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Dr. Dobb's 2012 Salary Survey

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  • Unit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:46AM (#40465319)

    Call me stupid, but I don't get it. Software developers earn $90... per what?

  • by Kergan (780543) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:52AM (#40465341)

    The results are spread on a gazillion ad-littered pages whose content are shorter than this text field. Even the print page has ads on it and only includes the current page you're viewing. How do I mod article -1?

    • by Quakeulf (2650167)
      What's the fascination with slideshows anyways? Who pushes for those and how do they push for those?
      • by will_die (586523)
        It is for managers. If they don't have slide shows they don't know what to do.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          posting as AC since I don't feel like logging in...

          I'll wager a decent guess that it has more to do with the ad dollars.

          You see, a website gets paid on the "page views" of ads, so it makes tons of sense from their (the website developers & publishers) perspective to do galleries instead of articles. An honest article page would be just 1 page. Instead, they break down the article's paragraphs into separate page views and put them into these ad-riddled galleries, thus generating 5...10...15+ times the pa

      • What's the fascination with slideshows anyways? Who pushes for those and how do they push for those?

        Slide Show Dobb.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        They're for aliterates and illiterates, but the ones pushing for them are the people running the sites geting all the ad revenue.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Yea, AdBlocker popped up a full menu of external links and added a bunch more when I permitted the Dr Dobb's site.

      I used to read Dr. Dobb's magazine way back in the day, "Running Light Without Overbyte". They're certainly not "Running Light" any more.

      [John]

    • by tgd (2822) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:58AM (#40465655)

      The results are spread on a gazillion ad-littered pages whose content are shorter than this text field. Even the print page has ads on it and only includes the current page you're viewing. How do I mod article -1?

      Clearly their webdeveloper discovered they were at the bottom end of the scale ...

      Or should be.

    • How do I mod article -1?

      By disabling advertising on /. until they have to fire an editor to stay afloat.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      How do I mod article -1?

      You just did, thank you for saving me from yet another useless slide show. An even better way to downmod an article is in the firehose before it gets posted.

  • I tried to take the survey, but I couldn't complete it. I'm a cow meat solutions architect.

    I wonder if they bothered to include everyone what the salary breakdown would look like.
  • It's sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bigbutt (65939) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:34AM (#40465517) Homepage Journal

    Dr. Dobb's Journal (DDJ) was a monthly journal published in the United States by CMP Technology. It covered topics aimed at computer programmers. DDJ was the first regular periodical focused on microcomputer software, rather than hardware. It later became a monthly section within the periodical InformationWeek called Dr. Dobb's Report and is now a news website published by United Business Media

    Dr. Dobb's Journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics & Orthodontia
    Running Light Without Overbyte

    How sad is it that such a great resource for us programmers way back in the day is now just a news aggregator. :(

    [John]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:41AM (#40465557)

    Those salaries are the same (if not lower) as here in Munich (DE).
    And we don't have to pay for a private health insurance or a decent pension.

    Keep your "dream" and "freedom" guys, I thought your salaries were far higher.

    • by pijokela (462279) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:06AM (#40465703)

      Germany is the nation with the highest wages in Europe, maybe in the world. You should not be surprised. I would gladly change my finnish pay for $100k a year.

      • by iserlohn (49556)

        UK has the same range in terms of wages in tech - depends on the Euro/Sterling exchange rate.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        Germany is the nation with the highest wages in Europe, maybe in the world.

        Actually Switzerland probably has the highest wages in Europe. If you meant European Union, then Luxembourg is probably top.

        You should not be surprised. I would gladly change my finnish pay for $100k a year.

        Finnish average salary is only about 10% lower than Germany. Perhaps you are being underpaid? You could always relocate to Germany...

      • To nitpick Germany is more number #6 in Europe when it comes to average gross monthly salary [wikipedia.org]. Switzerland, Norway and Denmark thrones the list.

