10 Curious Facts About the Highest-Paid Developers

We’ve seen our share of IT salary and career surveys, and some can be pretty skewed—usually by a low response rate or a pool of respondents not reflective of the IT workforce.

That’s why we love the annual Developer Survey from Stack Overflow, an online community of coders that claims over 30 million monthly visitors. Their just-released 2015 survey, conducted in February, drew a whopping 26,089 responses from 157 countries. That’s a legit sample size—and the largest-ever response rate for the survey.

In all, respondents answered 45 questions about their skills, pay, demographics and even caffeine consumption. You can read the whole survey for yourself, of course, but we’ve culled 10 especially remarkable facts about developers from the survey responses.

Objective-C skills pay the best
In fact, all of the ‘C’ skills pay pretty well, according to the survey, as you can ‘C’ in the chart below.


Remote work is lucrative
In the U.S., developers who claim to work remotely full-time earn higher-than-average salaries and almost 25% more than those who never work remotely. The disparity is even greater in developing countries.

Work is plentiful
If you're a software developer, you probably have a job, says Stack Overflow. Nearly 98% of workforce respondents said they were employed in at least a part-time capacity.

Developers like their jobs
A little more than 75% of developers report some level of satisfaction with their job, with 36% saying they love their job. These are higher satisfaction rates than the general workforce. Only 2% of respondents hate their job.

Javascript is the most used programming language
Javascript has increased its dominance over SQL, as compared to the 2014 survey. Java is still the No. 1 server-side language.


Mobile developers prefer Android
Among all respondents, 1,900 said they are primarily a mobile developer. Android developers outnumber iOS developers 4 to 3. Just over 2% of mobile developers identify as Windows Phone developers. A full 20% of mobile developers don't identify with a particular mobile platform.

The gender gap is big
Not surprising, but disappointing nevertheless, the respondent pool skewed overwhelmingly male, reflective of the known gender gap in IT, as 92% of respondents were male, 6% were female, and the rest chose not to disclose or “other.” Interestingly, developers in India are three times more likely to be female than developers in the U.S.

Self-taught is common
Forty-eight percent of respondents never received a degree in computer science and nearly 42% say they are self-taught.


Tech companies attract tech talent
In the U.S., developers most commonly work for software companies (18%), followed by web services/internet employers (14%).  Other popular sectors where developers land include finance/banking (8%), consulting (7%), media/entertainment/gaming (7%) and healthcare/biotech (7%).

Developers heart caffeine
Caffeine and coding just go together, and respondents, on average, drink 2.2 caffeinated beverages a day. By job title, project managers are the most caffeinated (2.92 beverages a day), followed by IT execs (2.74), BI/data warehouse experts (2.67), and system admins (2.58).