According to research firm Evans Data Corp. (EDC), the projected global developer population will be more than 17 million by 2009, and it is projecting a 46 percent growth between 2005 and 2009. If you want to find out what’s behind this boom, look east, said John Andrews, EDC president.
“Next year, APAC (Asia-Pacific) will become the dominant (developer) region,” Andrews said. “By 2009, it will capture about 40 percent-plus of the world’s developer population. By contrast, North America in 2009 will only comprise about 20 percent of the global developer population. We’ll really start to see some seismic shifts.”
This is not to say that the developer community in North America and Europe will be overwhelmed or fade to black — developers in the APAC region will face the issue of quality of outputs, but Andrews thinks they’re up to the challenge.
“I think there’s a maturity that will take place in those emerging markets,” he said. “For instance, there are pockets within Eastern Europe and Russia that have tremendous expertise in development. There are other countries such as China and India that fall a little bit short, but they’re being pulled in a lot of different directions because of the demands caused by population growth. I think by 2009, APAC will be on par with the rest of the world.”
The United States will remain the leader in terms of the number of developers in a single country, but year-over-year growth will stay in low single-digit percentages.
“The United States is the No. 1 country in terms of developer population,” Andrews said. “In this prediction, it stays that way, even though the growth is much less. But the countries that will really drive the global developer population are India, Russia and China.”
What’s more, the developer population in the APAC region will be much younger than that in North America. “Their average age is about 10 years higher than APAC developers,” Andrews said. “Wherever there’s high growth in places like APAC, we’re going to have a lot more junior developers.”
Still, because of industry trends, it’s a good time to be a developer no matter where you are.
“We see that the developer community in general is being embraced more and more by anyone who is producing products and applications,” Andrews said. “A good example is in the telecom industry, where you see the convergence of telecommunications and applications or services. That’s a sector where the developer ecosystem is playing a huge role in the evolution and deployment of new products and services vis-a-vis the network.”