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Developer Economics: The State of the Developer Nation Q3 2016

Developer Economics: The State of the Developer Nation Q3 2016
published on Wednesday August 03, 2016
The latest trends from a survey of 16,500+ developers

The State of the Developer Nation Q3 2016 report is based on the 11th edition of our Developer Economics survey. In it you will find insights generated from 16,500+ developers across mobile, desktop, cloud, IoT, and now also augmented and virtual reality, as well as data science and machine learning. The report focuses on 4 major themes – each with its own visualization, showing how the data lends insight into the developer community.

  1. Mobile platform wars: Round 2 –the mobile developer population is shifting east and to Android. After years of stability, Android is now extending its dominance in device sales to even greater developer mindshare and priority over iOS.

  2. Desktop and cloud developer tribes – there are strong correlations between desktop developer platform priorities and their choice of language on the server side. These illustrate how the developer population is split into technological tribes.

  3. A new phase in the IoT market – the massive influx of developers to IoT in 2015 has slowed significantly, and developers are picking which vertical markets to target. Where are bets going to be placed as the market begins to mature?

  4. Where are developers looking next? Augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning – are they just the latest over-hyped technologies or the next big things? The level of developer interest in both areas suggests the latter.

Together these provide a high-level overview of some of the most interesting trends in the global developer community.

Key Questions
  • Why is Android beginning to dominate iOS as the priority platform for professional mobile developers? Why does that matter?
  • How are developer choices of desktop platform related to their preferred server-side language?
  • Which vertical market attracts the most IoT developers, and is also the fastest growing?
  • Which area do developers see as most promising in the future - messaging bots, augmented and virtual reality, or data science and machine learning?


Developer Economics 11th edition reached an impressive 16,500+ respondents from 145 countries around the world. As such, the Developer Economics series continues to be the most global independent research on mobile, desktop, IoT and cloud developers combined ever conducted. The 11th Edition has expanded our scope, now also the most global research on augmented and virtual reality developers, as well as machine learning developers and data scientists. The report is based on a large-scale online developer survey designed, produced and carried out by VisionMobile over a period of six weeks between April and May 2016.

The geographic reach of this survey is truly reflective of the global scale of the developer economy, including respondents from major app and IoT development hotspots such as the US, China, India, Israel, UK and Russia and stretching all the way to Kenya, Brazil and Jordan. The online survey was translated into 9 languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French, Turkish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese) and promoted by 59 leading community and media partners within the software development industry. We continuously refine a sophisticated weighting methodology to remove as much bias as possible from our survey sample.

For more information about our methodology, please get in touch.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Mobile platform wars: Round 2

  • Android begins to dominate
  • iOS is down but far from out
  • The mobile browser comeback continues
  • The Windows 10 plan seems to be working
  • The final four

CHAPTER 2: Desktop and cloud developer tribes

  • Desktop platforms as the basis for developer tribes
  • The diversity of web tribes
  • The shepherding of the Windows tribe
  • The Unix tribes are still anti-Microsoft
  • Why should we care?

CHAPTER 3: A new phase in the IoT market

  • Smart Home: the undisputed king of IoT verticals
  • What’s next?

CHAPTER 4: Where are developers looking next?

  • The battle for the next interface
  • Making sense of data
  • Skills for the future