More than 31,000 people responded to our 2018 New Coder Survey, granting researchers an unprecedented glimpse into how adults are learning to code.

We’ve released the entire dataset of participants’ individual responses to more than 50 questions — under the Open Data Common License — on a public GitHub repository.

In the months that follow, dozens of data scientists will pore over the data and discover all kinds of insights about people who are learning to code.

For now, I’m going to give you a high-level idea of who these new coders are, how they’re learning, and what their goals are.

Who participated?

More than 31,000 new coders responded to this survey. These are people who have been coding for less than 5 years.

Here are some high level facts about them:

  • 67% of them live outside the United States
  • their median age is about 30 years old
  • 21% are women
  • one quarter identifies as being part of an ethnic minority in their country
  • 8% are military veterans
  • They’ve been coding for an average of 21 months
  • 17% have already landed their first developer job

Learner goals and approaches

40% of them would like to either freelance or start their own business.

Most of them are interested in working as web developers, but are also interested in a wide variety of developer specializations.

Of the respondents who aren’t yet working as developers, 58% plan to start applying for jobs in the next 12 months.

47% of them would prefer to work in an office as opposed to working remotely — down from 50% last year.

And 76% of them are willing to relocate for a new job.

Learning resources

Most new coders report using a variety of online learning resources.

But less than half have attended in-person coding-related events.

Most new coders haven’t yet started listening to podcasts, but the ones who do listen to a wide range of them.

3 out of 4 new coders watch coding-related YouTube videos.

About 3% of new coders have attended an intensive coding bootcamp.

30% of respondents who attended a bootcamp had to take out a loan to do so. Still, 76% of respondents who attended said they’d recommend their bootcamp to a friend.

Demographics and Socioeconomics

We had respondents from 195 different countries.

Most of them live in larger cities.

Most of them are non-native English speakers. They grew up speaking one of more than 200 different languages.

Only about half of new coders have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The new coders who went to college studied one of more than 600 different majors — most of which were not technology-related.

Two thirds are currently working in some capacity.

Half are already in a technology-related field.

And most of them spend a lot of time commuting to and from work.

2 out of 3 of new coders are single.

About 1/3 of respondents take care of dependents. 16% have children and 8% are taking care of elderly relatives or relatives with disabilities.

48% consider themselves under-employed (working a job that is below their education level).

20% have student loan debt.

16% don’t yet have high speed internet at home.

And 3% are currently receiving disability benefits from their government.

These are the people who are learning to code.

You can see why free, self-paced learning resources are important.

freeCodeCamp.org is a tiny nonprofit that’s helping millions of people learn to code for free.

Become a supporter. Your $5 / month donation will help keep tech education free and open.

What’s next?

We’re cleaning and normalizing all 31,000+ records. Our community will use these to build data visualizations that answer a range of different questions.

If you’re interested in analyzing this dataset or building some visualizations of your own, join our Data Science chat room and introduce yourself.