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Programming Stats IT

Salary-Comparing Survey Identifies Top-Paid Developers, Discovers North America Pays Better (linux.com) 267

21,000 developers were surveyed for this year's annual survey by VisionMobile -- and for the first time, they were asked about their salaries. An anonymous reader quotes Linux.com: [S]killed cloud and backend developers, as well as those who work in emerging technologies including Internet of Things, machine learning and augmented/virtual reality can make more money than frontend web and mobile developers whose skills have become more commoditized... The top 10 percent of salary earners in AR who live in North America earn a median salary of $219,000, compared with $169,000 for the top earning 10 percent of backend developers, according to the report... New, unskilled developers interested in emerging tech will have a harder time finding work, and earn less than their counterparts in more commoditized areas, due both to their lack of experience and fewer companies hiring in the early market.

Along with skill level and software sector, developer salaries also vary widely by where they live in the world. A web developer in North America earns a median income of $73,600 USD per year, compared with the same developer in Western Europe whose median income is $35,400 USD. Web developers in South Asia earn $11,700 in South Asia while those in Eastern Europe earn $20,800 per year.

For developers who want to move up in the world, VisionMobile suggests "Invest in your skills. Do difficult work. Improve your English. Look for opportunities internationally. Go for it. You deserve it!"
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Salary-Comparing Survey Identifies Top-Paid Developers, Discovers North America Pays Better

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @01:44AM (#54162799)
    Here are some direct links to avoid the form:

    http://go.linuxfoundation.org/l/6342/e-of-developer-nation-2017-pdf/3qp35l
    (also, the form is cool with mailinator addresses if that stops working)

    https://ufile.io/26f4a

    Also, here's the extracted text of the Key Insights:

    • Developers who work in areas with a higher technical complexity or in very young sectors - and therefore with higher barriers to entry and ultimately fewer developers doing it - generally earn more. In Western Europe, for example, the median backend developer earns 12% more than the median web developer; a machine learning developer makes 28% more. Web and mobile development are the most commoditised.
    • We’re still a long way off a global market for developers. The median earnings of web developers in Western Europe are half of those of their North American counterparts; web developers in other regions earn half again. This opens up arbitrage opportunities for developers willing to work remotely.
    • C# is the most popular primary programming language amongst Augmented and Virtual Reality developers, preferred by 30% of them. This is followed by C/C++ (16%) and Java (15%). Interestingly, professionals are more likely to use C# or C++ in comparison to hobbyists.
    • Almost 90% of AR/VR developers would be considered juniors by other industries’ standards, having less than 2 years experience. The industry consists of many newcomers who are inexperienced in the field - they will not be deeply invested in any tools, technologies or platforms, so any vendor has the potential to establish market leadership with the right product.
    • 48% of web developers are currently using a third-party library or framework other than jQuery as their primary way of doing front-end web development. Angular and React account for 30%, leaving all the others fighting for the remaining 18%. Indeed front-end web development is such a fragmented space that no other single library or framework accounts for more than 2% of primary usage.
    • Facebook’s React appears to dominate Google’s Angular in online discussion and open source activity. However, not only is Angular 2.x the primary framework for about as many developers as React (10% vs 9% globally), but Angular 1.x is still the most popular overall by a slim margin (11% use it as their primary framework). In total those using one or the other version of Angular number more than double those using React.
    • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular primary cloud hosting at every company size. For the smallest companies (1-5 employees) where Amazon has just a 15% share, they face very credible competition from Microsoft (12%), Google (11%), and Digital Ocean (10%). However, when we look at larger companies, Amazon’s share grows to 26-27% at every size, Microsoft stays in the 11-13% range, while Google fades along with Digital Ocean. Google has just a 5% share of companies with more than 5,000 employees, and Digital Ocean just 4% at the same size.
    • AWS is also the most popular primary cloud host with developers regardless of targeted audience, although strongest with backend developers who target large enterprises, of whom 29% are primarily using AWS. Microsoft shows greater strength equally with developers who target large enterprises, and those who target small to medium businesses (14% each). They are weaker with those targeting consumers (11%) or professionals (9%). Google shows the opposite patternbeing strongest with developers who target consumers(10%) but only half as popular with those who target large enterprises or internal employees.
    • Despite the proliferation of IoT platforms and other tools, the IoT tool market is still underdeveloped and heavily fragmented. IoT developers use comparatively fewer tools than their colleagues in other software sectors. 11% of IoT developers don’t use any of the tools in our list.
    &#
  • Full stack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is no difference between "front end" and "back end" anymore. The same person does both of them, and, alas, the salary doesn't change.

