Research reveals sustainability projects driving opportunities for software developers

2 min read

Research commissioned by Ordnance Survey has revealed why sustainability projects are an increasing area of focus for software developers, with job satisfaction, higher pay, and unique problem-solving opportunities cited as key drivers.

The research, which canvassed the opinions of 500 developers who have worked on UK-focused sustainability projects, reveals that developers are highly motivated by the opportunity to do something positive for the world and enjoy the technical challenges these projects present. It also reveals that sustainability projects offer the potential for higher remuneration.

The same research also highlights how UK efforts to reduce transport emissions – including a deadline of 2030, by which all new vehicles must be electric or hybrid models – has driven up the demand for developers who can support the rollout of EV infrastructure, the supporting energy infrastructure, and the digital solutions that will accelerate EV adoption.

Key findings include:

  • Over 90% of respondents said they enjoy working on sustainability projects because of the challenges involved and the motivation to do good
  • 82% of respondents reported that sustainability projects attract at least 5% higher remuneration, with British and Polish developers reporting at least 10% higher pay
  • 94% of developers bring their own ideas to the table for ways to develop sustainability projects, showing that they are highly engaged with the process
  • Main focus to date has been sustainable development – close to 70% of respondents have worked on projects in this area, followed by energy and power at 57%, natural resources at 51%, and transport and mobility at 49%
  • Some 66% of developers who worked on transport and mobility projects focused on EVs
  • 87% of respondents working on EV projects agreed that the UK’s Zero Emission Policy was a key driver of their EV project. Of these, 37% worked on EV infrastructure development projects, and 34% on EV projects related to user experience
  • 46% of developers working on sustainability projects use geospatial tools

According to Rollo Home, Head of Product at Ordnance Survey, “Developing solutions that will help to tackle the climate crisis and ensure a more sustainable future must be a focus for organisations and governments across the globe. Those with technical skills and data expertise will be crucial when it comes to innovating in this area, as will access to high-quality data.”

Across all respondents, there is a clear prevalence of developer projects focusing on expanding and building public EV charging infrastructure. A key focus for developers is to plan the siting of charging stations, keeping in mind the traffic routes, land usage and existing power grids.

Another equally important effort goes into creating a modern, user-friendly information and communication platform for EV adopters, such as apps informing drivers of charging point status, location, connectivity and local amenities.

Ordnance Survey commissioned a global survey of 500 developers who have worked on UK-focused sustainability projects to find out more about who they are, what kind of work they’re doing, how they work and where they see the demand for sustainability projects in the future. Of the 500 developers surveyed, 40% of respondents were based in the UK, with the remaining developers based in India, Hungary, Romania and Poland.

Access the research report “Sustainability: opportunities for software developers” from the Ordnance Survey website.