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Brave Developers: the new type of devs

A class of “brave developers” is emerging, a new study has determined

Despite the uncertain environment, a new breed of “brave developers” are emerging, an independent study on the state of the UK developer sector has found.

The report, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Vanson Bourne, has found that the modern developer is facing significant challenges, including a multi-device environment, low return on investment, new consumer demands, difficulty to access start-up funding and new business models. Yet despite these hurdles, the UK developer is growing rapidly.

“‘Geek Speak’ is not the language of a small club anymore, let alone the only skill required to succeed,” says Anand Krishnan, general manager of Microsoft’s developer and platform group.

“It’s a world of opportunity and harsh new challenges. The days of developing for a single platform, a single form factor, even a single kind of device are over. However, this study has revealed how in the face of uncertainty, ‘brave developers’ are forging a path ahead and see significant possibilities for growth and prosperity.”

Positive outlook

Indeed, a number of indicators point to a positive outlook for developers working in the UK. Motivation overall is strong, with nearly all (95 per cent) optimistic about the future of the industry. In addition:

  • 78 per cent have found that demand for skills has grown massively over the last few years
  • 86 per cent believe they’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with software and applications
  • 83 per cent say demand for custom applications will increase hugely over the next few years
  • 81 per cent state enterprise applications is an area of opportunity not yet fully exploited
  • 83 per cent agree that when multichannel becomes a standard approach it will be possible to take full advantage of features available across all platforms

“’Brave development’ encapsulates the past two decades of expansion in the developer workforce, which has brought significant value to the UK economy in terms of skills, jobs and a thriving startup sector. It also reflects how there remain some key challenges that impact the industry,” adds Krishnan.

There remain, of course, a number of barriers that need to be overcome by developers.

According to the report, these challenges include: design requirements changing part way through development, the need for regular testing and updating when an operating system updates, programming in multiple languages, potential issues with security and privacy, and difficulty to port the application on multiple platforms.

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