Insights from the Stack Overflow survey of 56,000 coders

Stack Overflow, a community for programmers and software developers, recently conducted its annual survey of more than 56,000 software developers to learn more about their skills, backgrounds and career goals. This survey offers many interesting insights about the current snapshot of the trends and hot topics in the world of software development.

Here are a few interesting takeaways from the Stack Overflow 2016 developer survey:

Developers Have Great Job Prospects

91% of all Stack Overflow developers are gainfully employed – whether full-time, self-employed or freelance. Only 1.8% are unemployed, 3.5% are employed part-time, and 12.6% are students (some students also fall into one of the other categories of employment). The job market for developers is strong, and this is reflected in the Stack Overflow survey as well – although only 15% of developers are actively looking for a new job, 63% said that they're not actively looking, but are open to hearing about new job opportunities.

Developers Are Motivated By Learning and Solving Problems

Developers tend to be curious, hard-working problem-solvers. Developers' highest priorities on the job include “learning new technologies” (70.1%), “building something new” (64.3%), “having control over product decisions” (44.1%) and “improving an existing application” (40.2%). Lower priorities included “getting promoted” (30.1%), “having my own office” (17.7%), and “ending the workday at the same time every day” (15.3%).

Developers Make Good Money

The Salary portion of the survey found that U.S.-based developers with at least 5 years of experience were earning strong salaries – with median salaries ranging from $79,684 for System Administrators, to $115,460 for iOS Mobile Developers, to $150,314 for Executives (VP of Engineering, CTO, CIO, etc.). 7 of the top 10 cities for highest average developer salary are all in California, with Palo Alto at #1 with average developer salaries of $153,000 per year.

Developers Are Mostly Self-Taught

Software development is a surprisingly open, accessible career field – the survey found that69% of developers are at least partially self-taught, and less than half of them have a college degree in computer science. The field of software development has been quick to embrace alternative learning options such as online courses and on-the-job training.

Developers Are Everywhere

Software developers are working in many industries and at all kinds of organizations – not just for “technology” companies. 62% of developers work in other industries such as retail, manufacturing, health care, finance, and more. More and more companies are becoming “software companies” even if they are not in traditional “tech” fields. This trend is opening up new career possibilities for software developers and is creating new concepts of how software can affect everyday life.

Read more about the Stack Overflow 2016 Developer Survey.

 

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