A Programming Career - Insights From JetBrains
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 07 February 2024

Why did  you choose to become a software developer? Did you switch from another career field? What aspects of your job are the most important? And do you code on weekends? See how your answers reflect those of your peers.


For the seventh consecutive year JetBrains conducted its State of the Developer Ecosystem Survey which provides valuable insights about developers and their craft. The 2023 report is based on data collected from 26,348 developers from all around the globe. As well as looking at programming languages, tools an technologies, the report has a section on Developer' Lifestyles which covers various aspects of developers’ lives, including сareer, mental well-being, and hobbies, which is the focus of my dip into the data.

The Career section of the survey report opens with "Have you ever switched your career field to IT?". The answer to this was a resounding "No" with 75% of respondents claiming that IT had always been their primary field. The prime age for switching to IT is in one’s thirties, accounting for 38% of the career changes. 46% of those who have been in IT from the very start of their careers are people aged 21–29.

The next question to be discussed was "Why did you choose to become a software developer?". Respondents could choose more than one response. So for example someone could choose the top answer "Technology, computers, and everything related to them was always interesting to me" together with "Great salary and other benefits" and "It didn't require a degree" or "Programming was my hobby" together with "I became a developer by chance not choice".

The report identifies differences between developers who switched to software development from another field and those who had always been in IT and among the top answers the one chosen by a higher proportion of switchers was "I am passionate about tacking complex challenges". 

JBwhy dev


The response that showed the largest discrepancy between those who had switched to IT rather than get into it from the start, was "The ability to work remotely".

While only 5% of switchers and 4% of from-the-outset developers gave the answer "An influential friend, relative, or acquaintance was a developer" in response to the "Why did you choose to become a software developer", the top answer to the question "How did you initially find out about your current job?" was Referral from a friend (30%).

As we have noted in other survey, developers tend to be satisfied with their employment with 75% responding towards the positive end of the scale and only10% to the negative:jbwip satis

Probing what aspects contribute to this level of satisfaction, the top three were good hours, good pay, and feeling you can achieve something which JetBrains noted had not changed from last year. JBjob aspects


The report also comments: 

Interestingly, women lead men in valuing generous holidays and an opportunity to make the world better (by six percentage points), but say good pay is important less often (by four percentage points).

One hallmark of a satisfying job is that you continue it as a hobby and in response to the question "Do you code on weekends" 70% chose Yes, for fun and only 19% said No.jb weekend code


More Information

The State of Developer Ecosystem 2023

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JetBrains Survey 2019 - Do You Dream Code?

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 February 2024 )