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Planet Earth Has 18.5 Million Developers

International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued new estimates for the worldwide software developer and ICT-skilled worker population.

Heading into 2014, IDC believes there are 18.5 million software developers in the world, of which 11 million are professional software developers and 7.5 million are hobbyist developers.

IDC also believes that there are 29 million ICT-skilled workers in the world, including professional software developers and 18 million operations and management skilled workers.

"IDC's country-by-country analysis of 90 of the most developed countries in the world, representing 97% of the world's GDP," said Al Hilwa, IDC program director for application software development. "While the numbers of both developers and ICT-skilled workers are expected to grow over the next few years, shifts in how IT is being delivered through cloud services will favor the growth in developers over other ICT-skilled workers."

IDC's analysis shows that the United States accounts for 19% of worldwide software developers, both professional and hobbyists, followed by China with 10% and India with 9.8%. The United States also accounts for 22% of worldwide ICT-skilled workers, followed by India with 10.4% and China with 7.6%.

Additionally, the population of hobbyist developers is rapidly changing and the growth of this segment is being boosted by the mobile revolution.

The IDC report is entitled 2014 Worldwide Software Developer and ICT-Skilled Worker Estimates (IDC #244709) represents the first time that IDC has analyzed and estimated the hobbyist developer population, which IDC defines broadly as students or workers who engaged in regular development activity outside of the context of their primary occupation.

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