Back in April 2017, Evans Data recently reported that “Software Developers Getting Younger, More Gender Diverse“. The median age of today’s software developers has decreased overall on a worldwide basis and the number of women developers has increased, according to Evans Data’s recently released Developer Marketing 2017 survey report. This week, Evans Data reports that the world wide population of younger developers age 30 and younger has topped 5.5 million according to Evans Data’s newly released Developer Population and Demographics Study. The bi-annual study builds on over ten years of trended data, exhaustive primary and secondary research and a sophisticated model to estimate current developer populations and make projections for the future.
I can remember seeing more younger faces in my audiences during my many visits to developers in South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina. While I would also see older developers on all of my stops, especially in the US, Germany and UK, it was always energizing to see so many new and young developers.
I also have had numerous opportunities to visit college campuses and see the next generation of developers learning new technologies, methods, languages, platforms, services, devices and frameworks. I always feel younger, when I step into a computer science and software engineering lab at a university, college, coding boot camp, hackathon and meetup. For any developer relations professionals who are feeling tired or a bit older, go visit a coding camp or a college campus on one our your tours. You’ll forget the miles and lack of sleep.
In the opening session at this week’s Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC 2017), CEO Tim Cook showed two pictures of iOS app developers. The youngest was from Australia aged 10 years old with 6 apps in the app store. The other developer was from Japan with one app in the app store and was 82 years young.
Developers 30 and younger account for more than a million more developers than those older than 45. However, the largest concentration of developers is between 30 and 45 years of age. The APAC region has a particularly large percent of developers in the youngest age categories, while developers in North America and EMEA tend to be older.
Also by 2021, India is projected to be the country with the largest software developer population worldwide, topping the United States, which currently has the largest countrywide developer population. China is projected to continue to be third in developer population. Both growth predictions when coupled with the current relative ages by region show a rejuvenation of the software development community worldwide.
“It’s natural to see the population numbers of young developers increasing in the emerging regions,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp. “Not only are they younger in comparison to other regions, but those emerging regions are showing a total population growth rate that is higher than the EMEA region or North America.”
Evans Data Corp’s Global Development Population and Demographics Study is the de facto standard in developer population estimates. The study, which is now in its 22nd edition, estimates not only current software developer populations across four major regions and forty different countries, but also overlays global primary research onto the population numbers to show numbers of developers forecast to adopt technologies now and in the future.
See the complete Global Developer Population and Demographic Study 2017 Vol. 1 Table of Contents and Methodology here: Table of Contents.
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. Knowing the demographic, firmographic and psychographic makeup of your developer population, their interests, and their use of technology will help you tailor your developer marketing outreach worldwide, regionally and locally.
I love doing webinars and hearing from attendees in the Q&A part of the event. It’s also great to receive emails after the webinar ends. During the webinar I can give quick answers for the questions and point attendees to additional sources of information. After the webinar I can do additional thinking and research to provide a more expansive response. Last week during my “Developer Relations Best Practices and Tools of the Trade” webinar, I was asked a wonderful question. The question was “If my resources are limited, what priorities should I focus on?”
Limited Resources? Activities that Won’t Take Long
When you have a small developer relations staff and/or budget you should look for the things you can do to communicate and grow your developer membership program. Here are some of my thoughts about the content and activities that you should consider.
- Write short blog posts with technology/product tips, tricks and how to(s). These don’t cost money and if you keep them short, you won’t have to spend a lot of time.
- Tweet news/tips to your developers and to the developer community
- Use Facebook Live/Video to put up short videos where you talk about your products/services/APIs – use your smartphone and just be yourself every day. Developers will love hearing from you, seeing you and also seeing something you are doing – showing a product/demo/solution quickly.
- Have your community members also share their videos, articles, tips/tricks – give them points/discounts if they help you with content.
- Automate as much as you can with programming/systems/tools – very important when you don’t have a large staff – that’s why I use Buffer for my Social media with the plugins it has for Chrome/FireFox/etc browsers -when I see an interesting article or finish a blog post – I can quickly post it everywhere.
- Build automated response systems for questions and emails coming from developers – this might take a little more work/development – to use Machine Leaning, Deep Learning and Bot technologies to handle the volume of email and forum posts from developers and give them answers and tips – leaving your team time to handle the tough inquiries.
- Provide bug tracking and workaround infrastructure – Atlassian Jira for example, allow your members to post bugs, post workarounds, post proposed fixes – they will help share the load to get better quality into your product/service.
- Allow your community members to add comments/content to your online documentation/wiki. Some worry about polluting the documentation – so you may set up the system (something like MediaWiki for example) to allow proposed comments/edits/additions/code/fixes and have someone review before including – make sure to have the member assure you that they are giving you the content and that they haven’t copied if from copyrighted materials (via the submission form).
- When you think you have automated as much as possible – then look at those things that are left and try to automate them as well.
- Create an MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), Community Leaders team to extend the # of devrel team members you have. Intel has their black belt members, Microsoft has their MVP program, Google has advocates, etc.
- When your engineering team is too busy to help, find ways to make it easy for them to help. For example, when I am doing webinars or technical sessions, rather than have the engineers prepare their own presentations, I would buy them lunch (they have to eat) and record a conversation with them and use it in the session or transcribe it into a document/slide deck.
- Have programming contests by your members to build apps using your products/services – give electronic based prizes – you’ll get more sample apps built or at least you’ll have apps stories to write about if members don’t want to give you their apps.
- Engage students/interns to help you – they don’t cost much (sometimes $zero if they get school/college credit) and can help with some of the work you need to get done and they also gain experience working with a company, it’s products/services/APIs.
- Interview your customers to create case studies and success stories. Record the interview and provide it for members. Transcribe the conversations to create documents for your developer/product web site – programmers talking to programmers about what they built, how they built it, what they learned, what more they want to do.