    • I've looked at moving to Germany...it's not a slam dunk career move. When you factor in exchange rates, cost of living, take home pay AFTER taxes, etc, the US is still the better choice by a large margin compared to any other place . It looks like Canada is #2, Australia #3 as far as IT worker living standard goes. Then there is the culture shock, homesickness, political chaos, social isolation, the German expectation of punctuality. It's the most modernized country in the old world...aka the cool old archi
      • "the cool old architecture has been knocked down" That sure is an interesting way to describe fire bombing, but yes, the Yanks and Poms knocked down most of the old German architecture.
      • by will_die (586523)
        As an American living and working in Germany for over a decade you really need to watch how you are getting over here.
        Cost is alot more than living in the USA, and normal german pay can be lower. Then you are stuck with taxes, as a USA citizen you have to file for taxes no matter where you earned them, and Germany now wants a cut. However tax deals between the countries can help you alot in that matter and some companies pay the USA taxes that you would owe.
        You will want to travel, after all that is why
        • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:34PM (#40468739)

          The tradeoff is that you have better insurance. Lose your job? Still have healthcare. Vacation? Guaranteed more than you'll ever get in the US, and if you don't take it your boss will make you. In the US if you take all your vacation you can be looking at finding a new job with a lot of employers.

          If you're relatively low skill (waiter waitress type job) you can get paid a lot more in europe than the US. The downside is that paying for restaurants can be a lot more expensive than the US.

          On average the US is better off (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_per_capita_personal_income) in terms of disposable income. But a lot of that wealth is concentrated towards people who are doing well. If you can be in the top 1% it's better to be an american than a german. if you're in the bottom 20 or 30%, german rather than american. Everyone in between those points is more of a lifestyle choice. Some people would prefer 5 weeks vacation and are happy taking trains to travel, some people prefer the freedom of their own car and working more.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        mr dickhead,

        I suggest you visit germany. they're probably the least fucked up nation in the world. plenty of cool old stuff too, even in the places that got totaled in ww2.
        and beer & etc is cheap as.. well, water.

        as for political chaos, wtf? comparing usa vs. germany in political chaos? who's leader is going around ordering assassinations again? germany is so stable they've managed to keep europes mexicos out of trouble for past 30 years!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:05AM (#40466145)

        The cost of living in Munich is definitely lower than in San Francisco or San Jose, since we're talking about IT jobs. I don't know what you mean with "social isolation".

        Of course taxes are higher, and I'm proud of that. If I lose my job, I don't lose healthcare for my family, and I'll have a decent unemployment benefit. If I cannot afford a private pension, I still have a generous and sustainable public pension, and my kids will be able to go to college FOR FREE, as I did. In big companies workers can elect half of the Board of Directors, so that the company is managed in the interest of BOTH shareholders AND employees. And companies cannot lay off people without a just cause.

        My parents are former factory workers (you know, those that are kindly called "losers" in your country), if I was born in the USA I could have never afforded to pay for college, and I would be a factory worker too.

        If that's what you call "new world", well, keep it.

        • by karnal (22275)

          I have co-workers over in Germany; the biggest thing I complain about is their benefit of 6 weeks of vacation time a year. Seems like every other week they're able to call off... I'm somewhat jealous, told them I'll move over any time!

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        I went to munich back in 2008 and let me tell you there is still pleanty of "old" history there,along with the new. While there we went to the BMW museum (which opened the weekend I was there, got to see the new 7 series at the time photoshoot take place) the olympic park from the 70s. We went to the augistiner brewery beer garden where oktoberfest is held. http://www.augustiner-braeu.de/augustiners/html/en/index.html [augustiner-braeu.de] Dachau was a very humbling experience, but very vivid. And the center of munich still ha
      • I'd be interested to hear the stories from people who did make it over there, any good ones?

        Been here in Germany 5 years now. Loving it. The take-home pay is lower due to higher taxes, but that's MORE than offset by the social benefits that my tax money buys. No toll roads anywhere; excellent public transport at amazingly low prices; 10 euro per quarter is the most I'll ever pay for medical attention (regardless of what needs done)...

        There are things I don't like about living here, but quality of life in general is very high.

        It looks like Canada is #2, Australia #3 as far as IT worker living standard goes.

