Dana Singleterry

9 minute read

We promised we would share the results of the August, 2017 Developer Survey with you and here they are. The insights you have given us are key to the continued success of the Developer Program in providing you with the tools you need to advance your knowledge and help you to achieve your career goals. Your input is helping us to shape the future of this program.

Here is an infographic illustrating the results of the developer survey. We will break this down piece-by-piece and present an explanation of this visualization and how your input is translated into outcomes that the ServiceNow Developer Program Team can act on.


Developer Role

How Do You Use the Now Platform?

We gathered input from a healthy cross-section of developers that are members of the ServiceNow Developer Program. This distribution of ServiceNow developers allowed us to analyze key subgroups by depth of role using the Now Platform, length of time using the platform, and familiarity with other development platforms.

We asked five questions that provided us insight into the background/experience level of the developers responding. Breaking the results down by percentages we see the following:

  • 1/3rd are developing applications on the Now Platform as their primary job function
  • An additional 1/3rd develop applications as part of their job
  • 1/5th are investing in career opportunities
  • The rest are using it for personal and other reasons

We received valuable feedback from partner/customer developers as well as developers-at-large providing high praise on the value of the developer program. This feedback indicated how developers are using their personal developer instance (PDI) for learning, experimenting and building proof-of-concepts that can be leveraged within their organization.

  • 80% of respondents report that the Developer Program improved their knowledge of the Now Platform
  • 67% cite that the program helped them to succeed in their job
Length in Role

What is Your Level of Experience with ServiceNow?

We asked specific questions on level of experience developing applications and areas of proficiency on the Now platform. We find that the developer community has an average of 2.1 years of experience on the Now Platform.

As of September, 2017, when we ran this developer survey, we had approximately 120,000 members. The program has grown significantly and organically in less than 2 years from approximately 25,000 members to what we have today. Amazing growth!

The Now Platform experience breakdown is as follows:

  • 0-2 years: 71%
  • 3-5 years: 22%
  • 6-10 years: 7%
  • >10 years: <1%

When it comes to proficiency we asked respondents in which areas they felt proficient with creating or updating apps on the Now platform. No big surprise, due in-part to 71% having 0-2 years of experience, that developers are most proficient with Tables/Fields and Forms/Lists. As experience level increases so does areas of proficiency.

Proficiency with developing scoped applications and leveraging REST APIs seem to correlate with more experience on the Now Platform. As developer expertise increases, they are seeing benefits in these areas and leveraging them more. A key point here is that scoped apps are the recommended way to build ServiceNow applications. For those of you who are new to ServiceNow, we have made it easy to learn these advanced topics with our training content and we continue to expand on this with new material. We are committed to providing you with the content to increase your knowledge.

Top Applications on the ServiceNow Platform

What are You Building?

Rounding out the section on developer background and experience we asked a question to understand what kind of applications ServiceNow developers are building on the Now Platform.

We found that nearly three quarters use the Now Platform to build Service Management applications (70%), while almost half (47%) use the platform to build the second most common application around Process Automation.

There is also significant development of applications in Enterprise Integration (35%), Business Management (34%), and Performance Analytics/Reporting (29%).

The takeaway here is that we will continue to align our content roadmap to address the needs of our community and ensure you have the content you need to succeed in your application development. Our learning and API content is vast and growing based on your feedback. Stay tuned to the developer portal as new content arrives to meet your needs as your experience expands.

Developer Instances

What Developer Site Features are Most Important to You?

The next series of questions focused on how ServiceNow developers leveraged the Developer Program and developer site in their day-to-day careers. The most Valuable Product (MVP) of the developer site to developers is the free PDIs that we offer to Developer Program members. Following PDIs is training (84%) and then documentation (80%) which includes API docs.

We aren’t surprised to see PDIs ranked as the #1 feature attracting developers to the developer site so we also wanted to better understand how the instances are being used. We learned that the primary reason is to test ideas out prior to implementing them on a corporate instance. These instances serve as a free sandbox for developers to try out new ideas including configurations, work on free training, develop scripts, and more, with no repercussions. Developers also have the added benefit of full admin rights on their PDI. At this point, we have a healthy pool of PDIs provisioned for new members and we will continue to provision new instances as the program grows.

