shutting down of an API.
You and other members of your company might wonder what the eventually payoff will be for all of your hard work. A recent preliminary report on “The Impact of APIs on Firm Performance” by Boston University Questrom School of Business says that “firms adopting APIs see increases in sales, net income, market capitalization, and intangible assets. API use also predicts decreases in operating costs in some specifications.API adoption leads to a 12.7 percent increase in market capitalization”.
Ten years ago less than half of all developers were in a developer program. Today more than 80% belong to one and 62% of developers say they don’t use APIs that aren’t supported by a Developer Relations program. Evans Data’s recently released Developer Program 2017 survey report found that formalized programs have become a necessity for companies wishing to have their APIs adopted.
“Today companies need to be interconnected and to take advantage new innovations. This often means they need to publish APIs and once you publish an API you have a platform. Once you have a platform you need developers, and that means you need a program to support them”, said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “We see the proliferation of developer programs throughout all places and industries.”
The Developer Relations 2017 report is the 18th annual survey of developers focusing on developer relations programs. Topics include Developer program features, ROI and Program Measurement, Developer Outreach, Training, Spurring Participation, Resources, App Stores, Tech Support and Documentation.
View the complete Developer Relations 2017 report Table of Contents and Methodology.
What does your developer program provide to support your APIs?
Send me an email if you provide your developers with additional API information and how you handle API versioning, deprecation, and shutdown.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
I used to have an educational program for my Apple II+ computer that helped my young daughters learn about geography. The educational “game”, published by Brøderbund Software, was called “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego“. A version of the program came out for the IBM PC in the 1990’s along with a US Public Broadcasting TV show. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve traveled more than three million air miles visiting with developers, speaking at developer conferences and meeting with customers. At Evans Data our clients continue to ask where developers live and work. Evans Data has the latest results with the release of the 21st edition of our “Global Development Population and Demographics Study“.
Where in the World are All of the Developers
Evans Data, last week, announced the release of the “Global Development Population and Demographics Study 2016 volume 2”. The headline for the press release announces that “Developer Population Growth Rate in Latin America to Top Europe and North America in 2017”. In the press release Evans Data reports that “Developing countries in Latin America have embraced software development and the rate of growth of their developer population is expected to be 4.1% in 2017, a growth rate that tops both North America and the EMEA region for the first time.” I’ve visited Latin America numerous times in the past 20 years and can attest to the enthusiasm of developers and their increased involvement in software development and technology.
“We’re seeing a lot of excitement about Latin America both from clients and within the developer community,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp. “Latin America in 2017 echoes in many ways the enthusiasm and youth that were the hallmarks of the Asia-Pacific region in years past. Not only is the growth rate strong but the developers themselves are very open to exploring and adopting new technologies. This is a region that projects a very strong future.”
Technology leaders including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and others have been growing their developer outreach and evangelism in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica and in other Latin America countries. Venture Capital firms are also investing in Latin American start up companies.
Global Developer Population and Demographic Study 2016 V2
Evans Data analysts conduct extensive secondary research each year to determine the software developer population for the top 30 in the world. Sources include IMF, World Bank, CIA and many others. Data is put into a model which estimates current populations and makes projections for the next five years. This gives us the developer population data.
On top of that population data we layer selected results from our semi-annual Global Development survey to show not only overall populations but the number of developers in each country or region who are using various technologies like language, platform, etc. This makes this study unique in the industry.
Evans Data recommends clients use this survey in combination with it’s companion survey series; the Global Development Survey series, in order to completely understand the full scope and complexity of the developer layout worldwide. This report combined with the Global Survey Series provides the most comprehensive view of developers on a global basis.
What is your Developer Relations Program doing in Latin America?
What is your developer relations program doing to reach out to developers in Latin America? Do you localize your developer program information in Spanish and Portuguese? If your doing cool things with developers in Latin America, send me an email.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
As one of the new team members here at Evans Data Corporation (EDC), I needed to learn about our ecosystem of sites related to developers, developer research, developer relations professionals and development tools. I’m using this blog post to bring everyone up to date on the aspects of software development and developer research that are at the focus of Evans Data’s expertise and execution. If you care about software development, developers, APIs, development technologies, marketing to developers, selling to developers, becoming a better developer and sharing your favorite best practices and experiences with tools and technologies, check out the following web sites, tools and events that are part of the Evans Data ecosystem.
