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Solana Foundation Report Reveals Over 50% Developer Retention During Bear Market, Highlighting Ecosystem's Resilience

Despite facing a bear market and disinformation campaigns, Solana's developer ecosystem demonstrated remarkable resilience, retaining over 50% of its developers and showing significant growth in 2023.

January 8, 2024 by Sheldon

The Solana Foundation released "The 2023 State of the Solana Developer Ecosystem" report on Monday. This report reveals that the Solana developer ecosystem has not only endured the bear market following the FTX crash in November 2022 but has also demonstrated significant growth and advancements throughout 2023. Despite facing a barrage of disinformation campaigns during this challenging period, the resilience and dedication of Solana developers have been outstanding.

During the bear market, the Solana ecosystem was targeted by widespread disinformation, including a major report from a leading media house claiming that the number of active developers on Solana had plummeted to just 75, a drastic fall from the peak of 2500. This report, later proven to be inaccurate, contributed to the negative sentiment surrounding the platform. However, in the face of this adversity, the Solana developer community remained steadfast, continuing to build and innovate. This perseverance is evident in the latest report from the Solana Foundation, which confirms the retention of developers within the ecosystem and a significant increase in their numbers.

Amidst these challenges, one of the primary measures of the Solana ecosystem's health - the number of monthly active developers - remained robust. In 2023, Solana maintained a steady number of around 2500-3000 active developers monthly, signifying a robust and growing network. This figure is particularly impressive considering the misleading information circulated during the bear market. However, it's important to note that these figures only account for developers contributing to public repositories, suggesting that the actual number might be higher.

An encouraging sign of the ecosystem's vitality is the increased retention rate, which surpassed 50% in 2023. This improvement is attributed to better developer onboarding, the growing appeal of the Solana blockchain, and the expansion of opportunities within the ecosystem. The Solana Foundation's initiatives, such as developer boot camps and guides, have been instrumental.

A noteworthy aspect of the Solana ecosystem is the experience level of its developers. More than half of the developers joining Solana possess over three years of experience. This trend is reflected in the demographics of the Solana Hacker Houses attendees in 2023, where 52.5% had more than three years of development experience.

The Solana Foundation has nurtured the ecosystem through educational programs and courses. The diversity in the structure of these programs caters to various learning preferences, thereby boosting participation and success rates. Increased online resources and content about Solana have complemented these educational efforts, further enriching the developer experience.

Tooling on Solana has seen significant improvements, bringing it closer to parity with other ecosystems. Developers now have access to various tools in languages like Rust, Python, Golang, and C. This versatility caters to a broad spectrum of developers with different backgrounds, making it easier for them to start building on Solana.

The global growth of the Solana ecosystem is another key highlight. Initiatives like Solana Hackathons have played a pivotal role in this expansion. The most recent hackathon, Solana Hyperdrive, witnessed over 900 submissions, indicating a rising interest and participation from developers worldwide.

Looking ahead, the Solana Foundation remains committed to further enhancing the developer experience and tooling. With continuous improvements and support, 2024 promises to be a year of even more outstanding achievements for the Solana ecosystem. As the blockchain landscape evolves, Solana's growing developer base, enhanced tooling, and global outreach position it as a key player in the industry's future.

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