Reason for First Visit

In the next question in this series, we were interested in finding out the first reason a developer visited the ServiceNow developer site. Learn the Now Platform came in as the number one reason followed closely by obtaining a PDI. Developers come to the site to learn the Now platform followed by the discovery of access to free PDIs. As new members continue their journey through the developer site the additional free resources come to light including API reference material and training content.

More Content

Concluding this series, we wanted to discover what new features/content the developer community would like to see included in the developer site. The most prized is Best Practices content. Best Practices were added in Q2 2017 and this content is provided by the ServiceNow Professional Services team. Additional features/content requested, in order include: community-sourced content, newsletters, white papers and custom learning plans. We’re working to deliver new content along these lines in the coming months. These are features that are part of our roadmap which you, the developer community, are contributing to.

REST APIs have been available for a while and Mobile APIs have just been released. Keep in mind, the developer site is the “go to” resource for developer enablement on the Now Platform and still the primary source for ServiceNow API reference content.

Training Requests

What Training Content are You Looking For?

We continue to look for ways to further differentiate our products/services and our free training/PDIs are game changers as you have indicated. To help with the continued success in building a training platform that delivers on needs, we asked respondents to select the topics that they would most like to see free training on.

The Developer Program team continues to deliver new material on a regular basis - having recently released the Service Portal course which has a challenge at the end to create a 404 page that has seen great success with over 90 responses on the community blog. A more advanced module within the Service Portal course, “Creating Custom Widgets”, was just released and goes into some of the more technical aspects leveraging scripting and Angular events to communicate between widgets.B Shown in the chart to the left, 50% of respondents listed this custom widgets as their top choice.


Additional courses that are on deck for next year include topics leveraging REST APIs, Developing AngularJS Applications, Performance Analytics/Reporting, and Automated Testing Framework.

Are You a Member of a ServiceNow Developer Meetup?

ServiceNow Developer Meetups have been growing at an amazing rate. These meetups have grown almost 50% in membership since last quarter (Q2) with over 3,500 members and 21 chapters as reported in August, 2017. Because this growth is so significant we wanted to know more about our respondents. We asked if you were currently a member of a ServiceNow Developer Meetup and likelihood to join if there were one in your area. In general, 16% are current members and 70% are not but interested in becoming a member of a local meetup.

As of this blog entry, we now have 5,350 active members and 27 chapters. The growth continues and is coming to a city near you in the future. If you are interested in starting a meetup in your area, just let us know by completing the Meetup intake survey.

First Heard

Continuing this journey, we were interested in discovering the most effective touchpoints to reach the developer community. Thus, we asked where did you first hear about the ServiceNow developer site. Nearly 4 out of 10 respondents, 39%, report that they first heard about the ServiceNow developer site either at work or from a trusted colleague. Another 17% heard about us through training opportunities, while 10% find out at CreatorCon conferences. We continue to measure our success by your success and we are excited to hear that our referral rate is so high. A Big Thank You for referring us to your colleagues!

LinkedIn use

In addition, we will continue to look at new avenues to reach the developer community; hence, the reason we are looking at social channels as another way of sharing news/info with you on ServiceNow developer-focused topics or content. We asked which social media sites are best for finding information on ServiceNow developer topics. Results indicate that users are more likely to leverage LinkedIn as a source of additional information for content of this nature as opposed to other social media sites (44% on LinkedIn vs. 10-15% elsewhere). This may be due to a significant number of developer program members also being users of LinkedIn.

Favorite Superhero Movie

What Do You Do for Fun?

What would a survey be without interjecting some questions just to break things up a bit?B We went down the Superhero path and while we asked about specific movies we grouped them into categories of DC and Marvel. Marvel came in first at 45% followed by DC at 33% and a significant number of you, 22%, selected none.

Life on Mars?

Our second fun question asked if you would sign up for a 1-way trip to be among the first to colonize Mars. It was surprising to see that 30% said “absolutely”, 31% indicated “possibly” while 40% said “no way”. Personally, NO WAY!

Thanks again for participating in the developer survey! The Developer Program Team will continue to add value to the developer site by delivering on your requests.