December 2016

IoT Developer Population Forecasts 2017

Is there a critical shortage in IoT developers?
IoT Developer Population Forecasts 2017

Those who think that developer employment in IoT (or even hobbyist interest) is growing in lockstep with devices and revenues are in for a surprise. There is a large need in the market for developers that are skilled at transforming products and increasing efficiencies. Will that labour shortage be resolved any time soon? Why is there a drop in developers focused on cost-saving or product extensions? Find out this and much more in this report. Our estimate draws on data from over 33,000 IoT developers in 140+ countries surveyed between 2014 and 2016.

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The Internet of Things promises to make data about the world abundant and instantly accessible. Gathering data where there was none before will supposedly result in a tsunami of efficiency gains, as well as providing new, connected experiences. Pundits project that tens of billions of devices will come online in the next few years, tens or even hundreds of billions will be spent on new solutions, and trillions of economic value will be unlocked through increased revenues and cost savings.

Someone has to engineer all those solutions, in particular the software that connects devices together into a coherent solution, and makes sense of all that data flowing around. In this report we focus on IoT developers: a linchpin element in the IoT supply chain. We estimate their numbers and their distribution across regions, as well as the goals of IoT developers and their means to make money. We also derive estimates of the addressable market for technologies that are used by IoT developers.

Those who think that developer employment in IoT (or even hobbyist interest) is growing in lockstep with devices and revenues are in for a surprise. There is a large need in the market for developers that are skilled at transforming products and increasing efficiencies. Will that labour shortage be resolved any time soon? Why is there a drop in developers focused on cost-saving or product extensions? Find out this and much more in this report.

Our estimate draws on data from over 33,000 IoT developers in 140+ countries surveyed between 2014 and 2016. The IoT Developer Population Forecasts 2017 report comes with a single user license. If you are interested in an enterprise-wide license please contact us.

  1. How many IoT developers are there in the world?
  2. Are their numbers growing fast enough to keep up with demand? Why not?
  3. Where are IoT developers located? Which regions are on the rise?
  4. Which vertical markets do IoT developers target?
  5. How will the DNA of the IoT developer population - the mix of developer segments - evolve?
  6. Which revenue models are on the rise in the IoT developer community, and which are falling out of fashion?
  7. How big is the addressable market for IoT developer tools and platforms?

To get a full list of this report’s contents and a sample graph, please download the brochure.

We use our solid mobile developer population estimate as an absolute-number anchor point to derive the IoT developer population. In each survey, we ask respondents about their involvement in IoT and mobile development, among other areas. Hence we also know the overlap between these two sectors. Given an estimate for one population, we can estimate the size of the other.

Taking our estimate and forecast of the global IoT developer population as a starting point, we have used survey data to break down the population across regions, developer segments, vertical IoT markets, revenue models used, and developer tools used. The Developer Economics survey is conducted twice per year. As such, we have rich historical data to draw from. The research in this report draws on data going back to the 8th edition from Q4 2014 - the first edition in which we included IoT developers. Since then, over 33,000 IoT developers from 140+ countries have responded.

For more information about our methodology, here.

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