    • Re:Full stack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @02:32AM (#54162885)

      There is no difference between "front end" and "back end" anymore. The same person does both of them, and, alas, the salary doesn't change.

      Indeed. Every place I have worked, the same people do both. You need to have a fast edit-test-debug cycle without waiting for someone else to fix the server side.

      Also, whenever I have filled out a salary survey, I bump my salary up by 30%. If everyone does that, I can show the high result to boss when I ask for a raise to a "competitive" salary.

      • "You need to have a fast edit-test-debug cycle without waiting for someone else to fix the server side."

        Fast? Try yesterday fast. And that someone else? Nope, that's you too.

      • Re:Full stack (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tommeke100 ( 755660 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @06:47AM (#54163409)
        In web development you would indeed be pretty useless if you knew one without the other, especially in smaller projects, unless you're a top notch designer.
        In larger applications serving more users or more data, or where your client interface is not a webpage, it makes sense having people more specialized in certain areas. You may want to mitigate access by different types of users ( warehousing, analytics, real-time, transactions) to a huge relational database. You may need to design and maintain noSQL Cassandra clusters. Your customer uses your services through RPC procedures where you need to have a high-availability pipeline to consume their data and present the end-result back to them. All these use cases require zero lines of HTML, but a rather specialized skill-set. And that's where the money is.
        Not a bad idea on the salary bump though :-) Let's all do that this year so next evaluation we can go "Well Mr Boss Man, seems industry standards for my job are +30%, but I'll take +20%" ;-)
      • "a fast edit-test-debug cycle"

        There is testing and debugging in the cycle? who knew? I thought the industry standard was "worked once-ship it -- we'll fix it in production"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @01:52AM (#54162823)

    North America pays better, twice to three to seven times better.

    H1B, outsourcing to Europe or Asia is always undercutting and threatening. There is just so much pressure on the American software developer to always keep improving and running ahead of the endless hordes of lower cost options snipping at the heels. So much so that a lot of them look at Trump to close the doors and make the race easier.

    The H1B lottery is a real lottery, especially for a developer in India. It is an immediate seven fold salary increase.

    • North America pays better than in Europe. But you should check the salaries for top notch software programmers in Beijing, China. Prepare to be amazed...

      Not that I would want to live there though, considering all the air pollution not to say other factors.

      • Senior engineer in embedded dev - CNY 21000 net + minimal allowances. Not bad.

        But before you jump to conclusions, consider this - Positions in the south are available to recent grads who can get close to CNY 10000, and 10000 after just few years. It means China does indeed have a talent crunch, and they don't make any much close to enough of good tech specialists.

        This is the reason Shenzhen was already squirming with eastern Europeans and Indians 10 years ago.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @08:15AM (#54163709)

        Devil's advocate:

        North America pays better than Europe, but you get more services in Europe, especially as a citizen:

        1: Unemployment actually means something. Here in the US, expect $800 every two weeks tops.
        2: You don't have to worry about crime in big cities in Europe, and at worst, it is a pickpocket.
        3: If you get sick or injured, your life's earnings are not in jeopardy. The US healthcare system is the most expensive and shoddily run of any country on the planet, bar none. In fact, if you don't have health insurance, there is a good chance that medics will just let you code.
        4: The US has no transportation system to speak of compared to Europe. So, you have to pay for a car and high rates.
        5: There is no education system unless you pay for a private school. In Europe, there is a strong public school system. Yes, US public education is so crummy that there is no way someone from it can compete against foreign competition unless they are insanely smart. Which brings the next point.
        6: If you stand out, you will wind up smacked down hard. Talk out loud in class, it can mean prison until age 21 (age 23 in California.) The US is so beholden to the private prison system that the schools to prisons path is so well greased, more students wind up incarcerated than graduating in most districts.
        7: Roads are in disrepair, but there are no funds to fix them. Look at the dam in California, or the highways in Atlanta. There is no money to fix them, ever.

