New Research Reveals Notable Economic Influence of Developers in Business and Society

Survey from Chef Shows Majority of Software Developers Feel Empowered to Experiment and Will Be a Revolutionary Influence in the Next Five Years

SEATTLE – April 14, 2014 – Chef, the leader in web-scale IT automation, today released results from a sweeping new survey  that indicates the emergence of a power class of developers. The findings show that developers are starting to be recognized as a highly influential population both in business and in society. An overwhelming majority of developers – 93 percent – feel empowered to experiment in their companies, and 94 percent believe they will be a revolutionary influence in the private sector, government and non-profits during the next five years.

News Highlights:

Chef surveyed 1,000 software developers in the U.S. to determine trends in their business, societal, financial, and political behavior. Key findings from the survey include:

  • Staying Power: Developers are invested and committed to their companies and see longevity in their careers. There is a common perception that those involved in software development are constantly changing jobs. Despite the wealth of opportunity available to them, Chef’s survey found that developers are career-monogamists, and not constantly searching for the next big thing.
    • The average software developer plans to stay at his or her current company for nine years.
    • Seventy percent of developers say they plan to stay at their current company for five years or more and 25 percent plan to stay for more than 10 years. Further, nearly half of them (49 percent) plan to be at their current company for seven or more years.
    • Eighty-two percent of software developers report they are more satisfied with their jobs than their peers who are not developers.
  • Economic Power: Developers are a stable class and are the engine powering our economy today and in the future. Despite the ups and downs of technology companies, the developer population remains stable, maturing and growing in size, influence, and financial power.
    • More than two-thirds (69 percent) of developers describe their profession as “recession-proof.” Developers see growth opportunities across industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and education.
    • Ninety-four percent expect to be a revolutionary influence in major segments of the economy during the next five years.
    • Eighty-four percent of developers feel they are paid what they are worth and more than half believe they will be a millionaire at some point.
    • With their rising importance in the workplace, 66 percent expect to get a raise in the next 12 months.
    • Three out of four developers feel they are more financially secure than their parents were at their current age.
  • Knowledge is Power: Developers are pragmatic and understand the value of both technology and government. While longstanding stereotypes misrepresent developers’ as withdrawn from business and society, the research reveals developers are informed and engaged participants in social and civic activities.
    • Developers nearly equally value the political power of technology (51 percent) and government leaders (49 percent).
    • Seventy-one percent of developers participated in political and civic activities in the last 12 months.
    • Developers find time to give back; the average software developer spends 50 hours per year volunteering.
    • Developers understand the demands for their skillset; 53 percent feel their time, for example donating coding skills, is a more valuable contribution than their money.
  • Empowered: Developers feel valued and empowered by their companies and in their profession. Viewing developers as tactical executioners is a thing of the past – developers understand they are at the epicenter of today’s digital economy and are qualified to initiate ripples of change throughout the enterprise.
    • Coders aren’t just taking orders. Ninety-three percent of developers frequently feel empowered to experiment and suggest changes to business processes, products, or services.
    • Although organizations are looking to developers to provide and foster innovation to drive growth and profits, the barrier to innovation may be this same need for growth and profits. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that the pursuit of near-term profits may be holding their companies back from making long-term investments in innovative and unproven solutions.
    • Ninety-five percent of developers feel they are one of the most valued employees at their company and 89 percent say their company’s leaders see them as essential.
    • Developers feel that a talented software developer has more power to change society than a talented public speaker (63 percent versus 37 percent).

Supporting Quotes:

“Developers are the growth engine powering enterprises today. This research demonstrates this class is evolving as powerful, connected influencers who are mobilizing to shape more than code across business and society. We look forward to continuing to work with developers to equip them with the tools, resources and community support needed to thrive in this transformational period.”

–        Barry Crist, chief executive officer, Chef

“As the more and more of the economy shifts to being delivered online, software developers and systems administrators are uniquely suited to help businesses embrace this change. Rather than standing in the background and keeping the proverbial lights on, they are vaulting forward – to the front line of business development, strategy, and operations.”

–        Adam Jacob, chief technology officer, Chef

Additional Resources:

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee