North American Software Developers Getting Younger: Study

According to Evans Data, the median age of North American software developers is dropping as consumers look for more mobile apps and older programmers retire or get laid off.

As consumer desire for mobile apps and games continues to grow, North American software developers are getting younger, according to a recent study by Evans Data.

The median age of software developers in North America has declined significantly since reaching a peak of 46 in 2008 to just 38 today. This makes North American developers statistically younger than developers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with a median age of 39, though still older than those in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region or Latin America where the median ages are 34 and 35, respectively. The median age is the age at which half are older and half are younger.

Although the median age in North America has declined, the mean, or average, age has remained relatively high, at 44, indicating that this value is being supported by some very old developers who have not yet left programming, but are relatively few in number. Both the median and mean age of developers in other regions have been increasing steadily for the last several years, Evans Data said.

€œThe median age decline in North America is interesting and most likely reflects two situations we've been experiencing since 2008,€ said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, in a statement. €œThe advent of mobile with new devices and distribution channels has attracted younger developers, while at the same time, the recession has resulted in many older developers retiring or being laid off.€

A recent Wall Street Journal report entitled €œApp Developers Who Are Too Young to Drive,€ cited developers aged 13 to 17 who attended the recent Apple Worldwide Developer Conference and had apps in the Apple app store.

Evans Data€™s age information is taken from the company€™s newly released Global Development Survey, an ongoing comprehensive technology survey of more than 1,200 software developers worldwide with a regional focus on North America, EMEA and APAC. The survey covers demographics as well as platform, languages, mobile development, cloud development, high-performance computing, app distribution, technology, and tool adoption and other topics.