Developer Ambitions Report (DACH)

35% of developers want to work in a company with a good cause. What else do developers want from their career? Read on to find out.

Ines Almeida

Inês Almeida


Hannah Augur

Two years ago, we ran a survey to find out what makes developers happy. This year, we wanted to go one step further and find out what really drives them. What ambitions do they have for their career, their skills and their community? We got 1000+ responses from developers across Europe and had a lot of fun learning from the wide array of responses and comments. Hopefully this report will bring the community closer together (and help employers understand how to keep you developers happy)!

In this report, you'll find the topics grouped into four sections: Career, Personal Growth, Office & Geography, and Community.

YES, you can get a pdf version to share! Find our full Developer Ambitions Report here.

Developer Ambitions Report 2022 highlights DACH

1. Career Ambitions (DACH)

Developer Role Ambitions

31% of developers in DACH aim to be a team lead or middle management in a company.

Role ambitions (DACH)

Company Size Preferences

The #1 choice for developers is to work for a startup.

A whopping 89% of developers have a company size preference. Though there are several reasons to choose a specific size of company, two details stand out: The biggest reason to switch to a startup is the decrease in bureaucracy as well as feeling more valued. Those who seek security and a bigger paycheck will opt instead for an enterprise-sized company.

Size Preferences ambitions (DACH)

Industry of Employment Preferences

Only 15% of respondents reported that they have no preference about which industry they work in.

According to some, working for FAANG is the crowning achievement for a developer. FAANG pays more, as more prestige and generally make people go ‘ooh, aah’. However, we found that only 6% of our respondents report wanting to work for FAANG.

  • 6% want to work for FAANG

  • 36% want to work for a company with a good cause.

Industry ambitions (DACH)

Criteria for Next Job

Work-life balance is the most important criteria for developers considering a role.

After work-life balance, developers agreed that team/culture, salary and remote options were the next most important factors.

Job criteria ambitions (DACH)

'Job Hopping' Preferences

47% of developers don’t have a preference as to how often they switch jobs.

Most developers reported not really having an opinion on whether they should or shouldn’t job hop. In fact, 28% prefer to stay with the same company while 25% would prefer to job hop. Our chart below compares how long a developer has been at their current company with their preferences for 'job hopping'.

Job hopping vs plans ambitions (DACH)

2. Personal Growth Ambitions (DACH)

Drivers and Motivation

28% of developers are driven by the desire for personal satisfaction and pride.

Developers reported that a variety of factors and ambitions are driving their career. However, it’s clear that networking and status are the least important overall.

career drivers (DACH)

Side Projects Ambitions

31% of developers want to work on side projects that solve real world problems.

Only 4% of developers report not wanting to work on any side projects. Whether it’s having fun or solving problems, it’s clear that developers are generally driven to use their skills outside of working hours.

Career drivers ambitions (DACH)

Development Opportunities

Developers are most likely to hone their skills through self-study and regular work. Despite the prevalence of bootcamps and self-taught developers, 8% of respondents reported an interest in completing a university degree. Sometimes you can’t go wrong with old-fashioned college education!

development opportunities ambitions (DACH)

Soft Skill Growth and Ambitions

53% of developers would like to work on their negotiation & conflict resolution skills.

It seems developers are not only interested in negotiating and speaking better but also at managing their time. While the interest in time management decreases for developers as they gain experience in the field, it does appear to be a clear point of interest for developers across the board

Soft skills  ambitions (DACH)

Mentoring and Coaching

51% of developers report wanting to mentor others.

On top of this, 69% report being interested in having a mentor. This isn’t so surprising given the complex nature of the work. Developers must regularly learn new things and creating a reliable community and sharing culture within organisations would likely help developers do their jobs better.

Mentoring interest ambitions (DACH)

Dealing with Burnout

64% of developers report that vacation is a key defense against burnout.

Meditation and mindfulness also appear popular with developers of all skill levels. Interestingly, developers report being more likely to switch jobs than speak to a therapist or other professional when faced with burnout.

Burnout ambitions (DACH)

‘When I worked in construction, after I went home, I didn’t start building in my free time. I just enjoyed my free time. I didn’t have to worry about not being able to get a job if I don’t learn 10,000 things in an afternoon… but I have a bad relationship with tech, because I feel the need to always learn stuff and create.’

Catalin Pit, Developer & Technical Writer @catalinmpit 

3. Office and Geography Ambitions

Most Desired Locations in Europe

Top City: Berlin

Even when we removed respondents who are currently living in Western Europe from the data, Germany still came out as the most desired European country to live in. However, we must note that many of our respondents were also users of the Honeypot platform—a job platform specifically for DACH and the Netherlands. This could mean that respondents were more likely to have an interest in these countries than other developers.

Geography ambitions (DACH)

Office Wants and Expectations

42% of developers want to work fully remote.

Remote work has been all the rage the past couple of years. Even today you can’t stand up without hitting your head on an article about how it’s changing the world. However, it seems reality is slightly more nuanced as 74% of developers still have an interest in being in the same country as their employer. Only 26% would like to be in a different country from their employer entirely.

office visit  ambitions (DACH)
Office options ambitions (DACH)

Social Wants at Work

The vast majority of respondents reported a desire for social interactions at the office but no particular need to turn workmates into best friends. 

Friendship ambitions (DACH)

Politics at the Workplace

When it comes to employers having a stance on political topics, most developers fell somewhere in the middle. However, it seems that nearly half of developers believe their employers should have a clear position on major topics.

In particular, Northern Europe proved to be the most political and Eastern Europe the least. 20% of developers located in Northern Europe report wanting employers to go the full nine-yards in terms of politics. On the other hand, 51% of those in Eastern Europe preferred an office with no political topics at all.

Politics ambitions (DACH)

4. Community Ambitions

Biggest Problems to Solve

#1 Problem: Bad Project Managers

There’s no doubt about it, developers really, really dislike bad project managers. Apparently we shouldn’t have even asked.

problems ambitions (DACH)

For our final question, we wanted to ask a more complicated question. We asked developers what they would like to see more focus on in the developer community, and they were allowed to only select three options. Overwhelmingly, respondents voted for work-life balance and mental health. While gender equality had a number of votes (26%), POC and LGBTQ+ inclusion had far fewer (6% and 7%). 

social topics ambitions (DACH)

Thanks for reading our report! Be sure to check out the pdf version and sign up to be notified about our next one.

Looking to find new roles that match your ambitions? Honeypot is Europe's job platform for developers and data specialists. Sign up today and get offers with salary and tech stack up front.

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