The Evans Data Ecosystem
Evans Data Corporation creates market research, market intelligence, and strategic planning in the software development industry. The market intelligence research is focused on all areas of development from software to hardware to mobility. Developers present a highly focused, highly technical and very influential segment of the software industry, and the need to keep a finger on the pulse of the development community is well understood by many manufacturers. Because of the nature of development and the quickly changing technologies that form their world, traditional market research and consulting services seldom achieve adequate results. Evans Data has in-depth and focused experience working with high-tech professionals, and specializes in conducting market research in the IT and development community. We are experts in analyzing technology trends and attitudes. We know how to speak the language and ask the right questions and more importantly, we can understand the answers.
Each bi-annual multi-client subscription includes:
- Executive Summary
- Results of two complete surveys done twice during the year – full reporting with color graphs, detailed tables and commentary.
- PDF file of complete report and full rights to distribute anywhere within your company, anywhere in the world
- Invitation to provide questions or content topics and shape the content of upcoming surveys
Companies that purchase a subscription receive a substantial discount (40 percent off the second volume) and also receive a number of additional benefits – which include, but are not limited to, the following: custom webinars, ability to influence follow on surveys and analyst support. Read more information about subscription holder benefits.
You can track the research reports release schedule for 2016 at http://www.evansdata.com/reports/release_schedule.php
Strategic research reports include:
Tactical research reports include:
Vertical research reports include:
Custom research reports can also be conducted to your specifications. Before you commit to a major marketing campaign or a continuing product line strategy, wouldn’t you like to know how you’re plan will be received by real developers? The only way to be sure is to conduct quantifiable research with a significant number of programmers. Interviews are based on statistically significant sized samples within the time frame you need. Reports give thorough analysis to all questions and an overall summary.
The Evans Data Analytics Console is a revolutionary breakthrough in data delivery. Providing seamless self-service developer intelligence on hundreds of software development subjects stemming from our semi-annual Global Development Survey. This user friendly Data Analytics Console allows you to dynamically view virtually limitless charts focused on developer demographics, firmographics, technology adoption and trends. With 26 built-in filters and on the fly data drill down, you can effortlessly dive deeper into particular data sets and instantly extract the developer insights most valuable to you.
Read more about the Evans Data Analytics Console
Watch a short Analytics Console demonstration video.
Developer Relations Conference
The Evans Data Developer Relations Conference (DRC) is an event unlike any other. Developer relations experts from leading companies in the software, telecom and web markets come together to discuss best practices and reveal the techniques behind their success! During the conference attendees hear keynote presentations from top industry leaders. Breakout sessions are presented by developer professionals from leading software, hardware, platform and services companies. During the two day conference you’ll have ample time to network with other developer relations professionals.
The breakout sessions cover all aspects of developer relations, ranging from the business side (program ROI, the connection between developer programs and company revenue, budgeting for/costs of developer programs, how to get an organization’s commitment of internal resources, etc.) to the marketing side (techniques for recruitment, awareness tactics, community loyalty building programs, legal/privacy and global privacy considerations, conducting a privacy audit, internationalizing a US-based developer program, etc), to the technical side (tools used, technology platform leveraged, APIs supported, etc) and much more. Whether you are starting a new developer relations program or building on a current one, you deserve all of the help you can get – and this is the place to get it!
On the Sunday before the two day conference we hold a developer relations Boot Camp that provides a solid foundation on which you can build or enhance your developer program. Concentrated sessions in this one-day instructional program provide the insight and actionable information you can use to build your brand and establish strong relationships with your developer community. The Boot Camp also includes careful consideration regarding the reasons why developers seek out and contribute to developer programs, the most effective means of reaching out to them, and how you can leverage social media to greatest effect.
Evans Data 12th annual Developer Relations Conference 2016 site – http://www.evansdata.com/drc/2016/
Save the dates for the 13th annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, Palo Alto, CA, USA – March 26-28, 2017.
DevRelate – Community for Developer Relations Professionals
DevRelate is the online academy and community center for developer relations professionals. At DevRelate you will learn the basics and explore advanced techniques for creating and growing a developer program through online courses that are based on over 15 years of developer research. We also provide additional resources that are geared towards advanced practitioners such as assessments, workshops, and consultations to take your program to the next level. Our insights stem from our vast experience and the direct input from a global panel of software developers about what works for them and what doesn’t.
