Stack Overflow recently released the results of their 2016 Developer Survey. Over 56000 developers answered the call, sharing where they live, work, what they build, and who they are. We thought that we’d share a few key takeaways we found from this survey.
1 Developers tend to be young
Unsurprisingly, as computer programming as a mainstream pursuit is still a relatively recent phenomenon, the average programmer who responded to the survey is 29.6 years old, with the median age being 27. In all, 59.1% of respondees were aged under 30.
2 Developers have different priorities from their jobs
Perhaps as a consequence of the first point, being largely of the millennial generation, developers have different priorities than might traditionally be expected. Whilst salary comes out on top as the top priority, with 62% of respondents giving it as a reason to take a job, the next few answers on the list are more revealing. In second is work-life balance, followed by company culture, quality colleagues and flexible work hours. Far lower down the list are company stage, job title, company size and industry, with none of these given as a priority by more than 9.1% of respondents. This shows that traditional anxieties about status and stability are far less important for developers. Perhaps this a consequence of the high demand for developers meaning that they know they can find a new job with relative ease.
3 Developers are not fixed in their jobs
Once again perhaps a consequence of point 1, a combined 78% of developers surveyed are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. Whilst only 14.8% are actively looking for work, 63% would be open to new opportunities. This is a chance for employers, who know that if they can provide an interesting opportunity then the majority of developers can be prized from their current roles.
4 Development is still a male-dominated industry
92.8% of respondents to the survey classified themselves as male, with 5.8% identifying as women. 1.5% were either other, or preferred not to say. Stack Overflow did give the caveat that according to Quantcast 12% of Stack Overflow’s readers are women, and that countries where there is an increased chance of women being developers are underrepresented on the survey. Nevertheless, it does seem that development is still male-dominated.
5 Developers love to learn
69.1% of developers who responded to the survey are at least partly self-taught, which fits with the fairly individualistic insights we’ve found above. In other industries, you would perhaps expect to see on the job training as the main way of learning, but the nature of developers is to constantly expand their programming knowledge and to do it under their own steam.