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1. About this report


SlashData’s Developer Nation Survey

SlashData's Developer Nation survey isn't just your run-of-the-mill developer research program. It's a comprehensive initiative that spans an extensive tech landscape, covering everything from mobile and desktop to IoT, consumer electronics, cloud computing, web development, and much more.

We don't stop at developers either; data scientists are on our radar, too. We meticulously trace developers' journeys across various platforms, technologies, programming languages, and more, all within different global regions.

Our Pulse report, powered by data from Developer Nation's 26th global survey wave (conducted from November 2023 to January 2024), delves into the latest and most crucial developer trends for Q1 2024. With insights from over 13,000 developers across 136 countries, it's a treasure trove of knowledge.

Don't just keep up with the developer curve; stay ahead of it.

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2. Developer demographics

2A. Which region are you based in?

More than 10,000 developers around the globe participated in the 26th Edition of the Developer Nation Survey

There is a reasonably even geographical distribution of software developers. However, Western Europe and Israel are now leading the way (19.6%), with a slight increase compared to our previous findings in Q3, 2023. We are also witnessing a slight increase in (about 1%) representation from the Greater China region.

2B. What is your gender?

The gender split in the developer community continues to highlight a significant under-representation of female coders.

Almost 80% of participants self-identify as Male. The big gap in representation diversity still remains, and more initiatives are needed in this space to increase women's and LGTBQ+ participation. For instance, flexible work arrangements, mentorship programs, diversity scholarships, and inclusive hiring practices can be effective in bridging this gap.

2C. What is your age?

Almost 60% of developers are between 18 and 34 years old.

This view has remained relatively unchanged in the last few years. The developer population leans young, with the largest portion (33%) falling between 25 and 34 years old. A significant number of developers are also young adults aged 18-24 (27%), making up nearly a third of the workforce. The presence of developers below 18 is encouraging, while those aged 45-54 account for roughly 11%.

3. Involvement in software development & learning patterns

3A. How are developers involved in software development?

Professional developers make up ~32% of the survey population.

Around 40% of developers consider themselves professionals and hobbyists or students, suggesting they code for both work and personal projects. Compared to the summer of 2023, the number of strict students has decreased by almost 2%, while the number of developers who consider themselves pure hobbyists has increased by the same percentage.

3B. Developers’ experience in software development

39% of developers have more than 6+ years of experience.

The developer experience landscape reveals a healthy mix of seasoned veterans and fresh talent. On one end of the spectrum, we see a promising 18% of developers boasting less than a year of experience. These newcomers bring innovative perspectives and enthusiasm, fueling the industry's growth. At the other end, a substantial 39% of survey participants possess a robust 6+ years of experience. These seasoned developers provide invaluable stability and expertise, forming the backbone of many development teams. Their deep understanding of coding practices, problem-solving approaches, and industry trends allows them to tackle complex projects with confidence.
Sitting between these two groups is a significant 25% of developers with 3-5 years of experience.

3C. Top 5 ways in which developers learn to code

Self-taught programmers are on the rise.

We’re witnessing growth in self-taught developers. Findings from the summer of 2023 indicated that online courses were the most common way for developers to learn to code (49.1% compared to 45.5% this year), but this time, we’ve seen a rise in self-taught programmers. Though there is always a mix of ways a developer can learn to code, it’s good to see many developers pursuing the self-taught route and taking things at their own pace.

3D. Top 5 developer roles

42.2% of developers self-identify as Software Developers.

The developer landscape leans heavily towards software engineers, with a commanding 42.2% of respondents identifying this role. This is followed by 12.8% of the developer population who are computer science (CS) or data science (DS) students, representing a strong pipeline of future talent. Leadership positions are also represented, with 9% taking the lead as engineering team leads and another 6.8% holding CIO/CTO/IT manager roles. This distribution highlights a focus on development execution alongside a healthy mix of future talent and experienced leadership to guide them.

3E. What motivates developers to contribute to corporate or vendor-owned open-source software projects

“Learning to code better” continues to be the biggest motivator for developers to contribute to a vendor-owned open-source project.

