Zend Developer Pulse Survey on App Economy

Lingering recession, fierce global competition and the internet’s pervasiveness have created a perfect storm for tech innovation. To compete and win, today’s businesses must be more powerfully and productively engaged with customer, partner, supplier and employee communities, anytime and anywhere. The battle for market leadership is being waged on the web, and in the cloud, driven by mobile and social technologies. All this has sparked demand for a new generation of apps that can fuel business growth. The question is: how will this demand be met?

Zend Technologies addresses this question in Zend Developer Pulse, a new survey series that takes the pulse of a vibrant community of developers from around the world. The company’s first developer survey conducted in late November 2011 offers insights on emerging technology and career trends captured from 3,335 respondents. The findings are summarized in a report now available at [http://www.zend.com/topics/zend-developer-pulse-survey-report-0112-EN.pdf].  Zend, the PHP Company, is the leading provider of solutions to build and deploy web apps using PHP, which powers more than one-third of the web and provides foundational technology for Drupal, Facebook, Magento, Wikipedia, WordPress, Zynga, and other highly popular brands.

Key Survey Findings:


Technology investment and developer areas of focus for 2012

Key areas of technology investment are revealed by the types of projects that developers expect to tackle as well as their priorities for career and skills development in the new year.

Key project focus areas:

  • 66 percent of developers will be engaged in mobile app development projects
  • For each of these four key technology areas —cloud, social media integration, big data/analytics, and producing APIs — between 40-50 percent of developers said they will have projects underway in 2012

Career and skills development priorities:

  • Next-generation UI development scored high both in the large enterprise and overall (75 percent)
  • 67 percent of all developers surveyed are looking to hone their app development skills on mobile platforms, and 46 percent in cloud application development
  • As one might expect, among corporate developers at companies over 100 employees, another priority is gaining expertise with Big Data/analytics (44 percent)


Strong Interest in Cloud Development

  • More than 60 percent intend to use some form of public cloud in their development projects, with Amazon ranked the most popular at 30 percent
  • As far as skills are concerned, 46 percent of all developers surveyed are looking to hone their skills in cloud computing, with a high desire to gain expertise among 52 percent of developers in large enterprises. This result is consistent with the high level of interest that Zend is seeing at phpcloud.com (launched in October 2011), where developers are actively building apps for the cloud, in the cloud, in the Zend Developer Cloud sandbox.


State of Languages

The new norm among developers is use of multiple languages, and rising use of dynamic open source languages, and the Zend Developer Pulse survey echoes this trend.

  • Four languages, PHP, C, Java and Javascript dominated survey results, with a number of other languages trailing far behind
  • Two-thirds of all developers surveyed spend more than 50 percent of their time with PHP, using PHP as their core language; this includes an uptake of PHP in the enterprise
  • Developers reported that in addition to PHP, they use 1-2 other languages on a regular basis; as high as 33 percent of enterprise developers report using both PHP and Java


Demand for PHP Skills

Survey results show that developers see rising demand for PHP skills in 2011-12 compared to previous years, and independent data strongly support this trend.

  • From an employment perspective, more than half of developers surveyed see increasing demand for PHP skills in 2011-12. This finding is supported by data from oDesk, an online employment platform, which posts an average of more than 4,000 new PHP jobs per month and reports PHP as its #1 job posting.
  • Looking to bolster its talent pool with experts in PHP and several other leading programming languages, Facebook recently bypassed the standard résumé request in favor of setting up online coding tests to pre-qualify candidates for phone interviews.


According to Andi Gutmans, CEO and co-founder of Zend, “As our survey and other industry findings confirm, 2012 brings with it escalating requirements for cloud, mobile and social apps.  Enterprises are investing in PHP development projects and skills, and turning to Zend to help meet these requirements so they can build and deploy business-critical PHP apps that drive real business value.” 

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