September 16, 2009, 8:19 PM — Among the facets of my persona is my Analyst Hat. For several years, I've contributed to a few research reports from Evans Data Corp., such as those that evaluate developer trends in Asia Pacific (APAC) regions and among Linux and open source developers. (You can download excerpts after a free sign-up, which also makes you eligible to participate in the surveys, and you can download stuff like Scripting Languages User Satisfaction, 2009 Rankings.)
[ See also: Convincing the Boss to Accept FOSS ]
Most of the information I work with is proprietary, but this morning John Andrews, Evans Data president and CEO, led a webinar on "Contrasting Software Development Trends Between the Emerging Markets and the Rest of the World." He addressed several issues I won't go into, such as the differences in language use, tools, and technology adoption. But I wanted to point out a few statistics of interest to the open source community.
In particular: the emerging markets — which include India, China, and Brazil — have more FOSS adoption and a higher concentration of effort in open source. Three quarters (74%) of developers in emerging markets use open source software for at least part of their work, compared to 65% of developers worldwide. In this context, "use" means personal use or corporate use, and could include both developer tools and desktop or server applications.
That 11% difference is particularly important because of the growth of the emerging markets. That is, the number of software development jobs are growing worldwide (yes, really, they are) but three times as many programming, testing and other development jobs are being generated in the emerging markets as there are in APAC regions, North America, and Europe. The point is, anything that's taking off in the emerging markets is likely to have a major long-term influence.