While software engineers and developers remain in high demand across the US, certain positions are particularly sought after and highly compensated, according to a Monday report from Triplebyte offered exclusively to TechRepublic.
The report examined nearly 2,000 job offers made over the past two years through the Triplebyte platform. Average salaries for engineering roles are high, the report found: As of June 2018, the average salary offer for an engineer on the platform was $153,547, compared to $131,122 the year before. Engineer salaries increased by 7% between January and August 2018 alone, according to the report.
Here are the five most in-demand software engineering jobs, the report found.
1. Full stack generalist software engineer
"That's someone who understands the front end, and how to display the information on a web page and the back end, connect to the database, query that database for information, and retrieve and display the front end," said Harj Taggar, CEO of Triplebyte. "That is what every company wants. That's the Swiss army knife of software engineers."
SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)
Full stack engineers work well on any team, and can also work independently to launch new features, Taggar said.
2. Back end software engineer
Back end engineers add utility to everything the front end engineer creates, in a combination of database and software written in a server-side language.
This role is typically more complex, Taggar said, requiring skills that are more difficult to find. "There's just fewer people who really understand backend engineering well," Taggar said.
3. Front end software engineer
As the user experience is critical in differentiating products and services, the front end engineer has become more in-demand, Taggar said. The rise of the front end engineer who is paired with a back end engineer only occurred in the past decade, Taggar said.
4. Data engineer
"To some extent, every company is becoming a data/machine learning company," Taggar said. "Even if it's not a core competency, companies increasingly realize that in order to differentiate their product and stand out, users are getting used to having more personalized recommendations."
The data engineer can build tools to gather data that can be used in a machine learning model, Taggar said.
"It's becoming an increasingly popular role, and it almost didn't exist about four years ago," Taggar said.
5. Android engineer
Android holds nearly 88% of the worldwide mobile OS market share, and it makes sense that developers in this space are in demand for creating the apps and experiences users need for these devices in the enterprise and in consumer spaces.
For professionals interested in breaking into one of these engineering roles, Taggar recommends heeding caution when it comes to coding bootcamps. "They often make you feel that you're making very fast progress, but you're not actually developing any understanding of how a computer works or what a programming language is and what's going on behind the scenes, and sooner or later that will hurt you," Taggar said. He advises spending time learning the fundamentals first.
"Understand the pieces before you start going into trying to develop web applications without understanding what's going on," Taggar said.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The average salary offer for a software engineer is $153,547. — Triplebyte, 2018
- Fullstack software engineers, back end software engineers, and front end software engineers are among the most in-demand positions right now. — Triplebyte, 2018
- How to build a successful developer career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Which programming languages are most popular (and what does that even mean)? (ZDNet)
- How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Developer documentation: How to get it right (ZDNet)
- The truth about MooCs and bootcamps: Their biggest benefit isn't creating more coders (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.