Post by Marco Cantu
As most of you know, the Embarcadero PM team has been running fairly extensive yearly surveys regularly. We had the last yearly survey in April 2017. In the past, the company decision has been not to share data coming from the survey, as some of it is fairly sensitive in terms of business analysis and planning. But given that not all of the information fits into this category, this year Embarcadero has decided to share some of the results of the main yearly developer's survey -- that saw several thousand people taking the time and effort to go over almost 100 questions. We plan on sharing some more information in the future, in blog posts focused on specific product features.
RAD Studio Versions Owned
One interesting question we ask our customer is to indicate not only which is the last version they own or are using, but also list all of the versions they owned. This is not historical data, as it depends on developers who took this year survey. A lot of the current customers have been using the product for a long time, but not all versions have been equally successful:
General Information Channels
Another question we want to share the answer for is which online outlets developers go to get information and learn about the product. Notice this was a question allowing multiple answers. This is the list in order of preference (from most popular to least popular), of the group of sites that got over a thousand votes:
1. Stack Overflow
2. Embarcadero Website
3. Embarcadero Community (community.embarcadero.com)
4. Embarcadero Webinars
5. Old forum (forums.embarcadero.com)
6. MVP and Other User's Blogs
7. Quality Portal (quality.embarcadero.com)
These are additional sites and information channels that received less than a thousand votes, again listed from most to least popular
8. User groups and local community forums
9. Country specific developers forums
10. Google+ Delphi Community
11. Live "in person" events
Appears our customers are not really social media fanatics, with the limited exception of the Google+ community.
Most Relevant Development Scenarios
These are the key focus areas our customers, in terms of product use. This is another question allowing multiple answers, and the 4 most popular were:
1. Windows VCL Desktop clients
2. FMX/mobile clients
3. FMX/desktop clients
4. JSON/REST Web Services
Building Windows VCL applications clearly remains an important focus for the largest majority of our customers, with over 90% of the survey respondents indicating VCL is relevant to their work.
Developers Revenues Tied to the use of RAD Studio
There is clearly a very varied group of developers using Delphi, C++Builder and RAD Studio, and one way to highlight it is to look at the revenues from using our products developers declared in the survey (and we hope they were honest!). From a 25% of customers not making any money or making less than 1,000 dollars a year, to a few claiming businesses over 100 million dollars!
Other Programming Languages Used
Of course, most of these languages are used with other IDE and editors, the two most popular being:
1. Visual Studio
Target Desktop and Mobile OSes
Among the operating systems RAD Studio developers build software for, we have two separate questions, focused on desktop and mobile operating systems, with Windows and Android clearly leading the two groups. The versions break out is fairly interesting, with Windows XP still significantly high (even if decreasing a lot since the last survey).
On the mobile front, data is more or less as expected, with iOS receiving much more focus than its installed user base numbers and the "Other" category significantly dropping from past surveys.
Which version control are RAD Studio developers using? I found it worrisome that the second most used VCS is "none" -- at about 30% of the total! Come on, even for a single developer on simple projects, not using a version control system is hard to justify these days:
2. No Version Control System
4. Microsoft's TFS
Another question we asked was about cloud services developers use. This is the list in order from the most popular of the top picks, although there is a mix of real cloud services and file system services:
1. Amazon Web Services (growing from previous year)
3. Windows Azure (growing from previous year)
4. Google Drive
5. Google Docs
Commonly used Database Engines
Another very interesting question is about the most popular databases among the developers using RAD Studio. No big surprise and very stable over time (with the exception of a huge growth of MariaDB -- a database we already started supporting natively in FireDAC). This is our top ten for relational databases, again starting with the most popular:
1. Microsoft SQL Server
10. IBLite / IBToGo
The top pick for NoSQL engines remains MongoDB, but the second one, Redis, is a new entry -- all other trailing with only a handful of votes.
Our yearly developers survey provides us with a lot of useful data we use for our planning and product directions. While we cannot share all of it, there is data relevant for the community at large we started covering in this blog posts and we are more than happy to discuss in public. I'll also cover Delphi language requests and other product areas in future blog posts. Stay tuned.