52% of US developers are happier now than before the pandemic started

A survey from Harness also found that software engineers appreciate their employers more now and many plan to work remote indefinitly.

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A survey of 500 developers in the US found that 52% of respondents are happier in their jobs now than before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Image: Harness

Many developers are happier and more productive now than before the COVID-19 lockdowns started, according to a new survey from Harness.

The study of 500 developers in the US found that 52% of developers are actually happier in their roles since the coronavirus pandemic began, and 13% are less happy at work. Millennials were the most likely to say they were happier now at 57% compared with 48% of Gen X, 35% of Gen Z, and 30% of boomers.

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Ravi Lachhman and Tiffany Jachja, tech evangelists at Harness, wrote the report, "Harness, State of Developer Satisfaction 2020." Mission North and Marketing Cube conducted the survey. They found that developers at larger companies with 250-1,000 employees were more likely to say their job satisfaction increased. 

The survey found that 66% of developers value their employers more or much more as a result of COVID-19. Developers are overwhelmingly satisfied or very satisfied with their employers' investment in employee growth and development at 79%. Millennials were again the most likely to feel this way and particularly liked industry events, professional development stipends, guided mentorship, hackathons, tuition reimbursement, and lunch-and-learn sessions. 

The survey also asked about satisfaction with salaries. A majority of developers at all salary levels were happy with their pay, with even 78% of developers making less than $75,000 feeling fairly compensated. Men and women both felt fairly compensated for their work at 81% and 82%

Also, 43% of developers reported that their team's deployment velocity has gone up since COVID-19 began, despite layoffs reported by 22% of respondents. Development teams have seen these other cuts as well:

  • Cuts in workload or hours: 32%
  • Salary cuts:                        21%

These cuts have been less severe on development teams than in the larger organizations, according to the survey. Sixty percent of developers think that salary cuts or layoffs on their team are somewhat likely. 

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Seventy-four percent of respondents say their organizations plan to continue with remote work indefinitely. More than half said they are unlikely to change jobs within the next year. Among people who were thinking about switching employers, 35% would be looking for higher pay, and 27% looking for more opportunities for career and professional growth.

The report authors said "the pandemic has shown that organizations can maintain flexible working situations without an overall loss of productivity, and this may actually increase employee happiness." The authors recommend that companies support flexible work environments, invest in employee growth and recognize developer contributions with competitive salaries to foster loyalty among developers.

Also see

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Microservices: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
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Programming languages: Developers reveal most loved, most loathed, what pays best (ZDNet)
It takes work to keep your data private online. These apps can help (CNET)
Programming languages and developer career resources (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

By Veronica Combs

Veronica is an independent journalist and communications strategist. For more than 10 years, she has covered health and healthcare with a focus on innovation and patient engagement. She led AIR Louisville, a three-year digital health project focused ...