A Boost For Developer Pay
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 06 July 2022

There has been a significant increase in average developer pay over the last year. Remote working is now overwhelmingly the norm with fewer than 15% of developers having a fully in-person working environment.

These findings come from the Stack Overflow 2022 Developer Survey and confirm what I predicted six months ago - that as a developer whether you move to a new job or stay in your existing one you can expect better pay and more flexible conditions, see Stick Or Twist - Employers Want You.

Having collected information about what developers are paid in both 2021 and 2022, Stack Overflow is now able to reveal that on average, median salaries increased about 23% between 2021 and 2022. 

Whereas the y-axes of the charts of Salary and Experience by language and by developer type in 2021 had a minimum of $30K and a maximum $100K, for 2022 the effective range is now $50K-$125K.

sosalary exp lang

sosalary exp devt

Most of the points that stand out from these charts are the same as last year - see Developer Pay According To Stack Overflow. The clear trend, evident in both charts, is for pay to reflect years of experience. The redder the dots on the charts the more respondents they represent. This of course explains why red dots tend to be near to the regression line that could be fitted. Finding red dots away from the main trend is noteworthy. Regarding languages the mid-red dot for PHP developers reveals that they are (still) "disproportionately underpaid compared to other languages with the same experience". Looking for other below average outlier dots they represent older or legacy languages - in particular Delphi whose developers have on average 22 years of experience. Newer languages tend to be well remunerated - with Rust and Go still above average, While it might look as if Dart bucks this trend, it isn't underpaid, it's just that it is associated with the shortest experience. Last year it was Clojure that stood out as the most highly paid language - this year it is Erlang but the same explanation holds - both are relatively rare languages requiring above average skills.

Turning to the lower chart, senior roles attract the highest salaries and are associated with long experience. Cloud Computing and DevOps are relatively well rewarded and so are Data Scientist and Blockchain, a role that has the shortest length of professional experience (9.63 years) of any developer type apart from Student (4.85 years) which isn't included in either chart. Looking for relatively poorly paid developer types the reddish dots are for Mobile and Enterprise application developers. Database administrators and System administrators are also below average together with Designers.

With regard to Developer Type, Stack Overflow has also provided details of salary by region and there is a wide gap between the United States and India. For example, whereas a Full Stack developer in the United States earns on average $124K, the same role in India has an average salary of $18K.  Other countries fall in between: Canada $88K; United Kingdom $78K; Germany $68K.

The encouraging finding is that salaries have increased across all developer types. Stack Overflow provides details of salary changes by languages and it is COBOL that saw the biggest increase. This is perhaps a reaction to the Great Resignation - the post-pandemic phenomenon of employees not wanting to return to work. Improving pay might be expected to retain highly experienced developers who might be considering retirement.  It is noticeable that it is mainly other longstanding languages that occupy the subsequent positions in the list - Erlang, Assembly, LISP, Objective-C, Delphi, Scala all saw above average increases.

During the pandemic many developers found they preferred working away from a traditional office base. Stack Overflow's findings are that in 2022 less than 15% have a fully in-person work environment and that a hybrid model, working both in and out of the office is as prevalent as fully remote work. 


According to Stack Overflow, the largest organizations, with 10k+ employees, are most likely to be hybrid while smaller organizations are most likely to be in-person, with 20% of 2-19 employee organizations in-person.


More Information

Stack Overflow 2022 Developer Survey

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 July 2022 )