Some software developers manage without 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione. I have no idea how they do it. Haven’t they read the requirements documents, which clearly state that all IT professionals must consistently consume massive quantities of caffeine at all times?

How can you be agile without coffee? My apologies, but tea, hot chocolate, Diet Coke and Mr Pibb simply don’t cut it. And don’t get me started about Dr Pepper. There’s got to be something in the Carnegie-Mellon CMMI about caffeine.

As part of the lead up to last September’s iPhone/iPad DevCon in San Diego, we undertook a survey of our attendees’ favorite coffee spots. This is clearly a North American-centric survey and we make no claims as to its statistical validity. However, we learned that (shudder) most of our attendees prefer Starbucks.

Starbucks: 53.2%
Dunkin’ Donuts: 10.5%
Peet’s: 9.7%
Caribou Coffee: 5.6%
Tim Horton’s: 3.2%
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: 1.6%
Seattle’s Best: 0.8%

The good news is that Dunkin’ Donuts came in second, albeit a not-very-close second, narrowly edging out Peet’s, a small chain that originated in Berkeley, Calif.

I’ve never visited Caribou Coffee, which operates in the eastern and mid-west areas of the United States, but it fared reasonably well, followed by the Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s and two other chains, Coffee Bean and Seattle’s Best.

Surprisingly, five chains we had on our survey received zero responses: Tully’s, Coffee Republic, Port City Java, Coffee Beanery and McDonalds McCafe. Yes, the Golden Arches is reinventing itself as a coffee shop, complete with free WiFi. No, mobile developers don’t care.

No, we did not ask how many attendees don’t consume coffee at all.

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Follow him on Twitter at Read his blog at