The demand for software developers continues to grow. The US is expected to add nearly 300,000 new software developer jobs in the next 10 years, according to HackerRank’s Developer Skills report released on Tuesday.

Additionally, job seekers from varied educational backgrounds and demographics are now turning to tech. Coding bootcamps are helping to facilitate career changes by making the necessary skills more accessible.

US developers are highest paid worldwide
On average, US-based developers earned the highest of any country: $109,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average US worker earned $47,000 in 2019, according to the report.

The top five highest-paying countries for developer jobs, with average annual salaries:

  1. US ($109,000)

  2. Australia ($88,538)

  3. Canada ($72,771)

  4. Netherlands ($68,194)

  5. United Kingdom ($65,387)

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Fair wages and pay equity
Perceptions of fair wages vary, based on company hierarchy, and generally, developers are not exactly sure if they’re well paid. Globally, 39% of junior- and mid-level engineers/developers don’t think they’re paid fairly, compared to their peers, and 26% are unsure.

Only 22% of directors/vice presidents of engineering thought they weren’t compensated enough, which means a healthy 78% believe they are paid a fair wage.

With the transparency of their peers’ wage revelations, Glassdoor and LinkedIn empower developers to push for fair pay, but because the sites also allow for constant comparisons to peers, which could contribute to uncertainty about pay, and encourage frequent job changes.

The west is best in the US
Cities in the western part of the US have the highest pay, with the northeast coming in second.

Highest salaries in the west region are, unsurprisingly, led by tech hubs:

  • San Francisco ($147,948)

  • Seattle ($134,538)

  • Los Angeles ($129,080)

In the northeast, Boston ($116,804) and New York ($115,792) pay the highest salaries.

Wanted: full-stack developers
The number one position to fill in 2020 according to 38% of hiring managers is full-stack developer. Back-end developers are number two, and data scientists are number three.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Full Stack Developer (TechRepublic Premium download)

The report notes: “Though the qualities that define a full-stack developer are a subject of debate, most agree that they should have a basic understanding (or better) of all layers of a tech stack, and should be able to generate a minimum viable product on their own. It’s why they’re especially important in small organizations, where fewer employees often have to do the job of many.”

Image: HackerRank

While they’re the most in-demand right now, full-stack developers are also the most required to learn new skills, with 60% of full-stack developers required to learn an entirely new framework in 2019. And, they had to learn the most languages, with 45% reporting they had to learn a new one in 2019.

SEE: How to get a developer job: The best programming languages to learn in 2020 (TechRepublic)

Hiring bootcamp grads
Bearing with the rigors of bootcamp yielded positive results: nearly one-in-six Gen Z respondents learned from a bootcamp, and 32% of hiring managers have hired a bootcamp grad, because 70% believe bootcamp grads are better equipped for the job.

Hirers believe the recent bootcamp grads have the ability to learn new technologies and languages (71%), strong practical experience (61%), and are eager to take on new responsibilities (52%), and credit the structure of the bootcamp curriculum.

And bootcamp success is undeniable. Since the first coding bootcamps emerged in 2011, their popularity has blown up. The 2019 Course Report counts 20,000 bootcamp grads in 2019 from 110 full-time programs, and these figures are for North America only.

Yet there remain hiring managers (49%) from companies of all sizes who have yet to avail of this growing talent pool, say they have never hired a bootcamp grad. But as the work pool skews younger, it will become the norm, rather than a novelty, and those hiring managers will need to rethink their methodology.

Image: HackerRank

Skills over degrees
HackerRank’s findings suggests more companies may go the way of Google, Apple and IBM, by eliminating college degree requirements to focus on skills.

The figures reveal 32% of developers who work at small companies (less than 49 employees) have less than a bachelor’s degree, but at large companies (more than 10,000 employees), only 9% have lower than a bachelor’s degree (91%, however, have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher).

Image: HackerRank

Professional growth should be highlighted in the hiring process
Last year, it was revealed that competitive compensation is the number three criteria developers look for in a job—but professional growth and learning is number one; 59% of developers ranked professional growth as the most important aspect of their job.

Framework rankings
AngularJS remains (since 2018) the best-known framework, with React and Spring coming in, respectively, at numbers two and three. Python-based Django rose to number four, leaving the .NET framework, ASP, behind.

Code breaking In terms of learning to code, C is taking over BASIC, which is how most baby boomers and Gen Xers learned a language; this is not surprising, since BASIC was developed in 1954 and was “the” instructional language in college courses at the time.

Image: HackerRank

In 1972 Bell Labs invented C, which allowed the portability of the operating system Unix. Along with Unix, C gradually gained popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, C is acknowledged for its flexibility, longevity and ease-of-use, even among GenZers.

Gen Z signs up
More than any previous generation, Gen Z is most likely to use bootcamps, and one in six say they’ve leveraged bootcamps to learn new skills. Conversely, Gen Z doesn’t learn coding as older generations did (from books and on-the-job training), and the reliance and relevance of bootcamps is the reason why. Bootcamp attendance has risen 11-times over the last decade.

Image: HackerRank

Most popular bootcamps

Other findings:

  • One in five hiring managers in the Americas are language agnostic when seeking new hires, they don’t see language skills a top priority.

  • Despite only 5% of respondents claiming it as their first programming language, JavaScript is the year’s most widely known language

  • Django and Vue.js are rising steadily

  • Go is the number one language developers want to learn (it ranked 12 in best known language for 2020)

  • Those who know Perl earn 54% more pay than the average developer, and followed by Scala (42%) and Go (33%)

  • Developers are learning React, AngularsJS, and Django, with 32% saying they want to learn React next.

  • Globally, Backbone.js is associated with the highest pay (second and third were Cocoa and Ruby on Rails)

  • The most important form of professional growth: new tech skills

  • Individual contributors (62%) want to be tech leads, and not managers

Image: HackerRank

Survey methodology

HackerRank conducted its third annual developer skills survey to identify trends in the developer community. A total of 116,648 developers and students responded to the 15-minute online survey from November 12 to December 11, 2019. The survey was programmed in SurveyMonkey and HackerRank recruited respondents via email (community members, customers, and prospects) and through social media sites. Respondents came from 162 countries. Results were analyzed using Q Research. Tests of significant differences were conducted at the .05 level (95% probability that the difference is real, not by chance). Percentages may not always add to 100% due to rounding.

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Image: iStockphoto/ijeab