The Rise of the Developer
Developer, programmer, software engineer, coder: All of these terms describe occupations related to the creation of computer programs, mobile apps, websites and more. Some people use the terms interchangeably, while others stick to a strict definition of each. No matter your view on the names, one thing is for certain: It’s a good time to have any of these titles on your resume.
A Growing Field
There are more software developers out there now than ever before, and the number looks to keep growing.
Number of software developers in 2002 (1)
Number of software developers in the U.S. in 2012 (1)
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% growth rate for software developer jobs from 2012 to 2022. (1)
Number of software developers worldwide in 2013 (2)
Projected number of software developers worldwide in 2019 (2)
That’s an increase of 45% in just six years. (2)
As the number of developers has increased over time, so too has their output and its availability to the public.
Number of apps in the Apple App Store in April 2009 (3)
Number of apps in the Apple App Store in September 2014 (3)
Number of code repositories on code-hosting site GitHub.com in July 2009 (4)
Number of code repositories on code-hosting site GitHub.com today (4)
Why Is Software Development Expanding?
Coding, developing and software engineering are becoming increasingly attractive career paths.
Median pay for software developers has risen over time, whether the developers specialize in applications or systems. And both fields pay significantly more than the median for all occupations.
Median annual pay for applications software developers (1)
Median annual pay for systems software developers (1)
Median annual pay for all occupations (1)
Tech companies are known to treat their employees well, too. In 2014, Fortune named Google to the #1 spot for the 5th time in its Best Companies To Work For list. (5)
Other software giants represented in the list: (5)
Adobe Systems, #83
Ranking of software developer in U.S. News’ Best Jobs of 2013 (6)
Ranking of software developer in U.S. News’ Best Jobs of 2014 (6)
Other reasons the developer’s proverbial star is rising: (2, 7)
The Internet makes it possible to create and distribute products globally with little or no upfront cost.
Open source products offer resources for developers to build upon for free.
Venture capital firms are drawn toward developer founders, investing heavily in technology startups.
Developers as the New Tycoons
Fortune’s 40 Under 40 ranking lists the most influential young people in business, and seven of the top 14 went from writing code to hitting it big with an app or website. (5)
1. Travis Kalanick, Uber [APP] Uber connects users who need a ride to drivers who can provide one. Founded in 2009, the company is currently valued at $40 billion, despite recent controversy about its policies and practices. (8)
2. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook [WEBSITE] Famously created by Zuckerberg in 2004 while studying at Harvard, the social network behemoth boasts 1.35 billion monthly active users and 8,348 employees. (9)
5. Jan Koum, WhatsApp [APP] The free mobile messaging service has 600 million monthly active users. Facebook closed its acquisition of the company for a whopping $22 billion in October. (10)
8. Kevin Systrom, Instagram [APP] Before he founded the photo-sharing app Instagram, which now has 300 million users, Systrom got his feet wet interning at a startup with Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, who later co-founded Twitter. (11)
11. Jack Dorsey, Twitter [WEBSITE], Square [APP]; Ben Silbermann, Pinterest [WEBSITE] (tied)
In 2006, Dorsey helped launch social networking service Twitter, which sees about 500 million Tweets sent each day. Square lets businesses accept credit card payments via mobile devices, and the company recently celebrated breaking $100 million in payments processed in a single day. (12-13)
Essentially a visual bookmark service with a social networking twist, 70 million Pinterest users have shared a total of more than 30 billion pins since the company was founded in early 2010. (14-15)
14. Evan Spiegel, Snapchat [APP] Spiegel created Snapchat with a classmate at Stanford University when he was only 21. In just three years, the photo-messaging app has grown to 100 million users monthly and is valued at $10 billion.