February 05, 2018

New Accenture Research Reveals Platform Providers Face Gap in Meeting Software Developers’ Expectations

Survey shows content, learning and support top the list of priorities for developers

NEW YORK; Feb. 5, 2018 – Software developers highly value technically accurate content and timely support from platform providers, yet most platforms do not effectively address all their priorities, according to results of new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The Accenture 2018 Developer Ecosystem Survey gathered input from more than 750 U.S.-based developers to determine what they look for in a platform provider, which is particularly important given the critical role developers play in a platform’s adoption and success.

The survey found that platform providers are lacking adequate support resources for developers; with less than one-quarter (23 percent) of developers strongly agreeing that adequate support is readily available to them. Developers also said that platform providers traditional marketing efforts to attract them – such as events and swag are much less important to them.
Among the factors that developers value most are:

“While the industry is aware of the critical importance of a healthy developer ecosystem, it needs to do a better job to engage, inspire, educate and support developers,” said Robin Murdoch, a managing director in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology group who leads its software and platform business. “This survey highlights some of the opportunities for companies to differentiate their platforms and better address developers’ needs.”

Rating the Leading Platforms
When asked specifically about the top platforms, developers noted different strengths:

While each platform has its strengths, the survey results indicate a large opportunity for companies to differentiate their developer programs. Nearly half of developers said they think that all developer ecosystems are pretty much the same in terms of usefulness, and more than two-thirds (70 percent) said that a platform offering a truly differentiated and meaningful developer ecosystem would get a much larger share of their business.

Motivation to Switch Platforms
When asked what would motivate them to switch platforms within the next 12 months, respondents most often cited:

The survey findings also show that developers believe that many platform providers are not adequately addressing their needs and could do more to inspire, educate and support them. Among the suggestions that developers have for platform providers to differentiate themselves:

About the Accenture Developer Ecosystem Research
The Accenture Developer Ecosystem Research study is based on a survey that was conducted online in December 2017 with 752 software developers based in the U.S. The sample includes respondents who are least 18 years old, self-identify as a software developer and/or program as a hobby or contribute to open source projects. All respondents have been a software developer for at least one year and spend a minimum of 10 hours per week coding. They represent a combination of public and private companies and organizations of varying size. The survey and related data analysis quantifies perceptions of various platforms’ developer ecosystems, likelihood of recommending those platforms, and preferences for interacting with developer ecosystems.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 435,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

^ Professional developers are those who do 100% of their programming professionally – i.e., for pay.

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Doug Free
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