In this installment of our 2014 DI Developer Survey Report blog
series, we’ll explore how much time developers spend learning – and why not
supporting their drive to learn is costing you money. (Missed the introduction
to this series? You
can find it here

One aspect of developer learning
the survey investigated is the habit of learning. Through our years of experience
in the technical learning and development industry, we knew that developers
tend to be self-directed when it comes to learning. They like to learn, and are
driven to learn – regardless of how their organization approaches learning
opportunities. The question we needed answered wasn’t whether developers like
to learn; rather, we wanted to know how much of their own time developers spend
on learning activities.

Nearly all survey respondents said they
spend an average of four to five hours per week of their own time learning. At
first look, this may appear to be an admirable personal investment on the part
of the engineers. However, more than likely, this learning is done on the job,
which creates a debt when measured against project plans and software quality. Calculating
the average salary of a senior-level engineer during the hours spent on this
“learn-on-your-own” approach shows this is a costly model – to the tune of
$18,750 per engineer per year.

How much is your annual training
budget, per engineer? Probably not $18,750. (In its 2013 State of the Industry report, ASTD found that employers they
surveyed spend an average of $1,195 per employee on learning and development in 2012[1].)

The practice of self-improvement
should be encouraged throughout every engineering organization. With a formal
learning plan that is thoughtfully designed and intentional in execution,
companies can improve productivity of developers who are better equipped to do
their job, and feel supported in their need to continue learning new skills.
This makes learning opportunities an investment that goes a long way toward
retaining current talent – and attracting new talent – in an organization.

For more on this topic, and to read the 2014 DI Developer
Survey Report
in full, download
your free copy
today. Interested in
learning how your developers compare? Contact our consultants today, at (877) 629-5631 or via email, to
discuss our Needs Assessment services.

[1] Staff, ASTD Editorial, ed.
“Direct Expenditure per Employee.” ASTD 2013 State of the Industry
(2013): 10-11. Print.

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