What’s the first thing that people think of when they hear the word ‘developer’? For many people, it’s probably ‘money’ or maybe companies like ‘Facebook’ or ‘Google’. However, these topics don’t really reflect the work that developers do or the ways in which they view their career or their life. In fact, while only 7% of developers in Europe want to work for FAANG, 35% want to work in an industry that has a good cause. We conducted a survey to find out what developers (in Europe!) really care about. Below are some of the key findings about developers’ career ambitions. 26% of developers are driven by the desire for personal satisfaction and pride A career is more than just the work you do for eightish hours a day, especially for developers. Careers in tech mean having to stay on top of new trends and regularly upskill or learn new languages. So what keeps developers going and striving, year after year? The number one reason is personal satisfaction and pride. On the other end of the spectrum, the least popular answer is to build a network or gain status. 34% want to work in a startup Where are developers most comfortable? TV tells us that it’s startups and, in fact, many developers agree. 34% of developers would prefer to work in a startup, primarily because there is less bureaucracy and they also feel more valued. As developers are often the people making and managing the product itself, it makes sense that they would like to truly have a say in what that product looks like. Scaleups are also attractive to developers though the reasons are more varied. The biggest draw is simply that it is a better product. Only 7% of developers aspire to work for FAANG Working at FAANG is sure to make your parents say ‘oooh woooooooow, look at our kid, they’re so smart.’ In reality, far more developers aspire to work in an industry with a good cause. Interestingly, that’s 52% of women and 32% of men. For reference, the second most popular industry is ‘I don’t care.’ 61% of developers would like to work on their negotiation & conflict resolution skills 95% of developers aspire to have stronger soft skills… and the number one skill to work on is negotiation and conflict resolution, followed by public speaking and time management. Interestingly, the desire to work on time management does clearly decrease with years of experience. Furthermore, there are a number of notable differences between men and women. In particular, creativity seems to be a bigger topic for men, while assertiveness is a more important skill for women. In conclusion, it’s clear that developers are often looking to make themselves proud. They want to learn and grow without tipping the work-life balance scale. FYI, there are also reports coming specifically for DACH and the Netherlands. Turns out the Netherlands likes therapists more than the rest of Europe.