Lawless Research had the honor of analyzing data from HackerRank’s global survey of developers. According to HackerRank’s 2018 Developer Skills Report, 26% of developers began coding before they were 16 years old. Developers who grew up in the seventies and eighties during the PC revolution were especially precocious. Almost half (47%) of developers who are 45 to 54 began programming when they were 5 to 15 years old. And there’s a correlation between the age developers begin coding and their level of achievement. Tech company founders, CEOs and CTOs are three times more likely to have begun coding when they were 5 to 10 years old: 15% vs. 5% of those in other technical roles.
Learning is lifelong for developers.
Developers use Stack Overflow, YouTube and books to learn how to code.
Developers use a mix of tools for self-learning, with nearly 9 out of 10 logging in to Stack Overflow. More than 6 in 10 rely on YouTube tutorials to learn coding basics or sharpen their skills. Developers who are 18 to 24 show a stronger preference for YouTube than developers who are 45 or older (69% vs. 53%). Digital platforms haven’t made books extinct, however developers who are 45 to 54 rely on books more often (71% vs. 56% of 18- to 24-year-olds).