Software development trends in emerging markets

I’ve just attended a webinar given by Evans Data on software development trends in emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil. Not many surprises, but still interesting. Here’s a quick summary:

  • The emerging market developers are much younger – a median age of 29 versus 41 in the rest of the world (ROW).
  • The developer population is growing faster in emerging markets – 25% per annum versus 9%.
  • Educational attainment is similar in emerging markets vs ROW – developers tend to be highly educated.
  • Developing for cloud computing and SOA is somewhat stronger in emerging markets than ROW

There are mixed signals when it comes to use of Microsoft technologies. On the one hand, we were told that Microsoft is strong, and a sign of that is that more emerging market developers are signed up to a paid developer program (presumably MSDN) than in the ROW. On the other hand, there’s more open source adoption in emerging markets: 74% vs 65% ROW.

Programming language trends are hard to nail, because emerging market developers tend to have multi-language skills. 60% of emerging market developers use Java, for example, vs 45% in ROW; but 48% use C#, vs 38% in ROW. The emerging market developers are ahead in every category here, despite (or because of) their younger age.

When it comes to host operating systems, Windows XP predominates in both groups. There’s less Mac in emerging markets: the number 5 OS is Windows 7, whereas it is OS X in ROW. The others are Vista, Linux, and Windows 2003.

What I’m not sure about (but would like to know) is how many of the developers surveyed in emerging markets were working for their own market, and how many for international customers.

My own observation is that aside from the remarkable age difference, the two groups are more similar than I would have guessed.

One thought on “Software development trends in emerging markets”

  1. Hi,

    I’m a 21 year old developer working in Brazil.

    My primary platform is .Net, using Delphi.Net (Legacy) but moving towards C#.

    My company focus on Web Development, mostly HTML-CSS-JS-ASP.Net.

    Our systems are now being built for SaaS.

    Our primary OS is Windows XP, although I use Windows 7 on my laptop.

    All of our programming staff is preparing for Microsoft Certifications (demanded by customers).

    No Linux here, but nothing against it either, just that no one ever asked us to develop for it.

    About Microsoft Presence here, I’d say it’s huge. Some Micro ISV like open-source technologies, but governments and large corporations (my company’s primary target) prefer consolidated Microsoft products. I myself do too.

    Here in Brazil, some large IT companies export software, but I’d say that the biggest market for us is our internal market.

    Even small companies here expect systems to be entirely customized for their LOB.

    That’s more work for us.

    Thanks, Pedro Brown.

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