Software developers are extending their skills by working on specialized problems and "diverse questions from machine learning to DevOps to design," said Dr. Julia Silge, data scientist at Stack Overflow, in an interview with CIO Dive. Developers have "complex professional identities" and half of the respondents identify themselves as a full-stack developer, according to a Stack Overflow survey of more than 100,000 developers.
On average, developers stay in the field with low turnover. This is in part due to "the huge growth of the software industry and the continuing entry of new developers," said Silge. Nearly 60% of developers have been coding for five years or less, which is a result of the rapid growth of the software industry.
As machine learning takes a stronger hold on the enterprise, developers are tasked with increasing its "role" alongside the role of artificial intelligence. Nearly half of respondents said those developers behind the creation of AI are responsible for "consider the ramifications" of the tech, according to the report.
In the age where software is king, developers are in high demand. Job openings for full-stack developers have skyrocketed by 198% from 2014-2017, according to a recent Indeed job report. On average, those in the role make about $111,640 annually.
Most developers do not relegate themselves to one type of developer, instead often identifying as two different types of developers. Still, 60% of respondents said they identify themselves as a back-end developer.
The trend to be an all-in-one developer is increasing but the idea of a full-stack developer may just be too much of a "heavy lift," according to Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond.
But developers have preferences and respondents were nearly split in half when it came to contributing to open source software. Those who choose not to contribute may be because "open source projects are typically side projects with no money involved," said Silge. "An industry where developers are expected to contribute to open source on their own time would be unhealthy."