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Eclipse Community Survey Result for 2012

06.27.2012
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Each year we survey the Eclipse community to gather some insight into what developers are doing with Eclipse and open source.  We have published the results and the detailed data is available [xls] [ods].  Embedded version of the report is at the end of this post.

Each year there are always some key trends shown in the results [2011 results].   Here are some insights that appeared for me:

1. Git Momentum Continues to Grow

Git definitely has the momentum in the source code management market.  Git/Github usage increased from 13% (2011) to 27% (2012).  Subversion continues to decline but is still the most popular.

For the first time this year we broke out Git and Github.  I was surprised to see the vast majority of people specify Git (23%) and only 4.5% specify GitHub.  This seems to show a lot of internal Git usage.   Potentially a great opportunity for tool providers.

2. Maven Usage Accelerating

Maven usage increased from 31% (2011) to 42% (2012).   This might be a reflection on better integration with Eclipse and Maven.  If so, kudos to the m2eclipse project team and Tycho.

3. Spring and EJBs continue to be popular server frameworks.  Equinox and OSGi increasing too.

Both Spring and EJBs continue to be the most popular frameworks for people doing server side development.  Spring continues to be the most popular but EJBs gain some ground in 2012.

It was great to see Equinox and OSGi runtimes almost double their usage from 6.8% (2011) to 12.3% (2012)

4. Mobile computing = Android + iOS

Not surprisingly, mobile computing is dominated by Android and iOS.  More people have deployed mobile applications, 43% have developed internal or external applications, compared to 35% in 2011.

Android and Apple iOS continue to dominate as the key platforms.   It is a bit surprising that more developers are not using cross platform frameworks.  60% claim to use only the Mobile OS SDK.  jQuery Mobile (28.6%) and PhoneGap (17.9%) are the most popular mobile frameworks.

5. What motivates a developer?

This year we asked some questions to explore what motivates a developer to participate in open source and spend their free time building applications

Motivation to participate in  open source projects seems to be driven by 1) sense of responsibility – 54% stated they participate to ‘give back and support’ and 36% due to their belief in the FOSS ethos, 2) learning – 36% claim it is a great way to learn new technologies, and 3) improving the project – 33% claim they participate due to a needed feature or bug fix.    Somewhat surprisingly only 11% claimed it was due to being paid to contribute and 6% was an effective way to promote consulting business.

We also asked how many developers build software/applications in their free time, outside of work.  I was a bit surprised that 84% claimed to spend some amount of personal time developing software.  The key reason is to learn new technologies, 74% answered they ‘enjoy programming and learning new technologies’ and 71% ‘keep my skills sharp’.   An important lesson for anyone in the software industry that is targeting developers: Make it easy for developer to learn your technology.

6. Corporate policies towards open source becoming more positive

Each year we ask what is the corporate policy towards open source participation.  It is nice to see we are seeing movement towards more positive policies towards contributions and participation.  61% reported their corporate policies allowed them to actively participate in open source projects compared to 58% in 2011.  We definitely need to get more companies to allow active participation but at least we are moving in the right direction.

Thank you to everyone that participate in the survey.  I always enjoy seeing the results.  Please feel free to leave a comment on what you find interesting in the results.

Published at DZone with permission of Ian Skerrett, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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