How Many Software Developers Are in the World in 2021? Locations and Specialization
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The demand for software developers is rising with each passing day. Every business is reliant on software, in one way or the other, to carry out its business operations. Similarly, on a general scale, we are also moving to a more connected world.
As per an estimate, there will be about forty billion devices(IoT and non-IoT combined) globally by 2025, connecting people from all over the world, driven by software. These devices, with advanced software, have led to a more interconnected world, where information can be sent and received at lightning speed.
And this number of devices is set to increase rapidly. Thus, it can be rightly said that software developers are the shapers and builders of the modern, interconnected world. But, where are these software developer clusters at? and how many software developers are there in the world in 2021 exactly? Let us have an in-depth look to get to know the world of software developers in detail.
How Many Software Developers Are There In The World?
As per a report, there were about 24.5 million software developers across the globe in 2020. This number is expected to grow in the upcoming years, reaching just a bit shy of 29 million by 2024. If we segregate the numbers by different regions in the world, then it can be observed that the United States and Europe have the largest number of these professionals.
The United States is the leader among software developers. It is estimated that there are about 4.3 million software developers in the country. Within the country, the software developer community can be found concentrated largely in the Washington DC area. The region alone contributes about 6.4% to the software developer population in the nation. Next to follow are Virginia and Maryland, both of which contribute about 4% each to the software developer population. Other notable areas with a high concentration of software developers include Massachusetts, Colorado, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and California.
Like the US, Europe, too, boasts a strong base of software developers. As per a report, there were about 6.1 million software developers in Europe in 2019, about two million more than their US counterparts. The majority of them can be found in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands. To put them in numbers, Germany has around 901K, the UK around 849K, and France around 533K software developers, respectively.
As mentioned earlier, the demand for software developers is forecasted to increase exponentially. However, the demand for software developers is expected to be met by Eastern European countries. The region has become a popular choice for businesses across the globe as it offers access to a broad talent pool, affordable rates, and high-quality delivery of services. The European IT services outsourcing market is growing at a steady pace. As per a report, it is valued at over a hundred billion dollars in 2021.
Among Eastern European countries, Ukraine has emerged as a top destination for software development outsourcing. More than 50% of the clients are from the US, more than 30% are from the UK, and more than 20% of clients are from Western Europe. Additionally, Ukraine has also become the preferred choice of major businesses to set up their R&D. Google, eBay, Oracle, Grammarly, and Upwork are just some of the top businesses that have set up their R&D offices in Ukraine.
Software Developers By Country Distribution
Another metric that we can use to find out the number of software developers in the world is aggregating GitHub data and segregating it by various parameters. We all know that GitHub is a popular platform used by software developers, both experienced and novice, to build software for open source and commercial projects. Thus, analyzing GitHub data can provide significant insights regarding the software development community in various parts of the world.
The Number of GitHub Accounts Per Country
The data for the number of GitHub accounts per country shows similar trends compared to research reports of the number of software developers by countries mentioned earlier. The United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific regions have the highest number of GitHub accounts, indicating a large number of software developers. Let’s have a look at the top five countries with GitHub accounts to get a clearer picture.
|Country||Number of GitHub accounts|
The United States, a technological superpower, undeniably emerges as the leader in GitHub users, followed by rapidly emerging nations like India, China, and then by European countries. However, just comparing the number of GitHub accounts per country isn’t a reliable way of concluding where the top software developers in the world can be found. Why? Because the top countries on the list are also among the most populous nations in the world. It is natural that a large number of user accounts will be found from these regions owing to the humongous population.
A better approach to finding the number of software developers by region is comparing GitHub accounts to the GDP of the country to which these accounts belong to. Plotting the data using this metric, we find that the former Soviet states perform the best. Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia have a high number of GitHub accounts compared to their respective GDPs. Among these, Ukraine seems to be the fastest-growing country in terms of software developers and provides the best location for hiring a software developer on a remote basis.
English and German
Ukraine has the second-largest talent pool for software developers in Eastern Europe. There are more than 2,00,000 IT professionals in the country, and the number is expected to see an upward trend in the future. This has led to the country becoming one of the major hotspots for skilled software developers. The three major reasons that can be attributed to this trend include:
- The Availability of A Broad Talent Pool
Ukraine already has a broad base of software developer talent pool with around 200k IT professionals in the country. Furthermore, there is an approximate growth of about 10,000 tech professionals every year. Thus, there is no shortage of talented software developers from this region and the options keep on increasing.
- Reasonable Prices Compared to Other Parts of the World
Hiring a software developer from Ukraine is considerably cost-effective when compared to other regions of the world, especially the United States. The average salary of a software developer in Kiev, Ukraine, is USD 3000-5000 per month>. This is comparatively less compared to the average salary of about USD 8000+ per month in the United States, excluding incentives. Businesses can end up saving 40% to 70% of total costs. They, therefore, prefer hiring remote software developers from Ukraine to hiring a developer from their region.
- Increase in Remote
Remote working has become the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have become more open to the idea of hiring employees remotely from across the globe. Online collaboration tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, Skype, and Google Docs, to name a few, have made it much easier to work with individuals from different parts and different time zones altogether.
Software Developers by Programming Language
Another important factor to consider when discussing software developers around the globe is the programming language preferences. Popular languages tend to shape the trends in the area and globally. Hence, these become an important parameter in understanding software development space worldwide.
This language is adopted by over 6.5 million software developers globally, and the number of active developers has increased by about half a million in the past few years. The language is extensively used for desktop apps, AR/VR, and game development.
Java is an established language in the software development domain, with over 10 million professionals using it. It has gained renewed popularity after the rise of the Android mobile app ecosystem.
The demand for software developers is growing and has seen exponential growth in the last decade. The software developer profession has become global, transcending boundaries, where labour resources are distributed all over the world. Software developers can now be especially found in eastern European countries like Ukraine, which has four developers per thousand people. Ukraine can, therefore, be called a country that codes.
The field of software development is only expected to grow exponentially in the future, looking at the current trends. It won’t be long before software developers are found in every region in the world, in every home.