According to Forrester Research's Forrsights Developer Survey, Q1 2013 (subscription required), Amazon holds only a slim lead over Microsoft and Google among "enterprise cloud developers."
Forrester defines these developers as "those using cloud/elastic applications." I'm not sure whether that includes SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, or all three, but judging from the vendors cited in the report, it seems as though the survey cast a wide net. The firm is very cagey about releasing survey details, but ZDNet's Larry Dignan got a look at them this week.
Dignan summarizes the findings this way:
The survey covers a lot of ground. For instance, cloud developers are typically using platforms for infrastructure as a service, gravitate to operating systems like Windows 8 much faster than the public and favor open source technologies.
Those are actually not very surprising. Dev folks need to deploy testbeds quickly and dynamically, so IaaS makes perfect sense. Embracing Windows 8 is also a no-brainer for forward-looking enterprise technologists, and open-source platforms are a. free and b. popular in the coder community.
What's more interesting is the breakdown of cloud services in use. Amazon Web Services LLC is the front-runner, with 25 percent of the audience expanding its use of the service, 18 percent using it, and 18 percent planning to use it. That's an impressive 61 percent.
But apparently, the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Azure cloud is almost as popular, with 24 percent expanding, 17 percent using, and 13 percent planning, for a total of 54 percent. Google scored 21 percent, 14 percent, and 15 percent, totaling 50. This is surprising, because Opsview's recent survey report found that AWS led all other IaaS players by a margin of 38 percentage points, and Microsoft didn't even figure into its top seven.
So I'm a little skeptical about this. It's possible that Azure attracts developers who are working on Windows apps, and we know that Hyper-V is extending Redmond's foothold in the virtualization space, but those numbers still seem awfully inflated. I'd love to hear from developers themselves and try to get a clearer picture.
Meanwhile, Dignan reports that the top uses for cloud environments over the last year are application integration, mobile, and internal web apps. These are actually three steps of the same process, as companies attempt to modernize their app portfolios and then push them out virtually to a plethora of device formats.
Interestingly, these developers are targeting desktops, laptops, and browsers more than tablets and smart phones. Again, browser-based apps can (or at least ought to) render neatly regardless of device, so it makes sense that this is a priority for enterprises.
In a nod to the business/IT alignment argument-in-favor of cloud, Forrester found that cloud developers are "generally more aligned" with business goals and that they spend more time than non-cloud developers on coding during off hours. In an older discussion about IT job interviews, several of our members said that "time spent on personal coding projects" is a good indicator of the passion and drive of a given candidate. Some 41 percent of dev professionals who don't work on cloud apps said they simply don't work on software projects on their own time, while only 19 percent of cloud developers admitted to "slacking off" at home. Dignan provides the breakdown:
Cloud developers spend more time coding on their own time. For instance, 7 percent of cloud developers say they average 20 hours a week programming for personal reasons compared to 3 percent non-cloud. Another 14 percent of cloud providers said they average between 11 and 20 hours a week programming on their own time compared to 3 percent non-cloud. And 33 percent of cloud developers average 5 hours to 10 hours a week programming on their own time compared to 15 percent non-cloud.
So what do you think, members? Are cloud developers more enthusiastic and inquisitive about their jobs? Are MS and AWS tracking that closely in real life? Are mobile and web apps the top priorities at your company? Sound off in the comments.