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I've been working as a Java developer for a while now. I usually work on business applications and I recently realized that my work mainly consists of

  • writing an endless stream of facade classes
  • followed by an infinite array of jpa queries
  • paired with countless hours of typing mvn clean install -U and waiting for the build

Sometimes I get to work on more enjoyable stuff, but it's only 5-10% of my time spent at my workplace. I think that I should move on to some other segment of the industry because business application development usually lacks challenges.

My problem is that after googling for a while, I couldn't find any exhaustive source about the distribution of programming jobs nor information regarding the supply/demand and/or segmentation of the industry.

Does anyone know about some source of information about these matters? Even some pointers will do. I think there are others out there thinking about something like this. Don't constrain yourself to Java if you are answering because I'm willing to learn new technologies.

I do not want general information but grouped statistics across different segments of the industry.

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Robert Harvey, MichaelT, Dynamic, Kilian Foth Jun 5 '13 at 7:50

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Somewhat relevant: Programming Sucks! Or At Least, It Ought To –  AakashM May 16 '13 at 12:57
One of my old coworkers was fond of saying that 95% of programmers are nothing more than plumbers: move data from one spot to another. –  Telastyn May 16 '13 at 13:22
unlikely that you'll find fair statistics on that. Imagine a company where programmers waste 50-60% time on non-programming work (BTDT) - sharing this publicly could kill their chances in the job market; it is quite rarely and unconsciously that data like this leaks –  gnat May 16 '13 at 13:26
I thought that this is will be a tough nut to crack but I'll do it anyway. –  Adam Arold May 16 '13 at 13:36
Have you read the classic Joel on Software article, "Fire and Motion" about dead time at the office? "When I had a summer internship at Microsoft, a fellow intern told me he was actually only going into work from 12 to 5 every day. Five hours, minus lunch, and his team loved him because he still managed to get a lot more done than average." joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000339.html –  akh2103 May 16 '13 at 20:12

2 Answers 2

I don't think that you're going to find exactly what you are looking for because jobs, at least at a national or international level, are not classified by the language or technology used.

Take the following query on WolframAlpha.

I don't have enough street cred here on Programmers to add an image but click on the Source and it gives additional info regarding where they are getting the breakdown of jobs.

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Here are results from a formal survey of how programmers spend their time:Results

What many of us do to break the boredom of business programming is to work on exciting and innovative projects off the company clock. Heck, I'm learning LISP right now just for fun. Of course this means you spend too much time at the computer, so finding a healthy balance can be difficult.

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I'm learning LISP right now just for fun. :) "...off the company clock" is not an option for me. I can't accept your answer though because it is not an answer to my question. –  Adam Arold May 16 '13 at 14:39
Um, your question is "Are there any statistical information about what kinds of work programmers do?" and I provided a link to survey results. How is that not an answer? –  Daniel Pereira May 16 '13 at 14:51
I was talking about industry segregation not about what they do in general during their working hours. Anyone can see a better statistics who filled in Stack Overflow's questionnarie last year. –  Adam Arold May 16 '13 at 15:06
I see, I misunderstood your question. Programmers work in just about every industrial and academic domain. I think it's safe to assume that the amount of programming work being done in each domain is relative to the scope of the domain and the domain's reliance on software in general. For example, tons of programming work being done in the video game industry, not so much on Banana plantations. I agree it would be interesting to see a graph showing such information but I don't know if anyone has researched the subject and published their findings. –  Daniel Pereira May 16 '13 at 15:24

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