Worldwide software developers to number 26.4 million by 2019

date: 31 July 2013
reading time: 2 min

Evans Data corporation recently announced the results of its research into the worldwide developer population. The firm says the global developer population is expected to increase to 26.4 million by 2019. Currently there are 18.2 million software developers, so we can expect 8.2 million more developers in just 6 years.

Evans Data corporation recently announced the results of its research into the worldwide developer population. The firm says the global developer population is expected to increase to 26.4 million by 2019. Currently there are 18.2 million software developers, so we can expect 8.2 million more developers in just 6 years.

The biggest growth in software developers is expected in the Asia-Pacific region with China eventually predicted to rival India in the sheer number of developers. Meanwhile the developer populations of Europe and North America are expected to continue to grow too, but at a much slower rate than Asia. South America will be somewhere in between the Asians and European/ North Americans.

Some in the industry have met this research with murmurings of developer over-supply. While 26.4 million does seem like a huge number of developers, I am confident that demand will sustain this growth. In the B2B space more and more companies of all sizes are outsourcing their software development. The role of the IT department is changing and part of that change is increasing partnerships with outsourcers. On the B2C side, consumers’ appetite for apps remains insatiable and, as long there are no bandwidth issues, will remain so. Large sections of the population of Asia, Africa and South America will ‘come online’ in the next six years and will further fuel this app demand.

Will Central and Eastern European developers be squeezed out by the Chinese? I don’t think so. If we continue to differentiate ourselves, as we have done against India, then companies that require our highly-skilled, specialist services will continue to choose us. For European and US customers we also have time-zones and cultural affinity on our side. Besides, Chinese developers will have a huge Chinese population to serve, where they won’t face any language, cultural or time-difference barriers.

The predictions from Evans Data don’t worry me, rather they make me proud to be part of such a dynamic, and fast-growing global industry. I also hope, that with this increase in numbers, we will see an increase in the percentage of women that make up the global developer population.

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