The 64,000 Developer Questionnaire

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Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey is probably the most comprehensive overview of the development community. This year over 64,000 developers responded. If you want to understand, amongst other things, what developers are thinking, what motivates them, what they are looking for in a job and how they learn, this is a must read.

Some things aren’t that surprising – a majority of developers said they were underpaid for example – but there are lots of more surprising findings. For us, one of the stand out findings was around remote working, perhaps signalling a broader trend to different ways of working.

Remote Working seen as significant benefit.

“When we asked respondents what they valued most when considering a new job, 53.3% said remote options were a top priority. A majority of developers, 63.9%, reported working remotely at least one day a month, and 11.1% say they’re full-time remote or almost all the time.”

Developer Compensation and Benefits

In other news, the world of developers is still overwhelmingly male…

Developer Gender

And white/white European…

Developer Ethnicity

Who values diversity?

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising then that when it comes to understanding who values diversity in the workplace, whilst every group represented had a high proportion of people who valued diversity, the group that valued diversity least is white males.

Who values diversity

It did make us think about whether there is something about Stack Exchange’s community that reinforces the white male developer trope – surely developers in the real world aren’t as homogenous as this survey would suggest. Given Stack Exchange’s growth and ambitions, perhaps they will have to consider how to involve more ‘minority’ communities. After all, they have probably got to a level now where the core audience of white males is saturated.

Opportunity for competitive advantage

For companies who are recruiting developers, thinking about creating work environments that are more open and welcoming to minority participants will become a huge competitive advantage over companies who take a more traditional approach to recruitment.

If you want to understand developers, hire or retain developers, this is a must read.

The 12th Business of Software Conference USA, October 1st-3rd 2018. Boston, MA.

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