Join for free, learn developer outreach best practices and collaborate with a global network of developer relations professionals. Once you join, you’ll have access to the member directory, certification exams, blog posts, articles, interviews with Developer Relations professionals, Evans Data Developer Relations Conference presentations, resource links and more.
DevRelate also offers program assessment and workshops by one of the top Developer Relations professionals in the industry. During David I’s forty-three years as a developer, development manager, developer community executive and chief evangelist, he has created a thriving global developer community, thousands of articles, videos and blog posts. View more information about our Developer Program Advisory Workshops and Assessments here.
Finally, the In-Depth Individual Developer Program Assessment is geared towards serious practitioners and provides an assessment of your company’s current (or planned) developer relations program with ideas for improvements and enhancements based on your industry, product, service or platform. Working with your staff, the assessment will do a deep dive into your company, product or services, current or planned developer program features and how well they mesh together.
DevNet – Evans Data Developer Panel
When conducting demand-side primary research it becomes important to recruit the participants (or samples) from sources that are as unbiased as possible. During the years that EDC has been recruiting developers to participate in surveys this ideal has continuously been foremost in our efforts. Consequently, though we have used over 100 different individual sources for recruiting, In this way we provide the most eclectic and unbiased sample available anywhere. With thousands of developers chosen in a deliberately unbiased way from a wide variety of neutral lists, our data truly provides in-depth looks at representative samples of the developer population. The EDC panel of developers includes about 75,000 professional developers in over 80 countries.
You can register to qualify as a developer panel member. As a developer panelist you will: 1. Have your voice heard on hot topics, innovative technologies and key initiatives, 2. Receive points for every validated survey submission, 3. Redeem award points for valuable prizes.
Read more about the Developer Panel.
Register to qualify as a developer panel member.
DevMetric – Reviews of Development Tools by Developers
The DevMetric site allows developers to give their reviews of development tools, libraries and frameworks. Members can browse through categories of developer tools give recommendations for those tools you like and reasons for why you dislike a tool, library or framework. Developers can submit new tool entries and give ratings for all of the listed developer tools. On the site you can view the top rated tools (overall and by category). You can also see the most recent tools added to DevMetric and add your ratings, post comments, and tell others whether a review was helpful or not.
I have never met a developer who doesn’t have an opinion about the tools they use. Developers love to share information, tips and critiques with other programmers. Do you want to Rate and Review your developer tools? Register here!
Evans Data’s “Global Development Population and Demographics Study”, reports that the number of mobile app developers has increased by more than five times to 12 million globally. Evans Data began measuring developers participating in mobile application development back in 2006. In 2006 there were about 2 million developers building mobile apps. The 12 million developers focused on building mobile apps is more than half of the estimated total worldwide developer population of 21 million. You can count me as one of the mobile application developers. I have four mobile devices that I use for development: iPhone 6, iPad Pro tablet, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nexus 7 tablet.
12 million mobile app developers in 2016
“Mobile development has really become ubiquitous” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “Mobile devices are everywhere, but while most modern applications support mobile devices, not all developers are working on the client target side. Some are server or back-end oriented or are concentrating more on the application logic or more and more on newer machine learning implementations, so watching the number of mobile developers move from just under two million 10 years ago to 12 million today just provides a reflection of the use of mobile devices today.”
Darryl Taft, eWeek, writes about the mobile application developer growth trend in his October 5, 2016 article “Mobile Developer Ranks Reach 12M, to Top 14M by 2020“. Darryl, who I’ve known and talked with for so many years I’ve lost count, also mentions in the article that I’ve joined Evans Data. Darryl writes, “Meanwhile, in something of a coup in terms of beefing up its in-house developer chops, Evans Data recently hired developer relations guru David Intersimone—also known as ‘David I’ – as vice president of Developer Communities.”
Evans Data Strategic Research Reports
You can read more about Evans Data’s “Global Developer Population and Demographic Study 2016” at http://www.evansdata.com/reports/viewRelease.php?reportID=9. For a complete list of Evans Data strategic research reports go to http://www.evansdata.com/research/strategic_development_research.php
Hats On to you, Darryl! He, and others who know him, will understand what I mean. Keep up the great developer reporting!