The sheer volume of information being generated in China is having a huge impact on how business operate in China. What was not possible to code and develop in China just 3 years ago, is now possibly, more efficient than coding and development in traditional locations such as the US and India. China’s ability to develop, search and hyperlinking technologies has risen exponentially. However, the challenge has now become one of attracting talent rather than searching for non-existent competencies or trying to develop technical expertise in-house.
The China's Developer Survey Report 2017, commissioned by Alibaba Cloud Developer Community (ACDC), surveyed over 7,032 developers in Mainland China. In this report, developers shared their preferences for software development, including their favorite OS, development environment, programming language, database, framework, and codebase. Among other things, you can find out about China's software development trends and practices in fields such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and security.
Top 25 trends of developers in China.
1. Windows is still the favorite OS
67.2% of developers prefer Windows, 20.3% prefer MacOS (OS X), while only 12.5% prefer Linux or other operating systems (OS). Some of the main motivations of using Windows include the familiarity of the OS and the availability of platform resources in China.
3. WordPress and Discuz! are the top web applications used by web developers
Owing to the popularity of blogs and forums in Mainland China, Discuz! and WordPress are the heavy favorites among web developers.
4. 92.1% of developers in China are male
The developer community in China is heavily male dominated, with only 7.9% of developers are female. This number is slightly higher than the global average of 88.6% (2017 Stack Overflow Global Developer Survey).
5. Beijing is the most popular city for developers, followed by Hangzhou
Hangzhou, with the presence of Internet giants such as Alibaba, has transformed from being a fairly unpopular city to the second most preferred city for developers in China.
6. Front-end engineering is the most important skill for front-end developers
Developers with "front-end engineering" skills are highly employable in Mainland China. Front-end engineering mostly involves feasibility analysis and optimization of projects through detailed planning.
7. Eclipse is the most popular development environment
The top four integrated development environment (IDE) in China are Eclipse, Notepad++, Visual Studio, and Sublime Text. Major factors for deciding on a development environment include cost and ease of use.
8. MySQL is the most widely adopted database
The “Open Source” nature of MySQL makes it a popular choice among developers compared with more traditional databases such as SQL Server. Oracle is also a popular option, but its adoption is hampered by its price tag.
9. There is no preferred cloud deployment model among developers in China
Private, public, and hybrid cloud are all of equal importance in China. Instead of having preference on a single deployment model, developers in China focus on the coexistence of multiple alternatives for different applications.
10. Being a developer pays well in China
A typical developer in Beijing earns an average of RMB 9,240 (USD 1457) a month, which is higher than the city average. The monthly income for 32.2% of developers in China falls within the RMB 10,000 – RMB 20,000 range.
11. DingTalk is becoming increasingly popular among high-income developers
In China, there are no concrete distinctions between enterprise and social communication tools. Developers prefer to use social IM tools, such as DingTalk, QQ, and WeChat, as their primary communication tool. DingTalk users tend to be those from higher income levels.
12. 49.2% of China's developers have started using Big Data storage solutions
Hadoop HDFS offline storage and Hbase online storage are two popular alternatives to relational databases for data storage. More and more enterprises in China are embracing Big Data and its technologies, specifically in the IoT, finance, and e-commerce industries.
13. Developers in China are a relatively young workforce
A majority (56.7%) of developers in China have only 0-3 years of work experience. This suggests that the developer community in China is less experienced as compared with international peers (42% have 3-10 years of experience).
14. Computer vision, NLP, and voice recognition are the three hottest topics in AI among China's developers
Developers in China are facing a multitude of challenges when dealing with neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and voice recognition. These challenges stem from the complex structure of the Chinese language, as well as limited resources for voice data.
15. 71.8% of China's developers have Bachelor's degree or higher
This result suggests that China's developer are better educated than their global peers on average. According to the 2017 Stack Overflow Global Developer Survey, only 56.6% of developers globally have bachelor or higher degrees.
16. Node.js is China's favorite code operating environment
Similar to developers from around the world, Node.js, AngularJS, and .NET Core are the three most preferred application framework and codebase in China.
17. React Native is the leading cross-platform solution for mobile development
From food delivery to bike renting, mobile applications have become a necessity in China. For mobile developers, React Native and jQuery Mobile are the two most popular cross-platform solutions in China.
18. GitHub is the preferred repository for source code
30.7% of developers use GitHub to host source codes, while 30.5% of developers use internal corporate tools. China-developed repositories are still not widely adopted, with Alibaba Cloud Code repository being used by only 10.2% of developers.
19. China developers prefer Git over SVN
When teamwork is required, China's developers would first choose Git (45.9%) as the version management tool, while SVN (38.9%) comes second.
20. Agile development is widely adopted by developers in China
45.6% of developers choose agile/scrum development models as their first choice, followed by the traditional waterfall development model (36.4%).
21. Ethereum is the most widely used blockchain product
Ethereum is popular among China's developers because it is open source and provides good support for new developers. Because Bitcoin transactions is suspended in China (as of 2018), many developers are still exploring other possibilities of using blockchain as a service.
22. Continuous integration is still not widely adopted in China
As many as 49.5% of developers have never used any development integration management tools. However, there is also a significant minority (31.8%) of developers who use Jenkins to automate software development processes.
23. Security is a big concern for developers in China
70% of developers in China are well aware of the importance of security for enterprises, with a strong emphasis on invasion detection and loophole scanning. However, enterprises in China do not invest enough on security.
24. Web development, front-end development, and mobile development are the largest fields for China's developers
In China, 52.7% of developers are working on web development-related projects. Emerging fields such as Big Data, cloud computing, and security are still in great need for experienced developers.
25. …and finally, China's developers are in many ways similar to their international counterparts
From denim jeans to generic brand T-shirts, the go-to attire for China's developers is pretty similar with developers from across the globe. Furthermore, the vast majority of developers in China are self-proclaimed introverts and have close affinity for computer games.