U.S. Leads for Number of Professional Developers

The U.S. has nearly 20 percent of the worldEUs 18.5 million software developers, followed by China and India with about 10 percent each. That is one of the findings in this yearEUs survey of developers from industry research firm IDC.

The report, EU2014 Worldwide Software Developer and ICT-Skilled Worker Estimates,EU is the fifth such report from IDC in the last 14 years. Al Hilwa, Program Director for Application Development at IDC and author of the report, told us that the report will now be conducted annually.

The study looks at three categories -- professionals, hobbyists and information and communications technology (ICT) skilled workers. Of the 18.5 million developers at the beginning of 2014, 11 million are professionals and 7.5 million are hobbyists. ICT-skilled workers are pegged at 29 million, 18 million of whom are operations and management skilled workers and the balance are professionals.

China Catches Up

Ninety countries are represented in the report. Hilwa said one of the differences in this yearEUs study compared to earlier years is in the methodology. In the past, he said, the developer population would be calculated in a few key countries using governmental data on professions, and then a model would be created to estimate other countriesEU populations through such data as educational levels. This year, however, many countries were modelled individually, plus hobbyists were included in the calculations for the first time.

The report is used in various ways by subscribing companies, such as aiding predictions of market potential for developer-related products in specific countries or getting a sense of the talent pool in geographical areas where a company might want to outsource.

Surprises in this yearEUs report, Hilwa said, include the fact that EUChina has caught up quite a bit with India in numbers of developers,EU while India EUhistorically had the second largest number.EU The two countries...

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