Nearly a third (27%) of developers contribute to vendor-owned open-source projects to directly improve the software, while 16.4% seek valuable code reviews from experienced developers within these projects. Almost a third, however, doesn’t contribute to vendor-owned open-source projects, a slight (3%) increase from Q3, 2023.

3F. Which of the following areas are you actively working on?

AI-assisted development and Generative AI are the current hottest developer trends.

11.9% of developers working on AI-assisted software development and 10.7% of Generative AI, making them the hottest trends right now.

4. Developer Careers:  Salaries, Income and Company size

4A. What is your current total yearly compensation, in US dollars?

On a global average, more than 35% of developers earn between $50k to $200K annually.

Many people choose to make a career in software development because of the lucrative financial compensation. More than 4% of the total population makes more than $200,000 per year.

4B. What is the size of the organisation you work for?

More than 13% of developers are lone-wolf programmers.

While more than 13% of developers work alone, perhaps on their own solopreneur journeys, almost one-third of the so-called Enterprise Developers work in companies with 51-500 employees.

4C. What is the size of the development team you work in?

Most developers work in a team of 2-5 people.

A little shy of 15% of developers work in a team of 6-10 people, while 10% of developers work alone.

4D. Salaries per region for EU countries

A significant portion of developers in the EU regions continues to receive relatively higher compensation.

More than 33% of developers in the EU have salaries between $50K to $100K, while 8% of developers have salaries in the range of 10-20k US$.

5. Programming languages

5A. Top 5 programming languages used by developers

JavaScript isn’t yet ready to lose its crown in the arena of programming languages.

JavaScript continues the trend of dominating the world of programming languages, with almost 60% usage, followed by Java at 45%. Python which ranked closer to Java in Q3, 2023, is now used by 40.5% of the developer population.

5B. Top 5 programming languages used in Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence

Python continues to be the preferred programming language for AI/ML Developers

With a ton of frameworks and libraries for machine learning, it’s no surprise that Python continues to grow as the preferred programming language for AI developers. This time, we’re witnessing a growth in usage of C++ (44.8%) compared to (39.9%) last time when it comes to AI development and also the introduction of significant usage of Low-Code / No-Code Visual development tools for ML applications, which will be great to watch.

5C. Top 5 programming languages in education, training, and academic/scientific

JavaScript remains the favourite tool of educators, trainers and researchers.

The flexibility and community support one gets with JavaScript made it a dominant player in Education and Research domains. Rise of low-code / no-code tools especially Visual Development tools, have made an entry in this segment as well, essentially removing C++ from the race. C# also has a 43.6% contribution in this vertical.

6. AI-assisted development tools

6A. Top 5 tasks that you have used AI-assisted development tools to complete, in the last 12 months

A great number of Developers are using AI for code generation.

When it comes to generating small snippets, the currently available AI tools seem to be able to do that job pretty well, and we can see from the insight that almost 55% of developers are using AI for Code Generation. Tools like ChatGPT can be helpful if given the exact prompts, whereas tools like Github CoPilot are specifically designed for this purpose. Bug Detection(37%) and generating Documents(~33%) are some of the other tasks in which developers are taking help from AI tools.

6B. Top 5 reasons for using AI-assisted development tools in your projects

AI-assisted development tools seem to be making developers more productive.

51% of developers reported the use of AI-assisted development tools to increase their productivity, while interestingly, 22.2% of developers are using it to automate repetitive tasks, which AI is definitely great for.

7. Company programs and resources supporting developers

7A. Top 5 companies’ official resources developers have used in the last 12 months

Google official resources are widely used by Developers.

In the last 12 months, the majority (59%) of developers have used Google's official resources, which include documentation, sample code, etc. Microsoft and Amazon also seem to have a great set of resources appreciated by developers 41.9% and 41.8%, respectively. Apple and Meta are behind in this race perhaps because of closed developer ecosystem where one might have to do paid sign up to access official resources such as Apple MFi program.

