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  • Only 23% of developers strongly agree that adequate support is readily available from their platform provider.– Accenture, 2018
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) was named the most developer-friendly platform. — Accenture, 2018

Developers must rely on their platform provider as a base for their work, but most lack adequate support resources for them, according to a new report from Accenture.

The report surveyed more than 750 US-based developers to determine what they look for in a platform provider–particularly key given the critical role developers play in a platform’s adoption and ultimate success, Accenture noted.

Only 23% of developers surveyed strongly agreed that adequate support is readily available to them from their platform of choice. The factors that developers value the most in their platform include platform market position (cited by 90% of developers surveyed), technically accurate content (82%), timely support (81%), learning new skills and improving skills (78%), integration with other leading platforms (76%), and monetization opportunities (64%).

SEE: Job description: iOS developer (Tech Pro Research)

“While the industry is aware of the critical importance of a healthy developer ecosystem, it needs to do a better job to engage, inspire, educate and support developers,” Robin Murdoch, a managing director in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology group, said in a press release. “This survey highlights some of the opportunities for companies to differentiate their platforms and better address developers’ needs.”

When asked specifically about top developer platforms, developers said each offered different strengths, the report found. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was named most developer-friendly platform, with respondents noting that it keeps them informed, and provides monetization opportunities. Developers also named AWS as the most future-looking platform.

Developers ranked Microsoft Azure as the best in terms of its accuracy, currency, findability, and readability of content, the survey found. They also were happy with the timeliness and technical background of the support they receive. However, Android developers were most satisfied with the level of knowledgeable support received overall, and also ranked high for personalized support.

Developers said Google Cloud Platform was the most innovative, and the most caring of the needs of professional developers. Meanwhile, iOS had the most credibility among hardcore developers, the survey found.

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

Companies need to work harder to differentiate their offerings to developers and gain their business, the survey found: Nearly half of developers said they think that all developer ecosystems are “pretty much the same” in terms of usefulness. And 70% said that a platform offering a truly differentiated developer ecosystem would get a much larger share of their business.

In terms of switching platforms, developers said they would be motivated to change within the next 12 months to a platform that is more focused on the latest technology (53%), more future-looking (44%), easier to use (41%) and helpful for building their career (40%).

Developers also offered the following suggestions for platform providers to differentiate themselves:

-Continually push technology boundaries and expand developers’ opportunities to innovate

-Open source their code, and grant access to their libraries and repositories

-Provide relevant, continually updated, and comprehensive learning and certification programs

-Be there when needed most, in ways tailored to each development group

-Recognize the value provided by developers, and that the success of both developer and platform is intertwined