The world is, arguably, in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, and so many other facets of technology. All these advancements are creating novel business models, new revenue streams, new technological frameworks, and crucially, vast opportunities for employment in the field of software development. There are an estimated 9 trillion devices in active use around the world on any given day. All this technology requires software, and ergo, software developers.
So how many software developers are there in the world? How many software engineers are active in the United States? Which companies do software engineers choose (or want!) to work for?
Let's find out the answers to these questions.
According to the 20th edition of the State of the Developer Nation report, there are 24.3m software developers working around the world as of 2021. This figure increased about 20% from the previous year. And current predictions estimate that, in the world of 2030, there will be 45m active software developers.
The United States is vast. It occupies almost 9.9m square kilometers. It is also one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, full to the brim with hi-tech firms. These companies need software engineers to create products and develop applications. According to data, there currently are around 4.4m software developers actively working in the United States.
A large portion of this workforce is employed in top companies such as Google and Amazon. Google US for instance employs over 100,000 people, and while there are no official figures publicly available of how many software engineers are employed, estimates put the figure at around 60,000.
Europe is a rather diverse continent steeped in history and tradition. And despite these deep cultural roots, modern Europe is also at the forefront of the software development industry.
In terms of sheer number of software developers, Germany leads the way, closely followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Poland. See the table below for full details.
Europe also features some of the world’s most sought-after offshore locations, including Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and a few others.
The software development industry has, traditionally, been largely dominated by males. A 2020 global survey for example found that a paltry eight percent of software developers were female.
Similar levels of female underrepresentation can be found across many other IT-related specialist roles, as women tend to pursue careers in academia.
This disparity pose challenges for employers in terms of lack of diversity and other issues.
Nevertheless, there appear to be some green shoots. Nascent organizations, such as Girls who Code or Ladies Learning Code, support and promote female representation in software development roles.
Looking at this graphic, you can see how India, a country with deep cultural biases and racial diversity leads the way in supporting the inclusion of female software developers. Chile meanwhile trails badly behind.
There is ample room for improvement in this particular aspect of software development still, and the next few years are likely to see a marked increase in female representation in this field.
Different technologies attract different developers, depending on skillset, curiosity, interest, and the desire to learn. It is difficult to quantify and categorize exactly how many developers dedicate their time to which programming language, but here are a few interesting estimates, all the same.
According to a State of the Developer Nation report, there were almost 27m active software developers in the world, as of 2021. By some predictions, this number is likely to rise to more than 45m by 2030.
Mobile technology has seen a meteoric rise in uptake and affordability over the past 10 years or so, leading to a massive increase in interest by developers.
According to EvansData, there are 5,9 million Android developers and 2,8 million iOS developers in the world.
Overall, there are about 26.4m people developing apps around the world.
Java has been around for quite a long time, and the language has found a second lease of life thanks to mobile app developers.
Today, there are an estimated 9m Java developers in the world.
As of December 2021, Python was the most popular programming language in the world, with a global share of almost 30%.https://statisticstimes.com/tech/top-computer-languages.php. Over 11m developers use Python in their day-to-day programming tasks.
The latest estimates put the number of .NET developers globally at around 6m.
Originally conceived as an extension to the immensely popular C language, there currently are about 5.4m developers using C++ globally.