8. Professional developers -Dive into niches

8A. Enterprise developers' geographical distribution

Western Europe and Israel lead in Enterprise Developers numbers.

Last year, our data showed that North America had the biggest numbers of Enterprise Developers at 31%. More recently, it’s Western Europe & Israel at 33%.

8B. Development areas of enterprise developers

Enterprise developers favor Web (SaaS) and Backend development the most.

Last year, we had ~33% of Enterprise Developers working in ML/AI compared to 26.5% this time. This could possibly be because of the wave of new AI/ML startups we’re witnessing across the globe and Generative AI tools making it easier for small businesses to grow and flourish piggybacking onto years of research and development put into this area, hence developers moving to startups and small companies compared to Enterprise Organisations.

8C. Top 5 industry verticals for Enterprise developers

SaaS development is a top draw for enterprise developers

While the majority of Enterprise developers are still working in the SaaS vertical, we are seeing a drop in the total number of Enterprise Developers in every domain. Especially within the Data analytics and Business Intelligence domain, the drop is most noticeable from ~20% last year to ~14% this time.

8D. Popularity of CI/CD tools

Jenkins continues to be the de-facto king in the world of CI/CD

Year-on-year Jenkins continues to grow and remains the top choice of CI/CD tool among developers and DevOps practitioners, with a staggering 54% usage. Self-hosted Gitlab is next at 38%. We also have self-hosted CircleCI within the top 5 choices, with 8% usage.

8E. Usage of CI/CD tools in companies of more than 1K employees

Atlassian Bamboo seems to be picking up as a choice of CI/CD tool for companies having more than 1000 employees.

Though not significant in terms of usage, we have a new candidate entry in this segment where we’re seeing Atlassian Bamboo as a choice of CI/CD tool being used in organisations having >1K employees. Jenkins still leads the usage at 71.7% followed by self-hosted GitLab at 35.6%.

8F. Top-5 technologies used by backend developers

Container usage is most popular among backend developers.

Backend developers use a variety of tools to get their job done, among them, containers continue to be the most popular choice. The benefits technologies like Docker and LXC provide to package and ship applications are truly unmatched. Database-as-a-service is the next favourite among backend developers, with 30.8% of developers preferring them for their applications.

8G. Top-5 end-to-end platforms used by DevOps practitioners

GitHub's popularity continues to rise as top end-to-end platform used by DevOps professionals

When it comes to the choice of tools, DevOps professionals prefer an end-to-end solution, and Github has been an undefeated champion in that space, showcasing a good year-on-year growth from 28% last year to 31% this year. Google cloud developer tools, in 2nd place, have dropped usage to 12.4% from 13.8% last year.

9. The Developer Nation Community

9A. Who we are

Developer Nation is the heartbeat of the independent developer research program powered by SlashData.

Developer Nation is the heartbeat of the independent developer research program powered by SlashData. We're more than just a community; we're a global hub for developers looking to solidify their foundations, stay ahead in emerging software development trends, and unlock opportunities for professional growth.

Every year, we engage with 30,000+ developers from 165+ countries, forming an 80,000+ strong community committed to nurturing your coding journey. 

Our mission is simple: we bring engaging content, exceptional resources, and unrivalled support to our community members. Whether it's blog posts, webinars, workshops, video streams, or our insightful Pulse reports, we're here to propel your career.

But we're not doing this alone. We partner with tech companies, organisations, and communities to provide collaborative resources, helping you learn new skills and elevate your career. When you participate in the Developer Nation survey, you're not just helping us; you're shaping the future of the developer ecosystem. Your insights impact the tools, technologies, and platforms you use daily, creating an optimised developer experience.

Your journey, your impact – it's all part of Developer Nation.


We always love to hear your thoughts, how this report helped you and what can we do to make it even more helpful, so feel free to fill in our feedback form and let us know here.

You can join the community by signing up on our website and access a plethora of developer resources please don’t hesitate to contact us directly  at : community@developernation.net or drop your questions in our forum section. 

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