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Geographical Divides in Software Development

June 4, 2015

In addition to the focused development surveys we conduct regularly on mobile development, Cloud development, Big Data and IoT, twice a year we conduct a very large and very broad global survey of software developers. It spans across development specialties and we sell this survey in geographical “chunks” with discrete editions for North America, EMEA and APAC.

Most companies are interested in maybe one or two regional looks at developers, but larger multi-nationals buy all three which gives them insight into regional differences as well as regional specifics. And wow, are there ever differences!

For example, North American developers, who were once the oldest by median age are now younger than Europeans and are almost as young as developers in the APAC region. What changed was the US economy in 2008, exactly when the age curve began a steep decline as older (and thus usually more expensive) programmers were laid off at the same time that mobile development was inspiring young recruits.

Years of programming experience naturally echoes this. Developers in all three regions have a similar percentage who have been programming for 11 to 15 years, but the profile for APAC developers is very different when we look at those having less experience and those having over 20 years experience.

And if we look at the number of years their companies have been in business, we can see in sharp relief the vast difference between Europe, with all its extensive history and old company culture and the new Asia.

We’ve made a brief one-pager on developer demographics across regions. For a look, see here:

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