Mac Dev Survey 2021 — The Results

4,072 developers working on the Mac answered the call and took part in our 2021 survey. Besides working through 26 individual questions, they also answered a more far-reaching question: Who are we as a community?

  • March-April 2021
  • 4,072 participants

Developer Profile

Developer Profile — 1/4

Age and work experience

Almost half of our particiants are in their thirties. And with another 25 % being in their forties, it means that the average developer on the Mac has quite some experience to draw on!

Age (years)

Work experience (years)

Developer Profile — 2/4


Our community is really all over the globe! People from more than 90 countries took part, from Canada to Costa Rica and from Singapore to Spain!

Developer Profile — 3/4

Company size

The Mac has arrived in the enterprise: more than a quarter of people work in large teams (500+ people). But the other end of the spectrum is almost as popular: around 20% are solo developers working on the Mac!

Developer Profile — 4/4

Actual programming time per day

Two thirds of developers can spend more than 4 hours each day actually coding. That's a substantial amount of time, considering how many other tasks knowledge workers have to handle these days.

Technology and
Programming Languages

Tech and Languages — 1/4

What type of development do you mostly do?

1 in 4 developers on the Mac works on mobile apps. And, also quite notably, at least 5% of our community work as Dev Ops or Sys Admins!

Tech and Languages — 2/4

Do you contribute to open source on a regular basis?

Wow! 😍 More than 60% of our community contribute to Open Source projects! Here's to all those who make Open Source possible! 🥂

Tech and Languages — 3/4

Do you write unit tests for your code?

Although it might not be the favorite pastime for everyone: 2 out of 3 developers have (at least parts of) their code bases covered with unit tests!

Tech and Languages — 4/4

Which programming languages do you work with the most?

JavaScript, Swift, and CSS are leading the pack - as you would expect. But a large amount of Python, PHP, and Ruby developers are proof: technologies on the Mac are as diverse as ever!

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Learning and Staying

Learning — 1/3

Which languages would you like to learn?

Those who don't already work with Swift would love to try it. But the slightly less frequently used languages Go and Rust are just as popular! Maybe the perfect opportunity for some side projects?! 🤔

Learning — 2/3

From what kind of sources do you prefer to learn?

Online courses and blogs are still the most popular learning material. But many developers also mentioned official project documentation as a valuable learning resource.

Learning — 3/3

What are your favorite development news sources?

Here are just a few of the hundreds of different sources we spotted: CSS-Tricks, Smashing Magazine, iOS Dev Weekly, Ruby Weekly, Hacking with Swift, CodePen, Real Python, Ray Wenderlich, Josh Comeau, Kent C. Dodds, and maaaany more!

Development Tools

Development Tools — 1/3

Which code hosting platform do you use?

GitHub is by far the most popular code hosting platform. But almost 10% of our participants also stated they're not using any of the major platforms - and instead host their code themselves!

Development Tools — 2/3

Which text editor do you use?

With lots of Swift developers in our community, it's no surprise that Xcode is so popular. In the same way, the dominance of Visual Studio Code was to be expected. Rather remarkable, however, that Panic's Nova editor has gathered quite some friends, considering it is still very new.

Development Tools — 3/3

Do you use a tool for diffing and merging?

Almost half of us don't use a dedicated tool for diffing and merging. Those who do, however, seem to agree: Kaleidoscope and the default File Merge app are the tools of choice.

Other Productivity
and Work Tools

Productivity and Tools — 1/6

Which tools do you use to track bugs & issues?

While GitHub is clearly the most popular code hosting choice, Jira is still the number one when it comes to issue tracking.

Productivity and Tools — 2/6

Do you use a tool for task management?

Jira is not only used for tracking issues, but of course also for tasks in general. Trello, Microsoft Teams, and Asana are popular alternatives and - since we're on the Mac - the legendary Things GTD app is also no stranger.

Productivity and Tools — 3/6

Are you using a file-sharing solution at work?

Over the years, the popularity of Google Drive has been steadily on the rise! Its big competitors, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox, are neck and neck.

Productivity and Tools — 4/6

Does your team use some kind of intranet for shared documentation?

As we were recently talking about Jira... Atlassian's Confluence is the most popular intranet & documentation platform for teams on the Mac. With a lot of solo developers in our community, however, it has to be said that 1 in 4 is not using any such platform at all.

Productivity and Tools — 5/6

Which workflow or tool do you struggle the most with?

As expected, we received a lot of different answers to this question! But three "lucky winners" seemed to be most unpopular: Jira, Git, and CI/CD.

Productivity and Tools — 6/6

What's your favorite development tool?

As we are conducting this survey, we were particularly flattered to see so many mentions of Tower.❤️ But many other tools have won the hearts of our fellow developers on the Mac: Xcode, Visual Studio Code, and PhpStorm, among others.

Not So Serious

Not So Serious — 1/3

What's your favorite spaceship of all time?

The Millenium Falcon from Star Wars has won the race — and lapped Captain Future's "Comet" multiple times... sorry! A real spaceship, Apollo 11, also made it into the top 5!

Not So Serious — 2/3

Do you listen to music when working?

9 out of 10 developers on the Mac listen to music while they code! Only around 10% always prefer to type away in silence.

Not So Serious — 3/3

Do you prefer light or dark mode?

Two words: Dark. Mode. The majority of our community has, very openly, converted to the dark side. But they're lovely folks nonetheless! ❤️

Be Part of Next Year's Survey!

As the makers of Tower, the best Git client for Mac and Windows, we help over 100,000 users in companies like Apple, Stripe, Amazon and Tinder get the most out of Git.

Apart from Tower, we try to make our contribution for a healthy, collaborative and fun software development community — for example with websites like this one!