Is Australia The Best Place For Developers?
Written by Janet Swift   
Friday, 16 April 2021

DevSkiller has released its third annual report on IT skills, revealing that Australian developers score the highest on coding tests and that Australia comes second only to Switzerland in terms of annual salary for software developers.

What is different about this year's report from DevSkiller is that, using external sources of information, it provides an overview of the tech industry, including salary.

The report opens with the optimistic statement:

The demand for IT skills has never been greater as the world continues down the path of revolution. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the IT industry to grow 22% by 2029. Driving this demand is the growing need for new applications and software across all kinds of industry.

Noting that the pace of growth makes a career in IT an attractive prospect for many people it refers to competitive salaries being another driving factor and presents this table of the average software developer salaries in some key countries based on data from PayScale:devsk21pay

It is often thought that it is US developers who are the best paid and this may still be the case when cost of living is taken into account. According to OECD comparative price level index, Switzerland is 47% more expensive than the USA to maintain a comparable standard of living while Denmark 24% is more expensive and Australia is 20% more expensive. So when you adjust developer salaries using this index, Australia comes a close second to the United States which occupies the top position.

Another way in which this year's report differs from the two previous editions is how DevSkiller has identified the highest scoring countries. In the past the mean score of all candidates taking test was used for this. This time to rank countries in terms of highest scoring developers, data from the 90th percentile was used. That is the scores shown in the table are the minimum score among the top 10% of developers: 


This methodology, which makes it look as though developers do extremely well on the tests, puts Australia at the top of the table, followed by the US and Sweden.

There is plenty more in the report, much of it fairly predictable from the previous two reports such as JavaScript and Java being the skills most in demand from companies and the following combinations of skills being those that account for the most tests conducted on the DevSkiller platform.


While JavaScript and either CSS or HTML dominate, followed by  JavScript/Java with SQL following close behind, DevSkiller notes:

"This year’s most significant development was Python making its way into the top 8, indicating its popularity and back-end functionality."

This data  based on 304,645 coding tests taken through the DevSkiller platform by candidates in 156 countries on behalf of hiring companies in 62 countries during the period December 1st, 2019 through December 1st, 2020. 


More Information

Devskiller Top IT skills report 2021: Demand and hiring trends 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 April 2021 )