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You've likely seen our blog posts about the North American and UKI Developer Landscape reports, which focus on regional developer data in those areas. But those aren't the only regions who are home to a large number of those in the software industry. Today, we'll explore the population of software developers in the Asia-Pacific region, what their characteristics are, and how they compare to their counterparts elsewhere.

Developers in Asia-Pacific

In this year's Developer Survey there were 23,446 respondents from countries in Asia-Pacific, with over half of those coming from India. India was the second-most represented country in the survey globally, right behind the United States.

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After India, the next most represented countries in this region are Australia, Pakistan, and China. The geographical representation in our survey matches the distribution of our traffic moderately well.

Developer Roles

Just like in the global developer population, the most common types of developers in Asia-Pacific are web developers; about half of APAC developers identify as back-end developers, and about 40% say they are full-stack developers. We can dig deeper to see what kind of software work is more and less likely to be pursued by developers in this region.

developer roles in apac

Mobile developers are more common in Asia-Pacific than elsewhere in the world. We have explored this on our blog before, finding that traffic to the Android and iOS tags make up a much larger share of traffic in India, China, and Japan.

Since the number of respondents from India is so high, we can also look at differences in developer type within the Asia-Pacific region. How does the type of work that developers engage in vary within India?

developer roles in asia

We see once again how important mobile development is in India, and that systems administration and game/graphics software is more prominent elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

Salary Trends

Our survey is one of the richest sources for software industry salary data available. This year we had 7,605 respondents share salary data within the APAC region.

developer salaries in apac

We asked each respondent their salary in a local currency and converted to USD. Comparing salaries this way gives us insight into global earning power, but does not take into account relative differences in local costs of living.

Developers with more years of experience are paid more (naturally), but we also see that some type of coding work is paid more at the same level of experience. In Asia-Pacific, data scientists and sysadmins/DevOps specialists are high earners for their level of experience.

salary and experience apac developers

Most Popular Technologies

In the Asia-Pacific region, like in the world overall, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are the most commonly used programming/scripting/markup languages.

Which languages do APAC developers love to use, though? We asked each developer what technologies they used this year, and if they want to continue to use it. The most loved language in each country is the language that proportionally, more developers want to continue working with than any other language. The most dreaded language is the one that developers do not want to continue using. The most wanted language is the language that developers who do not yet use most often say they want to learn.

Country Loved Dreaded Wanted
India Rust Visual Basic 6 Python
Australia Rust Visual Basic 6 Python
Pakistan TypeScript Assembly Python
Bangladesh Swift Assembly Python
Indonesia Python Visual Basic 6 JavaScript
China Python Matlab Python
New Zealand TypeScript Objective-C Python
Philippines Python Visual Basic 6 Python
Sri Lanka TypeScript Visual Basic 6 JavaScript
Malaysia Ruby VB.NET JavaScript
Japan Swift Objective-C Python
Singapore Python PHP Python
Nepal TypeScript Assembly Python
Vietnam JavaScript C JavaScript
Thailand Python C JavaScript
Hong Kong Python C++ Python
Republic of Korea Python PHP Python

This table is ordered in descending number of respondents, from India with the most respondents to smaller countries. In India and Australia, Rust is the most loved programming language among our respondents, just like in the global developer population. Not all countries had enough users of each language to measure how loved or dreaded it is, but notice how the groups of beloved languages include Rust, Python, TypeScript, and Swift while the groups of languages that developers do not enjoy working with include Visual Basic 6, VB.NET, and Assembly. APAC developers have similar preferences about language tooling as their global counterparts.

Developers at Work

Developers in the Asia-Pacific region may be quite similar to the global population in their tooling preferences, but in other ways they are remarkably different. APAC developers are among the youngest in the world; developers in Asia-Pacific have an average of 5 years of coding experience, while those outside this region have an average of 10. Also, developers in Asia are more likely to work at companies that do web development/design or IT compared to North America and Europe, where more developers work at more diverse companies across the economy. 

career satisfaction apac developers

Career satisfaction is another factor where APAC developers exhibit differences compared to the global population. Outside of Asia-Pacific, the average career satisfaction rate (extremely or moderately satisfied) is just under 50%; developers in many APAC countries are less satisfied with their careers than their counterparts in North America and Europe, in some cases by a lot.

Looking for a New Position

In general, the more experience a developer population has, the less that population is actively looking for a new job. We see that whether we look at individual developer types within a single country or countries within a region. We see outliers in this kind of relationship, though; notice that developers in both Indonesia and Bangladesh have about the same average years of experience but many more developers in Bangladesh are looking for new work.

job search status apac developers

Developers in Australia and New Zealand have the most experience in Asia-Pacific and are seeking new jobs at about the same rate as developers globally. Developers in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are seeking new jobs at high rates compared to the global rate, and those in Hong Kong are actively looking for new jobs at lower levels. Hiring a new developer will be relatively more difficult in a place like Singapore or Indonesia than a place like Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Developers’ earnings by country also influence how likely they are to be on the job market. Overall, countries with lower salaries have more developers seeking new opportunities.

job search by country

Here we see variation around the general trend, with developers in countries like Bangladesh and India seeking new jobs at high levels even given the salaries there, and developers in Indonesia and the Philippines actively looking for their next opportunity at lower levels.

2018 dev landscape

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