Mac developer poll illustrates demographics, favorite tools, and more

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A survey of Mac developers using popular commercial software breaks down info on demographics, ways of working, and other tidbits to paint a clearer picture of Mac developers.

The team behind Mac development software Git Tower, a popular app with over 100,000 customers, surveyed users in March and April. It included 4,072 participants.

The blog post announcing the survey says that you can "be part of next year's survey" by signing up for the Git Tower newsletter, suggesting the company conducted the poll by asking its email list subscribers to fill out an online questionnaire. The company also partnered with Mac app developers including 1Password, Agenda, and TextExpander to share the survey and broaden the poll's reach.

Survey respondents and Mac developers in the broader sense may or may not be consistent.

Given those less-than-scientific circumstances, we advise taking the following results with healthy grains of salt. However, given that it is a popular macOS development app, the results may still offer some insight into the people making the Mac apps you know and love.

Highlights

The following are some highlights from the survey's results.

Basic demographics

Mac developers surveyed live in 90 different countries
Mac developers surveyed live in 90 different countries
  • Developers from over 90 countries responded. The published results didn't include specific country-by-country breakdowns, only mentioning that they spanned "from Canada to Costa Rica and from Singapore to Spain."
  • The survey found that the 30s was the most popular age demographic, with 39.3% of respondents falling into that age group. Another 25.4% were in their 40s. Only 20.5% of respondents were in their 20s, and only 11.7% were 50 or older.
  • Looking at work experience, 24.6% of those surveyed have between one and five years of work under their belts. Another 24.2% have between six and ten years of experience.

Tech and tools

  • JavaScript, Swift, and CSS are the programming languages responding developers say they use the most.
  • One in four polled Mac developers works on mobile apps.
  • Of the Mac developers polled who don't yet work with Swift, nearly 30% would like to try it.
  • GitHub is easily the most popular code-hosting platform.
  • Visual Studio Code is the preferred text editor of 56% of respondents.
  • Jira is the most popular issue tracker and task manager.

Developers and their work environment

Of respondents who don't yet use Swift, nearly 30% say they would like to use it
Of respondents who don't yet use Swift, nearly 30% say they would like to use it
  • Two-thirds of Mac developers polled spend over four hours each day coding.
  • Nine out of ten developers listen to music while working.
  • Three-quarters of respondents prefer working in Dark Mode.
  • Over 60% contribute in some way to Open Source projects.
  • Of the developers polled, 70% name blog posts and articles as their preferred way of learning new topics to improve their skills.

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