Software developers increasingly recognize their clout in society

As software eats the world, its stewards increasingly see themselves as catalysts of change for their organizations.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Connected cars are changing transportation. Digitization is revolutionizing health care. Entire industries are being disrupted. Mobile technology is lifting entire regions of the world out of poverty. Everywhere you turn, software is remaking the world into a smarter place, opening up new opportunities.

Heads up, software developers, this is your time and place in history. You are in the driver's seat for changing your businesses, and even the world, and you know it. Developers feel that they have more power to change society, even more than more visible and outspoken professionals, such as public speakers.

This is a key finding of a survey of 1,000 developers released by Chef, which finds that developers are a confident, emerging class of professionals who are increasingly recognizing their influence in business and society. Sixty-three percent felt their profession was contributing to the upward movement of society, versus 37 percent seeing public speakers as doing so.

An overwhelming majority of developers — 93 percent — even feel empowered to experiment in their companies, and 94 percent believe they will be a "revolutionary influence" in the private sector, government and non-profits during the next five years.     

Developers feel valued and empowered by their companies and in their profession, the report states. "Viewing developers as tactical executioners is a thing of the past — developers understand they are at the epicenter of today’s digital economy and are qualified to initiate ripples of change throughout the enterprise." Coders aren’t just taking orders. Ninety-three percent of developers frequently feel empowered to experiment and suggest changes to business processes, products, or services.   

The survey also dispelled two long-running stereotypes about developers: that they are introverted, and that they frequently job hop. The Chef survey finds that developers are informed and engaged participants in social and civic activities. They equally value the political power of technology (51 percent) and government leaders (49 percent). Seventy-one percent of developers participated in political and civic activities in the last 12 months.

Developers also tend to stay loyal to their employers. The average developer plans to stay at his or her current company for nine years, and 82 percent report they are more satisfied with their jobs than their non-developers peers.

Developers also see themselves as a positive force within their organizations. Ninety-seven percent describe their working relationship with IT operations personnel and system admins as positive, with 57 percent describing it as “very positive.”

They are also optimistic about their financial prospects. More than two-thirds (69 percent) describe their profession as “recession-proof.” Eighty-four percent feel they are paid what they are worth, and more than half believe they will be millionaires at some point. Major growth areas include healthcare, manufacturing, and education.

Check our Microsoft's Steve Ballmer's rallying cry for developers in the video below:



(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

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