There are 94M developers on GitHub.
What software will need to be built if there is an order of magnitude more developers?
Software development can be a highly leveraged profession – e.g., the average developer at Meta supports at least 100,000 users. And many undifferentiated but critical parts of the software stack (e.g., auth) will be outsourced to a SaaS provider. Yet, I believe that the trend will continue, and we'll have even more developers in the future.
- Companies outside the tech sector hiring a significant number of developers (JP Morgan has 40,000+ developers).
- Better tooling (i.e., GitHub Copilot) lowers the bar for entry-level developers.
- Tangential technical roles for those who can't program in a general-purpose language but know a specific niche (SQL for Data Analysts, configuration for Operations, vulnerability scanning for Security Analysts).
- More students studying CS in college, better recruitment pipelines (not just referral-based).
So what are the most important problems when there are 200M+ developers? An open question, but a few thoughts.
- How can we efficiently share code? Package managers must evolve to include better dependency management, security, and configuration.
- How do we discover new code? Discovery for APIs, libraries, and other software.
- Developer-first software – developer tools that increase developer productivity
- Minimal viable software – software that requires the narrowest set of skills to work with. More developers will simply be programming against a configuration (Kubernetes/YAML, dbt/YAML, etc.).