How many Flex developers are there?

There are lots  people who are enthusiastic about Flex 2. But how many?  Adobe announced the goal to have a million Flex developers in about three years. Last week I read a blog on O’Reilly called 1 in every 10 Java developers is learning Flex. This blog has some interesting comments from well known people. I’ll try to do my math to come up with a  more or less real number.
We at Farata Systems started actively blogging about six months ago, and currently about 7000 unique visitors read our blog each month. First of all, thank you all who read our posts, we’ll keep it up. Since we publish lots of technical Flex materials, I assume that most of our readers are developers. Flex community is pretty active, and if 10% of all Flex developers visit our blog, there is total of 70000 of Flex Developers who can read English.  Even if the number of Flex  developers will double each year, I still do not see a million any time soon.
We need to do a correction to my math, because we’ve forgotten about  people who  instead of screaming on the net “Flex is cool” are quietly  studying Flex in vocational schools in Bangalore suburbs. They are not registering themselves on Flex forums. But sure enough they’ll quickly double the number of Flex developers in three years.

So what’s my message?  We have about three years until the market for Flex developers will get saturated. Do not waste your time… if you know what I mean.

Yakov Fain

8 thoughts on “How many Flex developers are there?

  1. Hmm, I wonder if the market for Java developers is saturated today – since there’s so many of them.. 😉 .. or wait, I know it isn’t. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that. It’s all about the market and the economy in general. If things are going well, like they are now, people are building software.

  2. Every programming language has a similar lifecycle, and it’s better to be one of the first developers of the any programming language. But you can’t compare Flex with Java as the latter is a general purpose programming language while Flex covers just the GUI part of Web development. Today, there is over five millions of professional Java developers in the world (stessing the world professional). The one mil target of Flex developers in three years does not seem to be realistic.

  3. Hi Yakov. This is a interesting topic. While nobody knows for sure what the future holds, we believe that one million Flex developers is not an impossible goal. It all comes down to how many developers (in all languages) there are, what percentage of them are ever involved with UI development, and how many will select Flex as one of the technologies that they use for building UIs. We’ve run the numbers and we’re satisfied that the potential audience is out there. Our focus now is getting Flex adopted in a viral way, which is the only way to reach the numbers. We can’t buy every download with Google ads. We need word of mouth, and lots of it. Things like your blog, your consulting business, and your book are tremendously helpful in that regard, and we thank you for doing your part for building the community. We’re counting on others – many, many others – to follow your example.

  4. Yakov

    You’re right, I have the same situation here in Brazil, my portuguese blog reachs to be #1 in Flex materials and I have 4k unique visitors each month at my blog and seems that plus with your math will wil have 11k at all. for the past 6 months.

    Since here I’ve spoken to 4k people among the same period I’ve started talking about Flex, But the fact is that any of screamming guys a quitly only numbers, the Flex-Brasil community ( has 3 years of existence and then we even passed 500 members registred. But also I agree with the O’Reilly post here in Brazil I’ve been talking with many Java developers about Flex. That’s pretty instresting.

    But We have less then 3 years to earn more money. Some the gang at India will take all the jobs and the pumps works will blow up.


  5. I would strongly disagree with this (oreliy blog stat). For now i am in touch with atleast 1000 java developers. Out of them just two are even remotely wanting to get on to flex and its thanks to project requirements. Most of flex developers that i know of are, formely flash or multimedia based developers.

    Flex is amazingly catching on, but this kind of stat talks about a boom time that is currently in a ongoing stage for even Ajax based apps.

  6. Rags,
    Since the original post the number of unique visitors of our blog has grown 50%. I’ll need to adjust my guestiimates soon. Your chart looks interesting, but let me though in some more interesting facts. People from around the world are ordering our new Flex book ( ), which comes with free PDF, so it’s just a click away. Of course, vast majority orders come from the USA, but I can tell you that lots of people from Italy, Germany, Netherlands are buying the book. I’ve seen orders from Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Thailand… But I did not see orders from India or China. Can you explain this phenomenon?

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