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A quarterly report on developer trends in the cloud
Trends in the developer community move quickly. As a developer-focused company, it's vital for us to keep up with the technologies and tools that developers and their teams are interested in so we can help them achieve their goals.
Currents is a quarterly report on developer cloud trends that we created to share our knowledge with the broader community. For the fourth edition, we surveyed nearly 5,000 respondents from around the world about themselves, the tools they use and the challenges they face.
Given the quickly growing popularity of containers, we were interested in understanding where adoption trends are as we head into the second half of 2018.
Nearly half (49 percent) say they are using containers today. Usage is fairly consistent regardless of company size, except for companies between 1-5 employees, which have a slightly lower rate of adoption (35 percent). Of those using them, 40 percent are only using containers for testing and development, while the majority (60 percent) is also using them for production. The biggest reported benefit is that they are very scalable. Challenges include the complications around setting up persistent data storage and network configuration, and respondents’ applications not being optimized for containers.
Of those who aren’t yet using containers, 78 percent still say they plan to adopt them in the future, demonstrating that developers are overwhelmingly bullish on containers.
While Kubernetes was most popular overall, the smallest companies (1-5 employees) use Docker Swarm more often (41 percent use Swarm vs. 31 percent that use Kubernetes).
Despite the popularity of containers, solutions to simplify container management have yet to take off. More than half (52 percent) of respondents using containers have yet to adopt an orchestration platform. However, those who have report significant time savings: 51 percent are saving at least 5 hours a week, with 15 percent reporting saving more than 10 hours.
Surprisingly, developers were completely split on their knowledge of serverless computing, with half saying they have a strong understanding of it, and the other half not. Unlike containers, serverless seems to be at a much earlier stage in the cycle, with India slightly ahead in the adoption cycle compared to other key developer markets including the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
While monitoring and debugging is the biggest challenge with serverless overall, when we segmented by age groups we saw a slightly different story: the youngest respondents (18-24 years old) said their biggest challenge was depending on a third-party provider, while the oldest respondents (55-64) identified complex migration processes.
With graduation season upon us and many new developers entering the job market, we looked at hiring trends for engineers. Eighty-four percent of respondents self-identified as candidates/employees, with the others identified as hiring managers. Salary and growth opportunities are the top things developers look for in new jobs, closely followed by culture. Older candidates care more about the ability to work remotely, while women value growth opportunities over salary.
Most candidates leave their existing roles either due to poor management or a lack of growth opportunities.
Given the ongoing interest around bootcamps as an alternative or additional approach to code education, we were curious what the current sentiment around them was. Interestingly, respondents who attended bootcamps felt far more prepared for a software engineering position than their peers graduating from traditional programs: 61 percent of bootcamp graduates vs. only 36 percent of traditional college program graduates. For women, the most popular reason they use bootcamps is it allows them to enter the coding workforce more quickly (35 percent of women agreed, vs. 26 percent of men). Men’s primary reason for going to bootcamps is because they think it will provide them with better skills and experience (29 percent men vs. only 13 percent women).
Yet, bootcamps face an uphill battle with how they’re perceived among employers: almost half of bootcamp graduates say they have sometimes been at a disadvantage because of it during interviews. Additionally, 14 percent of hiring managers said they still prefer traditional college graduates, while 48 percent admitted they have not hired any coding bootcamp graduates in recent years. Hiring managers in India appear to be more open to bootcamp graduates with the U.K. and U.S. less open.
Hiring is always a big challenge in the tech market, and nearly half of hiring managers (44 percent) said they have problems retaining talent. More than anything else, they said having a great culture is key to keeping developers engaged and happy.
In terms of bootcamp graduates, younger hiring managers seem more open to hiring graduates from them, while older hiring managers are more likely to be neutral to negative on them; 10 percent of hiring managers aged 55-64 said they had an extremely negative viewpoint on them.
According to our respondents, a limited talent pool without relevant job/technical skills represents the biggest hiring challenge — 39 percent selected it as the No. 1 issue. This vastly overshadowed additional responses; only 18 percent selected a lack of formal software engineering education as their top challenge.
Of the 4,853 survey respondents, 55 percent self-identified as developers, 13 percent as working in DevOps and 10 percent each said they were either a student or manager.
Ninety-four percent of our respondents self-identified as men, 5 percent as women, and 1 percent as non-binary/other. Seventy-six percent of respondents were under 34 years old, and 6 percent were 45 or older.