IDC: Asia to oust North American lead in developer market

According to a report released Thursday by research firm International Data Corp. (IDC), the region with the highest amount of developers in the world will soon be changing.

While North America claimed this top spot in 2001, IDC is predicting that by 2005, Asia-Pacific will be the region with the most people employed in the field. Over the next five years, the growth in this region – particularly in China and India – is expected to be much greater than in North America, according to the firm.

IDC says this change can partly be attributed to the fact that economic difficulties have affected the number of employed developers in North America, specifically from 2000 to 2001 when layoffs were abundant.

Overall, however, IDC figures show the number of professional developers worldwide will actually increase to 13.3 million by 2006. In 2001, that number stood at 7.8 million.

The 10 countries in the world with the most developers include the U.S., China, India, Russia, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy, representing approximately 62 per cent of developers worldwide, according to IDC.

The report, entitled The IDC 2002 Worldwide Professional Developer Model study, also examined the languages being used by developers in North America. In a statement, the firm identified C/C++ and C# as the dominating language with 29 per cent of the total. Java surpassed Visual basic to snag the spot for the second most popular individual language, with approximately 18 per cent. IDC added that it found a lot of developers were still using older languages – such as 3GL, scripting and 4GL – as their primary languages.

For more information, visit the firm’s Web site at IDC Canada in Toronto is online at