Top 3 Priorities to Focus On
I could say that you should do all of the above and more. But, if pressed to list three top priorities for content to generate for your developer community, here is my list.
- Content – tutorials, quick guides, How To(s), Sample code – “Content is King!”. Ask tyour engineering team to help.
- News – keep them up to date on product, API and company news – email newsletters once or twice a month.
- Videos – short (3-5 minutes) created by you, your team, engineers and leading community members.
Other Ideas and Priorities?
If your Developer Relations program, team and budget are limited, do you have additional advice? Send me an email and I will share them with our DevRelate community of Developer Relations professionals.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
I’m often asked about the different tools I use in my developer relations, chief evangelist, developer communities and developer cheerleader jobs. This blog post contains a list of some of the tools that I currently use. It is not meant to be a complete list of all possible developer relations tools nor is the list an advertisement or endorsement of tools. There are many additional tools that are available for all aspects of being a developer relations professional. Where possible, I have included links to additional tools that are available.
Developer Relations Tools I Use
I’ve divided up the tools I use into several categories grouped by functionality and features. There are many other choices for tools you will use in your developer relations job, for your program, for developer outreach, developer program marketing, etc.
Webinars, Meetings, Screencasts, Videos:
- Online Webinars/Meetings/Conferences – GoToWebinar by Citrix (Windows, macOS, iOS/iPad), Facebook Live, YouTube Live. I’ve also used WebEx from time to time.
- Screen Cast Capture, Editing and Rendering – Camtasia by TechSmith (Windows and macOS). My default settings for capturing, editing and rendering videos – MP4 format, 1920×1080 resolution, 3-5 fps for slides/code, 15-30 fps for full motion video/animations.
- Broadcast video from my computer to multiple sites (Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch and others) – Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
- Video Conversion – Miro Video Converter
Slides and Bitmaps
Social Media Management/Marketing Tools:
- WordPress, Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, Windows Notepad
Social Sites (personal):
Social Sites (DevRelate):
Cloud Storage / FileSharing:
Alerts / Feeds / News:
Newsgroup Reader (NNTP protocol):
- XanaNews (written in Embarcadero Delphi)
Developer Answers Sites:
- Internal Evans Data app
Virtual Machine Software (for my MacBook Pro) for demos/appdev:
What Other Developer Relations Tools Do You Use
As I mentioned, the above is a list of the tools I use every day in my developer relations and evangelism job. If you use other tools, please send me an email with the other tools you use in your developer relations job.
In today’s interconnected world, companies in all industries need to publish APIs and cultivate a developer community to access and use them. To be competitive today, attracting and supporting developers is essential. The key to cultivating a vibrant developer community that uses your APIs and supports your platform is a good developer relations program. “Developer Programs and APIs in the News” is a series of news items from developer programs around the world.
Developer Programs and APIs in the News
Google – September 29, 2016 – Google Cloud Machine Learning: now open to all with new professional services and education programs. “Google Cloud Machine Learning is now publicly available in beta and can empower all businesses to easily train quality machine learning models at a faster rate. With its powerful distributed training capability, you can train models on terabytes of data within hours, instead of waiting for days.”
Four51 – September 29, 2016 – Four51 Launches OrderCloud.io, an Industry-First, API-Driven B2B eCommerce Platform for Developers. “Announced today the launch of OrderCloud.io, a headless eCommerce platform that is completely exposed via a RESTful API. The launch of OrderCloud.io builds on the rapid rise of the API Economy, as evidenced in 2016 by at least two API success stories: Twilio, an API-centric mobile messaging company, one of the most successful tech IPOs of the year, and Apigee, an API management company, which was recently acquired by Google for $625 million.”
Evans Data – September 29, 2016 – Machine Learning and Developer Programs – “Major manufacturers are racing with each other to provide tools and APIs to facilitate ML on their platforms. IBM has long been offering Watson APIs on their Blue Mix platform, while Microsoft has an entire Cortana development suite on Azure. Amazon provides ML APIs for AWS. HP has Haven on Demand. The list goes on and on.”
MasterCard – September 28, 2016 – Mastercard Accelerates the Pace of Commerce Innovation with Launch of Mastercard Developers. “This single gateway enables Mastercard partners to access a diverse range of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) across payments, data and security. The platform also includes a ‘New and Experimental’ API category that enables partners to test new technologies and applications.”
Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft – September 28, 2016 – Industry Leaders Establish Partnership on AI Best Practices. “Partnership on AI to benefit people and society. Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft today announced that they will create a non-profit organization that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.”
IBM – September 28, 2016 – IBM Launches Watson-Based Project DataWorks – eWeek. “The new solution automates the deployment of all types of data on the IBM Cloud using machine learning and Apache Spark.”
Facebook – September 28, 2016 – Facebook Analytics for Apps Launches Cross-Platform Analytics (beta). “Analytics for Apps is introducing a beta that adds support for web measurement and cross-platform metrics. At Facebook, we believe in thinking about people, not devices and we know that in the course of completing a task, people are highly likely to switch between multiple platforms and devices. Since launching at F8 in 2015, over 800,000 unique apps have used the service.”
RStudio – September 27, 2016 – sparklyr — R interface for Apache Spark. “Over the past couple of years we’ve heard time and time again that people want a native dplyr interface to Spark, so we built one! sparklyr also provides interfaces to Spark’s distributed machine learning algorithms and much more.”
Google – September 22, 2016 – Google VR SDK graduates out of beta. “We are proud to announce that the Google VR SDK 1.0 with support for Daydream has graduated out of beta, and is now available on the Daydream developer site.”
Send me your Developer Programs News!
If you have news about your Developer Relations Program, send me an email about the news. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org