        If you have EU citizenship, STAY THERE. If you are Indian, find a job in the US, then go to Europe. Europe is not collapsing from within. Brexit may be scary, but it isn't a war, and really won't affect long term trade.

  • by muecksteiner ( 102093 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:07AM (#54162935)

    Does this survey properly factor in things like healthcare and retirement costs?

    Because sure, in Western Europe you earn half as much as in the US - but with that salary, you usually already have health insurance, retirement and free education for your kids covered (minus university, which is not free in a number of countries).

    These little details could conceivably tilt the balance in favour of the lower salary.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Also very important is cost of living. e.g. in Europe there will be a difference if you live in London or in Prague.
      I know of people who wanted to go to Geneva, for a serious increase till they learned about the cost of living compared to where they were.

      From what you can live like a king in one place will not even give you housing in another.

    • No it doesn't. Because you still have to pay taxes in Europe as well, and they are much higher than in the US.
      So, not only are you only making half, you're also often losing half of that to taxes. So in the end, it's not a x2 but more a x3 win for the US.
      I'm in Western Europe (Belgium) and wages for web (full stack) and software development are definitely higher than 35k. They are probably more in the 50k range. Except if you just came out of school.
  • Just silly. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CptLoRes ( 4510239 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:10AM (#54162937)
    Comparing AR to web/mobile/backend is just silly. The people currently working on AR have to be highly skilled in some very specialized areas, basically inventing both the software and hardware technology as they go along. It's like comparing an actual rocket scientist to an car mechanic and wondering why the scientist has a higher salary.
  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:42AM (#54163005)

    Income means nothing if I have to blow it on basic stuff like accommodation, food, school, and a many thousand dollar rainy day fund in case I stub my toe and need to go to a doctor.

    • and a many thousand dollar rainy day fund in case I stub my toe and need to go to a doctor.

      The rest of the stuff on your list is universal, but that one is pretty much a US-only thing.

      • The rest of the stuff on your list is universal, but that one is pretty much a US-only thing.

        No. There are several countries where education is free. In the USA, only the most basic education is free. People are expected to go into debt to the government in order to get more if they don't have parents who can afford to pay for it. The system is designed to protect privilege.

  • Of course it does (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    North-American employers have to compensate for the fact that quality of life is significantly lower. If they didn't pay more, they would not attract any foreign employees.

  • Weird stats? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:40AM (#54163115)

    The top 10 percent of salary earners in AR who live in North America earn a median salary of $219,000,

    Is it just me or is that a very convoluted way of saying "95th percentile"?

  • What sort of a pointless biased metric is "the median incline of the top ten percent"?

    Half of all developers are below average.

  • So the proper course of action is to start development company in Europe to price undercut the US developers. Seems like a great business opportunity.

  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @07:04AM (#54163453)
    Can you do this 100% remotely? If so, how?
  • I should be making at least $225,000 per year for my tech skills, but due to the abuses of H1-B visa systems by employers, I am scraping by on a pittance of $219,000. Why is this major issue of public policy not bubbling up to be a top priority?!

  • by fche ( 36607 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @08:01AM (#54163649)

    "You deserve it!"

    What a dumb punchline. No, you don't "deserve" it (success). Go pursue it, but no one owes it to you.

  • From TFS: [ For developers who want to move up in the world, VisionMobile suggests "Invest in your skills. Do difficult work. Improve your English. Look for opportunities internationally. Go for it. You deserve it!" ]

    No, just... No.
    This whole "you deserve it" bullshit is the root cause of the self-entitled asshole epidemic we see today. Stop it.

  • I'm not amazed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

    "Discovers North America Pays Better "

    Small wonder, other countries offer decent/very good healthcare, up to 80% of last job's pay in case of unemployment for 1 or 2 years, >35 vacation days, paid sick leave up to 6 months or years, maternity leave, paid new parent vacation for 6 months or more, up to 5/6th state-guaranteed pension rights, free daycare, insurance for disability nursing/shopping at home, ...

  • Along with skill level and software sector, developer salaries also vary widely by where they live in the world. A web developer in North America earns a median income of $73,600 USD per year, compared with the same developer in Western Europe whose median income is $35,400 USD. Web developers in South Asia earn $11,700 in South Asia while those in Eastern Europe earn $20,800 per year.

    Yes, and that's meaningless if you aren't going to factor in cost of living.

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