Developer Activity — an important industry KPI
Developer activity is often viewed as “a leading indicator of the value creation in emerging platforms” because applications built by crypto developers provide value to their end users and chains, which in turn attracts additional developers and users to the emerging platforms. The growth in developers for the crypto industry at large is an indication of crypto and web3 adoption and suggests that adoption isn’t fully correlated with network value. In addition, the blockchain platforms with the greatest growth in developer activity are well positioned for continued success and adoption into 2023.
As a whole, the crypto industry saw a 5% increase in monthly developer activity year-over-year, despite the challenging market conditions. That includes an 8% year-over-year increase in full-time developers (developers that commit code at a minimum of 10 times every month). In total, almost half a million code commits are made monthly in open-source crypto according to the report. Most chains saw modest improvements in 2022 developer activity, but a few blockchains saw significant increases, including the Internet Computer.
Moving up the chain
Activity Since 2018
Since 2018, full-time developers working on the Internet Computer grew 40x. The ecosystem activity for ICP only started after May 2021 (mainnet launch), which indicates that the Internet Computer is one of the youngest chains to reach these high developer activity metrics.
A Deeper Dive
The explorer tool provided by Electric Capital allows a deeper dive into the types of developers and their level of contribution. Within the Internet Computer ecosystem there are more part-time developers (those committing 1–10 times a month) than full-time developers, a trend common in the industry. Throughout 2022, full time developers counts grew steadily, while part time and one time developer counts were much more volatile. In 2022 there were two spikes in part-time developer counts coinciding with the Motoko Bootcamp and with the Supernova Hackathon. Both of these events seem to have contributed to a higher baseline for part-time developers.
Total commits on open source Internet Computer repositories grew by 32% year-over-year. Despite the fact that there are almost twice as many part-time developers as full-time developers, full-time developers make up almost three times as many commits as part-time developers. This bolsters the argument that full-time developers, which grew 94% in 2022, are very committed to the projects they are building on the Internet Computer.
A few trends are emerging that suggest that 2023 will be an important year for the Internet Computer developer ecosystem:
- The success of the Internet Computer in 2022, as reported in the Electric Capital Developer report, can lead to a virtuous cycle where new developers are attracted to the platform because of the success of previous developers.
- The technology releases of SNS, native Bitcoin integration late in 2022, and the upcoming chain-key BTC launch have already attracted new developers who may open source their projects in 2023.
- Many Internet Computer stakeholders, including DFINITY, are planning activities to onboard new developers. These activities include educational training, like Code&State’s Motoko Bootcamp, and hackathon events.
Ultimately, it is the goal of the DFINITY Foundation to continue to attract and support developers to the Internet Computer platform in order for the Internet Computer to be ranked amongst the top blockchains for full-time developers within the Electric Capital annual report. 2022 was a milestone year towards that goal and we expect 2023 to continue on that success.
Learn more about the internetcomputer.org and join the developer community at forum.dfinity.org.
Author - Kyle Langham, Director of Data Analytics @ DFINITY