I recently read the results of a survey on developer economics released by Vision Mobile, the mobile industry analysts. There are some really interesting findings about developers. Vision Mobile polled 6,000 respondents from 115 countries around the world about their motivations, challenges and future plans for app development.
From the results, Vision Mobile created a hierarchy of developer motivations. The results were surprising. The biggest motivator was not money, but rather achievement, i.e. being creative and having a sense of self achievement. Over half of developers (53%) reported this. In contrast, only 28% said that money was a motivating factor when developing apps. Other significant answers were the fun of building an app (mentioned by 40% of developers), building a successful business (34%) and because it’s an exciting industry to be in (29%).
Intel recognises that developers love a challenge, and this is one of the reasons it creates contests, such as the recent Intel Perceptual Computing Challenge, Ultimate Coder and the 2013 Intel App Innovation Contest which is currently running. Check the Intel Developer Zone for more upcoming contests.
Vision Mobile also used the results to segment developers into different types. These were: the Hobbyists, the Explorers, the Hunters, the Guns for Hire, the Product Extenders, the Digital Content Publishers, the Gold Seekers and the enterprise IT developers. Each type of developer was found to have different motivations, platforms and ways of working. So for example the Product Extenders, Enterprise IT developers, Digital Content Publishers and Gold Seekers make up a large percentage of app economy revenues when compared with the other types of developer, despite only making up 29% of the developer population. These developers prefer Android and HTML5 as a platform (probably due to their reach across the smartphone installed base) more than, for example, the Hobbyists, who prefer to work with BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone.
The survey also looked at the platforms that developers code for in general. Unsurprisingly some platforms are more popular than others, with Android, iOS and HTML5 taking the top spots across all regions. iOS and Android’s popularity in particular was due to the opportunities presented to make a profit, compared with the other platforms. The main reasons (aside from financial) for developing for Android were because it is quick and inexpensive for developers to create apps on this platform.
If you are a developer and want more of a challenge, register for the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco and find more sources of inspiration.
• This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture