Image: iStock/scyther5

It’s a good time to be a software engineer. Not only are they in very high demand, but average salaries are up in all major tech hubs, according to The 2021 State of Software Engineers report, just released by the job-search marketplace Hired. Hired is now under the umbrella of the HR solutions company Vettery.

The report culled findings from Hired and Vettery’s combined marketplaces of more than 10,000 companies and 245,000 job seekers. The data reflects 72,000 candidates and 148,000 interview requests.

Key findings

Working in the tech world is all about upskilling—for an edge over the competition, to be better poised within their current companies, and to be prepared for the inevitable next step in upskilling.

The highest in-demand skills for software engineers are Redux.js, Google Cloud, AWS and React.js. The most popular coding languages are Go and Scala.

Kubernetes and Docker are among the 10 most requested skills by employers.

Software engineers have the luxury—should they want it—to move to a major tech hub, because the average salary of those in engineering roles has risen: 5% in the San Francisco Bay area, 3% in New York, 7% in Toronto and 6% in London.

Backend, full stack and frontend engineers saw the highest demand, landing, respectively, 58%, 57% and 30% of all interview requests.

Machine-learning engineers rank within the top 10 highest paid roles in every major tech hub: Average salaries range from $115K per year and $171K per year.

AWS has eight times the demand from employers than Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure skills.

Python, JavaScript and Java are engineers’ favorite coding languages, primarily because so much information and resources are available. On the other hand, R, Kodin and Typescript are the least favorite languages

Self-starters, organic appeal: Most software engineers’ primary motivation to learn a new language is because they enjoy it (as opposed to upskilling strictly for financial gain and a better job).

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Why Denver

Despite the lure of the uptick in salaries in the major tech hubs, engineers who work in smaller markets are more likely to get remote job offers than those who work in a major tech hub. Candidates in smaller markets received a 2% to 5 % higher remote job salary compared to local job offers.

Image: iStock/Adventure Photo

Consider Denver: It is a young city: 75% to 80% of the population is under 44-years-old. It is an outdoor-oriented active city with a promising economy and it’s iconic. The snow-capped Rockies, the literal and figurative chill and allure of Denver have long caught the attention of authors: Michael Connelly (“The Poet”), Kristen Ashley (“Rock Chick”), Nora Roberts (“Night Smoke”), Dick Krek (“Murder at the Brown Palace”), and Kent Haruf (“Plainsong”) among many. Denver has been the inspiration for singer/songwriters, such as Warren Zevon, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffet and Hank Williams, and the setting for film and TV shows such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “The Shining,” “Dynasty,” “About Schmidt,” “The Vanishing Point,” and of course, “South Park.”

And Denver has the highest demand for remote job seekers: 34% of positions offered were remote, as opposed to the lowest demand for remote, London (6%) and Toronto (9%). Also, smaller markets like Denver pay a higher salary.

Processes: Interviewing and programming

Most software engineers in 2020 learned to program from their computer science degree (45%), or a relevant college degree (22%), some participated in a bootcamp program (10%) and 23% are self-taught.

The most stressful of the interview process is coding exams (69%), followed by whiteboard sessions (57%), and behavioral interviews (19%).

Software engineers have proved themselves empathetic; they said the top three problems they’re most passionate about solving are lack of economic opportunity, unemployment, public health issues and global warming.

Image: Hired