For the unaware, Stack Overflow is one the world’s largest developer communities and every year they publish an incredibly detailed report sharing the results of their annual developer survey. As a developer marketing professional, I can’t tell you what a godsend this is. It is nearly impossible to get good data on developers at scale, so the fact that they constantly get 70,000+ developers to share this much information is amazing.
I’ve learned two things after years of reading this report:
- It’s a must read if you work in tech marketing
- No one ever takes my advice and reads it
As such, I’ve gotten in the habit of pulling out what I think are the most important marketing highlights and making them a bit more digestible for a quick skim. I also use this as an opportunity to get on a soapbox and provide commentary on the findings based on my own experience and opinions.
Aside from being a great exercise for my ego, my hope is that there are some helpful tidbits you can take with you as you work on building your own developer relations or marketing program.
Interest in becoming a developer continues to grow.
Learning to code online increased from 60% to 70% year over year.
Global developer populations have been growing steadily over the past decade and show no sign of slowing down. This underscores the importance of building robust developer programs to service the growing community, but this begs the question “where should we start”.
According to the survey, the number one place developers go to learn is online resources, which developers prefer in the following order:
- Stack Overflow (reminder that this answer is biased because survey respondents are all users of Stack Overflow)
- How-to videos
- Written tutorials
Developers are more than just a segment
Full-stack, back-end, front-end, and desktop developers continue to account for the majority of all respondents. Developers are wearing multiple hats. The majority of respondents said they considered themselves to be more than one type of developer - with DBAs, SREs, and Security professionals reporting the most variety. On average each of these roles reported being seven other developer types.