Developers At Work 2021
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 16 July 2021

The report on the latest JetBrains Developer Ecosystem Survey is out and is packed full of interesting data. Since the weekend is upon us we'll postpone consideration of its finding about programming languages and data science until later and look first at characteristics of the survey respondents.

This is the 5th of JetBrains all-encompassing annual surveys and you have to be impressed with its methodology. Data cleaning eliminated surveys from identical IP addresses and those with overwhelmingly similar responses. Where multiple surveys were submitted from the same email address the most complete version was kept,. Survey that were completed too fast and those with conflicting answers such as “18-20 years old” combined with “more than 16 years of professional experience” were also weeded out. Data was also weighted in order to reduce bias between users of JetBrain products and those alerted to the survey by Twitter or Fecebook ads, Instagram, Quora and other sources - including this site.

So, although more than 47,000 people participated in the survey the results are based on the responses of 31,743 developers. This year the geographical scope of the survey was extended from the 18 countries previously included to cover the entire world, using Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish in addition to English and responses on which the report is based came from 183 countries or regions, with these being the top:jb21countries

Respondents were overwhelmingly male (93%) and almost half were in their twenties:


Almost two thirds of respondents were full time employees of a company or organization while only 5% were self-employed and a further 5% freelancers. Over a fifth were students:jb21emp

In terms of job role four-fifths of the respondents described themselves as Developer/Programmer/Software Engineer. Whatever their roles, 41% described their level as Senior and a further 36% Middle. Only 18% were at Junior level and a further 4% as Trainees and in terms of coding experience 3-5 years was the most common.


Most of the respondents work in companies where developers are in the minority and companies where more than 80% employees write code are mostly companies with fewer than 50 people. Over half of respondents work in teams of 2-7 people but teams can be widely distributed. Only 20% work within one physical location in 2021 (compared to 38% in 2020), a further 18% are located within a city and another 38% within the same country. Almost a quarter (24%) are distributed across several countries. Teams tend to use agile development with only 29% not using any agile framework. Scrum was particularly prevalent with teams distributed across several countries, with 51% using it compared to only 25% for teams working in a single physical location.

The report also notes the shift in remote work  - whereas in early 2020 about 70% of developers worked from the office in 2021 80% work from home. As a consequence  66% of respondents now use video conferencing, up from 43% last year.

Another noticeable difference is that while in 2020, most developers reported programming as their biggest hobby, this year video games are topping the list, increasing in popularity from 49% to 59%.

Asked about job satisfaction, only 7% of respondents chose the Completely Satisfied option, however the total who were at least Fairly Satisfied rose to 70%. The top reason they selected as being important in a job was being able to achieve something (82%), with good pay (81%) and good hours (74%) also popular choices.


More Information

The State of Developer Ecosystem 2020

Related Articles

JetBrains Survey Reveals Professional Developers Spend Spare Time Programming

JetBrains Survey 2019 - Do You Dream Code?

Are You A Typical Developer? - JetBrains Survey 2018

Stack Overflow Survey 2020 - What Professional Developers Use

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Last Updated ( Friday, 16 July 2021 )