Stacking Up: A Snapshot of Canada’s Developer Talent

Stacking Up: A Snapshot of Canada’s Developer Talent is a new report produced in partnership with Stack Overflow, the world’s largest software developer community. This report shines a light on a growing and increasingly important segment of Canada’s tech economy: software developers.

As Canada continues to embrace technology to drive economic growth, we are continuously in need of a diverse and highly skilled talent pool. A critical component of tech talent are software developers, who collectively are a driving force behind Canada’s increasingly digital economy. As tech continuously advances and evolves, so does the role of the developer, making labour market information on this particular set of occupations challenging to monitor. This report offers a detailed look at the lives of Canada’s developers, how they learned their craft, their arsenal of skills and how they stack up internationally.

Read this report to help you:

  • Understand where developers live within Canada and around the world
  • Obtain a closer look at who Canada’s developers are, where they work, what they earn, how they got their training, and what languages they use
  • Identify clusters of developers with a particular skill set

Key facts from the report:

  • Canadians accounted for 4.4 percent of developers in the 2017 Annual Developer Survey, making Canada the fifth most represented country in terms of developer talent globally.
  • Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver combined are home to over 60 percent of the country’s developers.
  • Developers work across the economy. While 40 percent of Canadian survey respondents were in the software and internet or web services industries, the majority work outside these industries, for example, in finance, media and healthcare.
  • Developers are highly educated and command a much higher salary than the rest of the Canadian labour market. A median of C$70,000 was reported in the 2017 survey, compared to C$45,280 in 2016 for the Canadian labour market as a whole.
  • 95 percent of professional developers in Canada have received at least some college or university education, according to the 2017 survey. Additionally, over half of Canada’s developers are at least partially self-taught.
  • Less than 10 percent of Canadian developers are female. However, we may be seeing a positive trend, with the ratio of male to female developers decreasing from approximately 17-to-1 in the 2015 survey to roughly 10-to-1 in the 2017 survey. Canada’s developer population also lacks diversity; the vast majority (83 percent) identified as white, or of European descent.

These findings are based on Stack Overflow’s 2017 voluntary English-language survey of 51,392 developers worldwide, of which 2,223 were from Canada.

Also included as part of the report is a downloadable infographic, visually demonstrating the report’s key findings.

For media enquiries, please contact Coralie D’Souza, Director of Communications, Events + Community Relations at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.

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