APPLICATION DEVELOPER PROGRAMS
New mobile devices and new business models are driving more companies to
add and expand application developer programs
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, June 14, 2012—Research from Developer Think Tank released today shows the ripple effect of the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets and the applications that run on them: More companies are hiring more people to create and manage programs that work with developers who build applications for their platforms.
According to the survey of individuals working in developer programs, including program directors, evangelists, and staff, two-thirds (66%) of respondents believed that the headcount in the developer group will increase over the coming 12 months. No one expected that their developer program would lose staff.
“There has been a major shift in the way companies in many industries compete, and developers are at the center of this battle,” commented Lee Wright, Developer Think Tank co-founder. “Smartphone and tablet manufacturers know that the availability of applications is a critical determinant of product and company success. Combined with the growing role of applications in other types of companies, there is a premium on talented software evangelists and other developer program members who recruit and support software developers.”
Today a broad range of companies provides access to their products and platforms via application programming interfaces or APIs. The industry site Programmable Web recently reported that the number of APIs now totals more than 6,000, with 1,000 added in the last four months.
The primary area of investigation, determining the way organizations measure the performance of their developer programs and program staff, had not been studied before. Other key Developer Think Tank research findings include:
- More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) indicated the number of applications or the volume of code as their program’s success measurement, making this the most widely-used metric.
- This was followed closely by those who indicated the number of members (69%) and revenue generated or expenses reduced, and developer satisfaction (both 57%).
- In 80% of the cases, respondents believed that their senior management viewed their developer program as more important than in the past.
- In nearly half (49%) of the cases, they reported that they were also receiving more resources and attention.
“Traditionally, developer programs were staffed with long-time company engineers, but what we see today is that it’s not only technical competence but a broad reach on social networks, great presentation skills, and marketing flare that companies are looking for,” said Kevin Sharp, Developer Think Tank co-founder. “Companies know that hiring a well-known, well-connected evangelist can really accelerate their success with developers.”
Survey respondents represented a cross-section of companies, from small (11% had ten or fewer people) to large (11% had 50,000 or more). Likewise, developer program staff ranged in size from one person (11%) to more than 200 (17%).
More information about the study, “Measuring Developer Program Performance 2012,” is available at http://www.developerthinktank.com/
About Developer Think Tank
Launched in early 2011, Developer Think Tank is the place where leading developer program managers and evangelists come together to discuss and share insights. In addition to research, the company is creating services to support developer engagement and program management. More information about Developer Think Tank is at http://www.developerthinktank.com