Are there differences between Developers in Germany and United Kingdom?

Motivation

UK is the first and only country formally to leave the EU, after 47 years. The European single market is centred around “four freedoms” namely free movement in goods, services, people, and capital. Experts have made known that movement of services and people have both been lost through this exit.

Assuming we have a situation where movement of services and people only exist between Germany and UK and no other country, how would this restriction affect picture of the landscape of Developers in the two countries?

This is the main focus of this article. We select some variables from the 2020 Stack Overflow Survey dataset as bases to determining the similarities and differences between developers of both countries. The dataset has 3,890 developers from Germany and 3,896 from UK. The unit of measure is the percentage differences of some selected factors pertaining to the developers.

We first calculate the percentages of the selected factors for developers in each country and then calculate percentage differences between similar factors. We then determine the magnitude of the percentage difference for the given factor. We substract the percentages factors of UK from that of Germany. In the aftermath, graphical visualisation is presented. The table below gives a clearer explanation of our approach.

Percentage Differences of Job Factors for Developers

Finally, we test the hypothesis to ascertain, if direction of magnitude of the measure (percentage differences) for the given factors are statistically significant or not and then draw our conclusion.

The null hypothesis is that: percentage difference for the considered factor is statistically insignificant as against the alternative that the difference is significant. The hypothesis test is done using 95% confidence interval.

Cementing the rational for our approach, we make following assumption about our dataset.

  1. The sampling method for each population of developers is simple random sampling.
  2. The samples are independent.
  3. Each sample includes at least 10 successes and 10 failures.
  4. Each population is at least 20 times as big as its sample.

Some reading can be done here to throw some light on our approach.

Let us begin now with our first question:

  1. How are the type of developers distributed in Germany and UK? Can we conclude with certainty that certain type of developers are more or less in Germany than UK by using percentage differences as a unit of measure?
Percentages of Developers in Germany and the UK

First of all, take a look at graph beside. It depicts the percentages of the different type of developers in Germany and UK.

Looking at the graph, we see how developer types are distributed in percentages for both countries. For example, there are more Back-end Developers in Germany than in the UK. On the other hand, we have slightly higher Full-stack Developers in the UK than in Germany.

Next we calculate the percentage differences for various developer types for both countries and present these difference using the graph below.

Percentage difference between Developer tpyes for both Germany and UK

Graphs above the zero-line show percentage differences where Germany has more of these developer types than the UK, whilst the graphs below show developer types where UK has comparatively more. Using this graphical representation, one may conclude for example, that there are more System administrators in Germany than in UK and more Full-stack Developers in the UK than Germany.

But are these percentage differences significant? Let us find out. The table below presents the outcome of test of null hypothesis that the difference of the considered factors is insignificant as against the alternative that the difference is significant at the 95% level. To reject the null hypothesis the p-value must be less 0.05 and vice versa.

Significance of the percentage difference between Germany and UK

Using outcome of the result above, we can conclude that potenitally there are more Designers and Data or business analyst in the UK than in Germany. On the other hand, Germany has more Desktop or enterprise applications Developers, Mobile Developers, DevOps specialist, System administrators, embedded applications or devices Developers, Academic researchers, Data scientist or machine learning specialists etc. than UK.

Most likely, there are equal number of Front-end and Full-stack Developers, Game or Graphic Developers, Database adminstrators, Site reliability Engineers, Engineering Managers, Senior executive/VP and Marketing or sales professionals in both countries.

2. How is the main branch for Developers in both countries distributed?

From the graph below, we see that more students in Germany are learning to code. Again, Germany has more respondents who are just hobby coders. UK on the other hand, has more professional developers than in Germany.

Percentage difference between Occupational tpye for both Germany and UK

Now let us look at the significance of the percentage differences.

As we can see, there are potentially more students learning to code as well as respondents who code primarily as a hobby in Germany than in the UK. UK has more professional developers than in Germay. Equally number of developers have retired in both countries. Furthermore, there are equal number of respondents who are not developers but write code at work.

3. How are Developers in these countries distributed with regards to the company size?

Percentage Difference between Developers with regard to the Enterprise structure

The graph above depicts the percentage differences between developers using the organisational structure.

The result show that there is equally likely number of developers who work in companies having 2 to 9, 1,000 to 4,999 and 10,000 or more employees in both countries. In Germany, more developers work in companies having employee size between 10 to 500. There seems to be more self-employed developers in Uk than Germany. This is also the case for companies having employee structure between 500 to 1,000 and 5,000 to 9,999. From the above finding, we will not be reluctant to conclude that potentially more developers work in small and mid-size enterprises in Germany. On the other hand, likely more developers work in large enterprises in UK than in Germany.

4.What are the main factors when considering two jobs offers with same the same compensation, benefits and locations?

Percentage differences in Job Factors for Developers in Germany and UK

Let now consider the result of test.

The result shows that, more developers in Germany consider Family friendliness, Flex time or flexible schedule and Specific department or team to be more important. In the UK though, Office environment or company culture, Opportunities for professional development, Remote work options, Diversity of the company or organization and how widely used or impactful their work output would be play the dominant role. The percentage differences for the rest of the other variables are insignificant.

5. How satisfied are Developers in Germany and UK?

Percentage differences in Job satisfaction for Developers in Germany and UK

The null hypothesis is rejected for factors Slightly satisfied and very dissatisfied.These factors are equally distributed among developers in both countries.

However, more developers in UK seem to be very satisfied and slightly satisfied with their jobs. In Germany, developers turn to be slightly dissatisfied or nether satisfied nur dissatisfied than their than their counterparts in UK.

6. Where are more Developers seeking new Job opportunities?

Finally we consider the measure in the job search for both countries.

Percentage differences in Job search for Developers in Germany and UK

There are more developers in UK looking for jobs than their counterparts in Germany, whilst more developers in Germany, although they are not actively looking for jobs, however seem to be open to new opportunities.

In Conclusion

  1. Potenitally there are more Designers and Data or business analyst in the UK than in Germany. Whilst Germany has vastly Desktop or enterprise applications Developers, Mobile Developers, DevOps specialist, System administrators, embedded applications or devices Developers, Academic researchers, Data scientist or machine learning specialists etc. than the UK.
  2. Most likely, there are equal number of Front-end and Full-stack Developers, Game or Graphic Developers, Database adminstrators, Site reliability Engineers, Engineering Managers, Senior executive/VP and Marketing or sales professionals in both countries.
  3. There are potentially more students learning to code and people who code primarily as a hobby in the Germany than in the UK. On the other hand, UK has likely more professional developers than Germany.
  4. Undoubtedly many developers in Germany, work in companies having employee size between 10 to 500. Whilst more developers in UK work in companies with 500 to 1.000 and 5,000 to 9,999 employees. Furthermore, most likely there are more more self-employed Developers in UK than in Germany
  5. More developers in Germany consider Family friendliness, Flex time or flexible schedule and Specific department or team to be more important. In UK though, Office environment or company culture, Opportunities for professional development, Remote work options, Diversity of the company or organization and how widely used or impactful their work output would be seem to play the dominant role.
  6. Seemingly, developers in UK are either very satisfied or slightly satisfied with their jobs over Germany. In Germany the are either slightly dissatisfied or nether satisfied nur dissatisfied.
  7. Potentially, more developers in UK are looking for new job opportunities, whilst more developers in Germany, although they are not actively looking for jobs, however seems to be opened to new opportunities.

You now have some picture of the landscape for Developers in both countries. What do you think?

Many thanks for reading.

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Paul Dzitse

Paul Dzitse

Econometrician and Data Analyst/Scientist