iOS Developer Survey - Pt 1: Where are your Macs

By Jeff Vincent|

June 01, 2020

Dave Verwer’s iOS Developer Community Survey came out a couple of months ago, and we’ve been looking over the data ever since. As a proud sponsor of this sweeping survey, which garnered more than 2,000 responses from developers around the globe, we took the time to crunch the data and see what stuck out to us as trends in the marketplace.

However, since the survey was released, a lot has changed. Now, many of us work from home full time per safe social distancing practices. While it was impossible to predict a massive global event like the COVID-19 pandemic, this survey gives us a glimpse into the pre-pandemic trends and provides us with some space to expand our thoughts on what 2020 could mean post-pandemic.

We’ve got three big takeaways, but that’s too much for just one blog post. Join us during this series where we break down the numbers and give you our thoughts on what that means for 2020 and beyond. Let’s jump in.  


But first, let’s take a look at the methodology. Our takeaways will focus on the results from respondents who are on medium and large-sized teams that are developing apps for business. While we know how important small (1-4 developer) teams are to the development of both hobby and professional apps, we found that the results are most relevant for medium size (5 - 50 developers) and large (51+ developers) - which makes up 40% of survey respondents. We will likely mention the full survey results and link to the appropriate question just for your reference as well. Our numbers come from the raw data, and we’ll include some charts as needed.

iOS developer team size chart

Here is the breakdown of the respondents and their teams:

  • 40%  -  1 person team
  • 20%  - 2-4 person team
  • 32%  - 5-50 person team
  • 8%  - 51+ person team

We’ll include this methodology before every blog post - just as an FYI.

Where are your Macs?

The first topic we’ll tackle is where these teams have their Macs. While we know that overall, the survey showed more than half of respondents had do-it-yourself Mac infrastructure, a little less than half were using CI-as-a-Service (CIaaS) tools like Travis CI, Bitrise, etc.

Interestingly, we see both large and medium-sized teams continue the trend of DIY Macs - 70% of medium-sized teams and 75% of large teams had DIY Mac infrastructure, meaning the remaining quarter (or a little more) are using a CIaaS tool.

To break it down further over half of those have their Macs in a data center with 35% of those are in a company-owned data center and 16% are self-hosted and renting space in a data center (like you can with MacStadium). We predict more organizations will start moving toward these self-hosted clouds - but while this was a trend already, it’s being sped up by COVID-19 and several organizations, like Twitter and Square, moving to remote-only employment models.

Only 26% of larger teams have their Macs on-prem compared to medium-sized teams - 31% of those medium-sized teams have Macs on-prem.

Where iOS builds take place bar chart

This probably comes as no surprise, but we predict in 2020, we’ll see the numbers shift away from DIY, self-hosted, and on-prem Macs for these medium and large teams. We expect to see a rise in teams using CIaaS or hosting their own Mac cloud at a data center (like with MacStadium), decreasing the need for someone to be at the office or on-site when things go awry.

Of course, there are many advantages of hosting at MacStadium. It’s more powerful, more scalable, and much easier than hosting on-premise. If you’re interested in learning more about the powerful Mac minis we have, check out the latest webinar: Digging Deeper into 2018 Mac minis or check out some use cases.

Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

Stay tuned for more in this series where we’ll dive into the survey further. In Part 2, we’ll discuss the tools used by developers, and in Part 3, we’ll discuss what these teams are working on day-to-day. You don’t want to miss this and the best way to stay informed about everything happening is by joining the MacStadium Community Slack! The MacStadium Community Slack is the best place to mingle with your fellow MacStadium fans, hear about the latest blog post or webinar, talk to the experts, and ask questions that could be featured in one of our webinars! What are you waiting for? Join the Slack channel now!

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