Stack Overflow Finds Job Flexibility Top Concern
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 01 November 2023

Stack Overflow's latest Pulse survey also reveals that 4 in 5 developers are considering a job move, either for a better salary or out of curiosity. Fewer developers indicated that learning opportunities are an important factor to stay at their current job than the last two years. 


Developers from 107 different countries responded to StackOverflow's October 2023 survey on the state of developer employment. This was the third annual survey on this topic and it had more than 1000 responses, compared to 2600 last year and 500 in 2021. Technology is the industry most respondents currently work in (46%), followed by manufacturing/supply chain (14%) and financial services (13%). 

The top finding reported by Erin Yepis on the StackOverflow blog is that more developers are looking for or are open to a new job now compared to the last two years. This year 79% of respondents are at least considering new opportunities, if not actively looking, compared to 74% and 75% in 2022 and 2021 respectively.

SO open by age 

As this pair of chart indicates, the main change between 2022 and 2023 is the developers aged 55 and more likely to be contemplating a move than any other group whereas previously this age group was the least open to the idea of a new job. The explanation? Simple "curiosity".

According to Yepis: 

"Late-career developers acknowledge curiosity about other companies as their second top reason to look for a new job this year behind “better salary,” which all age groups rank as their top reason. Curiosity grew in importance for late-career developers since last year more than all other age groups (32% vs. 22%) and is more important to this group than reasons other groups ranked higher such as working with new technology and growth opportunities."

As in the previous two years the survey looked at the reasons why developers stay in their current jobs.

SO reasons

One noteworthy change here is that fewer than half respondents now consider Opportunities to learn as an important reason to stay in their current job. Yepis speculates that might be:

"because AI tools are rapidly developing to help many be more productive in their jobs" 

As before, Salary was in second place while Flexibility (flexible hours/flexibility about working in the office ir remotely etc)  remained in top place and had even increased its lead.  Commenting on this, Yepis writes: 

"... flexibility is more important than ever. Maybe a tighter job market keeps comfortable developers where they are, while those who lack flexibility are more likely to look for it elsewhere."


 Respondents of this survey agree that they want higher pay—but not at the cost of their flexibility."


More Information

Survey Results on StackOverflow blog

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 November 2023 )