Knowledge *is* power

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

Jane Elizabeth
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The Stack Overflow Salary Calculator crunches the numbers to find out what salaries are typical for their field and location. Surprise! It turns out that your location matters a lot.

The Stack Overflow Developers Survey keeps on bringing results. Now, the data scientists at Stack have crunched the numbers and come up with a salary computer to allow developers to check out typical salaries across their industry.

The salary calculator results are based on five factors: role, location, education, years of professional experience, and technologies.

Why go to all this effort? Stack Overflow thinks that developers should be empowered with more information around job searches, careers, and salary. People make better decisions when they have all the information! And Stack Overflow has noticed this – jobs posted to their listings get 75% more clicks if they have salary information.

This is especially pertinent in tech these days. (*cough* Google *cough*) Knowledge is power and Stack Overflow is all about empowering developers.

So, how does it work?

If you head over to the salary calculator, it’s pretty straightforward to use.

salary calculator

Input your information and see what happens!

Let’s say I’m a DevOps Engineer in Berlin with a BS and 2 years of experience using Java. (You know, in this purely hypothetical scenario that has no relation to me in the real world.) What’ll that get me?

salary calculator

But maybe I get a transfer and move back to New York City. What does that do for my salary?

salary calculator

Whoo-ee. What a jump in salary!

SEE MORE: DevOps and machine learning specialists are the best paid, says Stack Overflow

Location, location, location

It’s no surprise that some countries pay better for some jobs. This was one of the key findings when the results from the developer’s survey were released back in March.

Thanks to the initial results from the Developer’s Survey, this initial calculator only has information about five countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany. It also narrows to seven metropolitan areas: New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Paris, London, and Berlin. However, they do intend to expand the options as more data becomes available.

They didn’t ask for location, but they did use the IP addresses to geolocate survey respondents to delve into city-to-city differences.

salary calculator

The US is at the front of this curve, although it should be noted that this data might be skewed because of the incredibly expensive markets in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York City. Places with lower costs of living have commensurately lower salaries. Sorry, friends in Berlin!

Even so, the median salary of a developer in the US is comparable to someone with 20 years of experience in Canada or Germany. It’s much higher than a 20-year veteran in France or the UK. Despite the higher costs of living in the US, it’s definitely worth it to head to the US if you’re a programmer.

Who makes the most?

Your job role does matter, especially if you’re working in one of the fashionable industries. DevOps and machine learning specialists make the most money, as usual.

salary calculator

Big surprise, DevOps specialists make the most money. As Stack Overflow points out, staying current with high-demand technologies can have a big impact on salary. They found that there was a big jump in salaries this year for developers who use React.js or AWS.

SEE MORE: Python is the fastest-growing major programming language, says Stack Overflow

However, the flip side is that common languages or skills don’t make a big difference on your salary. So putting down Java or C won’t get you much more in your salary negotiations.


Head on over to the Salary Calculator now and see what field and skills would do your career a boost. Clearly, I need to move back to New York.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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