While data scientists are regularly cited as the top earners in the tech world, there are higher-paid roles available to developers, according to a salary round-up by Stack Overflow.
Salaries differ according to location, with developers in the US earning noticeably more than the rest of the world, but here are five of the highest paying roles worldwide.
1. DevOps specialists
Earning more than any other tech workers throughout the world, these developers are focused on refining every aspect of how code is tested, built and deployed.
SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)
DevOps specialists need to understand the requirements of both software developers and IT operations, and know which tools are available to automate software and infrastructure changes and roll outs.
Karthiga Sadasivan, director and head of DevOps at Happiest Minds Technologies, told TechRepublic important skills include:
- Source control (like Git, Bitbucket, VSTS, etc.)
- Continuous integration (like Jenkins, Bamboo, VSTS )
- Infrastructure automation (like Puppet, Chef, Ansible)
- Deployment automation and orchestration (like Jenkins, VSTS, Octopus Deploy)
- Container concepts (LXD, Docker)
- Orchestration (Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)
- Cloud (like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack)
Many of these tools can be used with Python scripting, although the Go and Ruby programming languages are also commonly used by DevOps specialists.
2. Data scientist
Data scientists help organizations identify useful patterns in data, and are used for everything from predicting cancer risks from a person's lifestyle to devising mathematical models that allow robots to spot cracks in plane engines.
As an increasing number of companies use machine learning, it's likely demand for data scientists, which currently outstrips supply by some margin, will continue to grow.
The skills required are varied, but candidates will typically need good mathematical knowledge — including both statistics and multivariate calculus — programming skills in languages such as R and Python and the database query language SQL, and the ability to clean up messy data. If you want to know more, TechRepublic has a list of some of the most useful skills for those looking to break into the field.
Data scientists also recently outlined to TechRepublic the common questions new entrants should prepare for in a job interview
3. Back-end developer
A back-end developer writes the software used on servers that underpin websites and modern web services.
4. Full-stack developer
Find out more about what is required of a full-stack developer in this TechRepublic guide.
5. Embedded developer
Embedded developers are typically engaged in writing highly efficient software to run on the low-power microprocessor and microcontroller boards found in electronic appliances, kiosks, and industrial control units.
Embedded developers may be required to write code for any layer of the stack: from the low-level firmware that interacts with a board's hardware up to the higher-level software that will run on the board.
The languages C and C++ are often used due to being able to run extremely efficiently and offering precise control over memory use. Engineers often also have a working knowledge of assembly language.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- StackOverflow has released new data showing that DevOps specialists are the highest paid tech workers.
- Developers in the US are significantly better rewarded than colleagues elsewhere in the world, according to the median salary figures.
- How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Convenience, not cost, is driving serverless adoption among developers (TechRepublic)
- DevOps: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Developers: Will AI run you out of your job? (ZDNet)
- Want a simpler way to build apps? Microsoft's Ink to Code turns crude sketches into a working UI (TechRepublic)
- Developer documentation: How to get it right (ZDNet)
- 5 habits of highly successful developers (TechRepublic)
- The 10 coding languages top developers plan to learn next (TechRepublic)
Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.