Devs Exploring Emerging Technologies
Written by Janet Swift   
Monday, 15 August 2016

Statistics from the latest State of the Developer Nation reveal that over 40% or developers and now involved in data science or machine learning, while almost a quarter are getting into virtual or augmented reality.

Two new categories were included in VisionMobile's 11th Edition of its Developer Economics Survey. In addition to the established areas of development:  mobile, desktop, IoT and cloud the research now covers data science/machine learning and AR/VR.

Of the 16,500 developers who responded to the Q3 2016 survey 23% are actively engaged in AR/VR development although mostly as a sideline to their main areas of interest. 



Whether hobbyists or professionals their main focus is the consumer market - although among the hobbyists 44% didn't actually have a specified target audience. We already have a wide range of virtual reality and mixed reality hardware, from Google's Cardboard to Facebook's Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens so there seems to be plenty of room for experimentation.

An even larger proportion of survey respondents (41%) have an interest in the emerging field of data science - where statistics meets software. As the report explains it:

"Some parts of the industry like to talk about Big Data.
The term has been abused close to meaninglessness but at a
minimum we’re talking about too much data to process easily on a single PC. Definitely too much to load up in a spreadsheet and make a few charts. The thing is, data doesn’t have to get this big before it’s too complex for a human to “eyeball” it and spot patterns. This is where data scientists come in. A data scientist’s role is to extract useful information from a sea of apparently incomprehensible data."



Here the split between professional and non-professional is one third to two thirds and while the hobbyists are still over 40% unfocused on a target market the professionals are targeting business organizations, including their own and other professionals.

While no figures are presented on the tools in use, the report states:

Across the whole sector open source toolkits in Python
and R are extremely popular, whilst there are smaller but clear early signs of interest in ... Google’s TensorFlow.

According to Vision Mobile, and its difficult to disagree:

Machine Learning is likely to be a central part of the really important systems created in the future

so getting involved at this relatively early stage seems like a good career move.


Look out for future articles on I Programmer about what this survey tells us and go and download a full copy of the report.


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 August 2016 )