Software development is a rapidly growing sector and will continue to see growth as more companies shift to virtual environments. It is a critical component for a large number of businesses because can improve customer experiences, bring more feature-rich and innovative products to market, and implement new revenue and cost saving opportunities.
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To demonstrate the growth within this sector and how it's shaping the general economy, we've researched and compiled some of the most interesting software development statistics, trends, and insights.
Table of Contents
Software Development Market Overview
How big is the software development market? What does the future hold? How many software developers are there in the world? In this section, we'll address some of the top questions that surround the software development market and explore it's future outlook.
- In 2021, IT spending on enterprise software is expected to amount to around 517 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, a growth of 10.8 percent from the previous year.
- Global revenue for enterprise application software will reach 209.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, a decline of 2.2 percent compared to 2019 due to the negative economic impact brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- The rapid rise in the volume of enterprise data and automation of business processes across several industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation is expected to drive the growth of software development.
- There were 26.4 million software developers in the world in 2019, a number that in 2023 is expected to grow to 27.7 million and 28.7 million in 2024.
Time to Build and the Cost of Software
With blazing fast websites, smart phones, and the ability to access content and data online within seconds, we often take technology for granted. From a user standpoint, we see simple frontend components that are intended for ease of use. But, that doesn't mean that they are in fact as easy to develop.
Custom software is a lot like Rome — it wasn't built in a day. There is a lot of careful planning, design, architecture, programming and quality assurance work that goes into development. Needless to say, all of these things have implications on development time. And time is money! In this section, we'll explore some interesting statistics on average software development times and how that impacts cost.
- Software development project takes between one to nine months. On average, a custom software development project is expected to take about 4.5 months.
- Less than 10% of developers can deliver a typical software with basic features in a time less than 2 months.
- Fixed prices for software development projects vary widely and can range from $3,000 to $120,000 depending on the scope of work, timelines, experience of the developers and other factors.
- The most complex software can cost up to $1 million to develop; this includes data-driven applications, external apps that support mobile devices, social media, or reporting, and enterprise software with complex business logic.
- When it comes to conducting a pre-research stage 51% of companies' representatives said that it costs up to $5,000 to come with an initial concept and do research. 22% went above the $5k threshold and spent $10k and 14% spent anywhere from $10 to $25k.
- The industry average accepted cost to maintain software is roughly 15-20% of its original development cost.
- Software Developers made a median salary of $107,510 in 2019. The best-paid 25 percent made $136,320 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $82,430.
- The hourly rate of a freelance software developer ranges from $25-$300 per hour.
- Enterprise Class consultancies generally have hundreds, if not thousands, of developers and consultants on staff and generally work with governments and Fortune 500 companies. Projects usually range in size from $500,000 to more than $100 million.
Technologies Used in Software Development
With over 700 programming languages to choose from, businesses investing in software, and developers themselves, have a lot of options to consider. In this section, we'll cover some of the most popular technologies and tools used in software development.
- The preferred platform for software development worldwide is Linux (55%).
- Docker, a tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications, is the most wanted platform among developers, worldwide, as of early 2020.
- 77% of developers have state that their first preference is to use PHP.
- MySQL is the most popular database technology among developers worldwide as of 2020.
- jQuery, React.js, and Angular are the three most popular web frameworks.
- GitHub is widely regarded one of the most important software development tools.
- Python is considered to be the fastest growing programming language.
The following statistics cover various topics surrounding software development. We utilized a number of surveys, aggregate data, and insights from key players in tech to understand the demographics behind software developers and the biggest challenges in the industry.
- In the United States, the highest percentage of programmers is concentrated in the Washington DC area.
- About 65% of professional developers contribute to open source projects once a year or more.
- The average employee age for software engineers is 39 years
- Only 25.1% of software engineers are women.
- 54.2% of Software developers, applications & systems software are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation.
- Open-source project creation has increased by 25% since April 2020.
- Engineers with Google Cloud, AWS and React.js skills received 2.7x more interviews than average.
- 54% of software engineers are more productive when working remotely.
- Agile Software Development is the preferred development methodology among developers due to efficient team collaboration and on-going client engagement.
- A major reason for the complexity of software projects is the constant changing of requirements. 33% of the respondents of the Stack Overflow Developer Survey consider building products with unspecific requirements, as their biggest challenge.
- When comparing elite software developers against the low performers, it is found that elite performers have 208x more frequent code deployments.
- More than 65% of companies outsource when tackling software development projects.