Developer Survey from Zend (The PHP Company) – 2012 Cloud and Mobile Trends

The great folks at Zend, the PHP Company  have assembled their latest “Zend Developer Pulse” Report (available for free, here).

The report suggests that Developers plan to invest most of their time, talent and energy in mobile and API projects over the coming year — and will continue to code in a variety of languages.  Apparently the survey itself was conducted in late November 2011; around 3,335 respondents were polled.  Zend’s products are used at over 40,000 companies.  As you surely know, PHP is the programming language that powers about a third of the Internet, including Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Zynga and many other household-name-type websites and services.  It is one of the fastest growing segments of New Relic‘s Web App Performance business, and is popping up more and more in the cloud – including Zend’s and Engine Yard’s purchase of Orchestra.

The Developer Pulse report tells us around two thirds of developers around the world will be working on mobile app development projects in the next 12 months. And a further 67 percent of the developers surveyed said they wanted to improve their mobile app development skills this year.

The report is skewed toward PHP developers (shocker!) but the results are still very interesting and relevant.  Anyway, the report is full of great nuggets about 2012 – see the charts below.  Feel free to add any comments!  Oh, and the biggest, most important piece of data I learned from the report?  A full 86% of developers like to listen to music while coding.

Thanks to the team at Zend for the interesting data.  Of course, with all this great new PHP code being written, someone needs to monitor and manage the performance, right?  That’s where we come in!  Below is borrowed directly from their press release:

Key Survey Findings:

Technology investment and developer areas of focus for 2012
Key areas of technology investment are revealed by the types of projects that developers expect to tackle as well as their priorities for career and skills development in the new year.
Key project focus areas:

  •    66 percent of developers will be engaged in mobile app development projects
  •    For each of these four key technology areas —cloud, social media integration, big data/analytics, and producing APIs — between 40-50 percent of developers said they will have projects underway in 2012

Career and skills development priorities:

  •    Next-generation UI development scored high both in the large enterprise and overall (75 percent)
  •    67 percent of all developers surveyed are looking to hone their app development skills on mobile platforms, and 46 percent in cloud application development
  •   As one might expect, among corporate developers at companies over 100 employees, another priority is gaining expertise with Big Data/analytics (44 percent)

Strong Interest in Cloud Development

  •    More than 60 percent intend to use some form of public cloud in their development projects, with Amazon ranked the most popular at 30 percent
  •    As far as skills are concerned, 46 percent of all developers surveyed are looking to hone their skills in cloud computing, with a high desire to gain expertise among 52 percent of developers in large enterprises. This result is consistent with the high level of interest that Zend is seeing at (launched in October 2011), where developers are actively building apps for the cloud, in the cloud, in the Zend Developer Cloud sandbox.

State of Languages
The new norm among developers is use of multiple languages, and rising use of dynamic open source languages, and the Zend Developer Pulse™ survey echoes this trend.

  •   Four languages, PHP, C, Java and Javascript dominated survey results, with a number of other languages trailing far behind
  •   Two-thirds of all developers surveyed spend more than 50 percent of their time with PHP, using PHP as their core language; this includes an uptake of PHP in the enterprise
  •   Developers reported that in addition to PHP, they use 1-2 other languages on a regular basis; as high as 33 percent of enterprise developers report using both PHP and Java

Demand for PHP Skills
Survey results show that developers see rising demand for PHP skills in 2011-12 compared to previous years, and independent data strongly support this trend.

  •   From an employment perspective, more than half of developers surveyed see increasing demand for PHP skills in 2011-12. This finding is supported by data from oDesk, an online employment platform, which posts an average of more than 4,000 new PHP jobs per month and reports PHP as its #1 job posting.
  •   Looking to bolster its talent pool with experts in PHP and several other leading programming languages, Facebook recently bypassed the standard résumé request in favor of setting up online coding tests to pre-qualify candidates for phone interviews.

According to Andi Gutmans, CEO and co-founder of Zend, “As our survey and other industry findings confirm, 2012 brings with it escalating requirements for cloud, mobile and social apps Enterprises are investing in PHP development projects and skills, and turning to Zend to help meet these requirements so they can build and deploy business-critical PHP apps that drive real business value.”'

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