Big risks, bigger rewards

Stack Overflow Salary Calculator update: DevOps and Go are big earners

Sarah Schlothauer
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Stack Overflow’s Salary Calculator has a new update for 2018. Between adding new countries, there’s also updated numerical data. What should you focus on in order to rise up the ladder? Depends on whether you’re willing to take a few risks or play it safe.

Do you know what you’re worth? Stack Overflow’s helpful Salary Calculator received an update for 2018. Some new insights now what jobs are booming, which are on the decline, and what cities bring in the big bucks.

Even when not actively looking for a job, it’s wise to know what others with similar experience, skills, and in the same proximity to you are making. The new Salary Calculator update adds eight new countries to the data and up-to-date numbers that better reflect developer earnings.

The good news is that compared to 2017, developers are bringing in more money. This is true for every country that Stack Overflow has data for. In tech-heavy cities such as London and San Francisco, median salaries are on average 25% higher than 2017. The market is looking healthy for developers!

SEE ALSO: Introducing Salary Calculator: Stack Overflow gives developers oh-so-needed salary information

Tips for top dollar?

It will not come as too much of a surprise that DevOps specialists are the top earners. In the United States, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom DevOps specialists are the number one highest earning developer. DevOps specialists are earning a median salary close to $100,000 in the United States.

What does this mean if you want to climb to the top of the earnings ladder? Stay current with tech trends! DevOps has proven itself to be more than just a buzzword and the proof is in the paycheck.

In the United States, other top earning positions are data scientists, back-end developers, mobile developers, game or graphic developers, and full-stack developers. (The US is the only country where game developers rank so highly up the list.)

Seeing mobile developers up so high also clues into the hypothesis that sticking with trends is the way to earn more. The mobile market is booming and shows no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile, towards the bottom of the list in all countries are designers and database administrators.

How will new paradigms such as severless computing affect careers and shift salaries in the coming years?

stack overflow

Source: Stack Overflow blog

Risk and reward

What skills top the charts and what should you be learning if you’re looking for a thicker wallet?

SEE ALSO: The hidden potential of developers: Bringing billions to businesses

The specific technologies that developers use also impact salary. This year, the technologies most associated with higher salary include Go, Scala, Redis, and React. These are also some of the most loved technologies this year.

Stack Overflow

Seeing Go as a high-earner is worth noting. According to The Cloud Foundry Foundation, Go is not a popular enterprise language (yet). Businesses favor older, more established languages in lieu of trying out new things. In a list of the twenty-five most used languages, Java is king as the number one most widely used and JavaScript takes the number two spot. Trendy newcomer Go sits down further at number 20. Meanwhile, Scala is only number 19.

Numbers from the Salary Calculator can also be compared to the Stack Overflow 2018 survey’s list of top paying technologies. (Scala and Go are up fairly high on this list as well.)

If you are searching to learn a new job-oriented skill, this is something to consider: Is it more important to focus on a newer programming language with a higher potential earning, or a more mature language with more jobs available?

As for more widespread languages, Stack Overflow found that “…some technologies like PHP are associated with lower salaries for developers, and some technologies like JavaScript are used so broadly that they do not affect salary up or down.”

At the end of the day, understanding your worth is not only practical, but also empowering. Take some time to explore what your skills are earning in different locations and what edges you have in the market. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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