        I can't speak for Canada, but in Sydney, Australia where I spent 6 yea

    • How about you factor taxes in and then we talk :-) How much taxes do you pey on 100+/year after all deduction? Now take a look at effective/actual tax rate in US in this category.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Tax revenue as a percent of GDP
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_GDP

        Germany 40%, US 27.

        Government spending as a percent of GDP (includes previous chart sort of)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

        Germany 43. US 39.

        Tax rates in the current economic climate don't mean much. To balance all the US governments (and sub entities) books you'd need to collect revenue at the same rate as the germans, which would increase taxes by 44%. The Germans to cover a

        • Ironic isn't it- in america our government spends the same amount as the germans, but we don't get a tenth of the frills from our government. meanwhile we're demanding they ask for less of our money. I don't know how stupid we must be to not look at those numbers and recognize how obviously effed our system is.
    • by FlopEJoe (784551) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:38AM (#40466527)

      And we don't have to pay for a private health insurance or a decent pension.

      It's magically free... nobody pays for it! Whee!

    • by operagost (62405)
      Assuming you properly converted the $US into euros, I have to point out that most of the salaries listed would be taxed at over 40%, not to mention your VAT of around 15% on most things, correct? Europeans like to point out that our income tax tops out at a mere 35.5%, as if that is a bad thing. But if your point is that our increasingly fascist government is wasteful, then I agree. We should be able to provide the crappy services we have with about half the income tax.
      • by dcw3 (649211)

        I just want to add that that tax maximum leaves out all the other taxes that we pay. State, local, Social Security, Medicare, property (varies by location), and a uncountable other taxes and "fees". So, the comparisons are often not apples to apples, not to mention uneven due to cost of living differences.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      These numbers are only "Base Salary", they don't include additional compensation such as Health Insurance or Pension benefits which generally add quite a bit to an employee's total compensation.
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        These numbers are only "Base Salary", they don't include additional compensation such as Health Insurance or Pension benefits which generally add quite a bit to an employee's total compensation.
        I have worked for 7 companies in my life, zero of which have paid Pension benefits. Some of them have paid matching 401k, but that pales in comparison with an actual pension offering.
        Health Insurance is always a nice "offering" that the companies say is a benefit, but when you look at the truth of it, you are the
        • by tomhath (637240)

          you are the one who pays for the benefit,

          Not sure what you mean by that; it's part of the total package. My point was that in Germany you pay for it out of base salary (as taxes), in the US you pay for it as reduced base salary but added insurance coverage.

          that pales in comparison with an actual pension offering

          I've had both and will take matching 401k every time. Pension involves vesting, which often means that if you resign or are laid off you lose the pension. 401k is yours. Plus you'll do better with an IRA or 401k in the long run (unless you have a extremely generous retirement plan like the ones

          • by tompaulco (629533)
            I've had both and will take matching 401k every time. Pension involves vesting, which often means that if you resign or are laid off you lose the pension. 401k is yours. Plus you'll do better with an IRA or 401k in the long run (unless you have a extremely generous retirement plan like the ones that are driving states and municipalities bankrupt).
            I would tend to agree, but I wish they would match the same amount as they put towards a pension. The problem with pension is that later down the road, when you
    • by metrix007 (200091)

      How about taxes? And yeah, the US does actually have free speech, not crazy censorship that Germany has.

      The Producers not being allowed to use the Nazi symbol is insanity.

  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:02AM (#40465679) Homepage

    I disagree with the author's take on 'ageism' - I bet that if skill sets were taken into account, the apparent ageism would disappear.

    There are two kinds of 'old fart' in this biz - ones that doggedly refuse to learn new skills, and those that actively seek out and embrace new skills but have the hindsight and experience to see them in their proper place among the existing tried-and-true solutions. Too often I see young, inexperienced developers grab on to the latest thing, declaring it the be-all and end-all of programming. I've seen it a million times - their fervor eventually gets tempered by seeing that their shiny new toy isn't perfect and has more rough edges that advertised. I went thru it in my 20's, as did everyone else, I suspect. I'm old enough now to have seen the "Thin Client! No, Thick client! No, Thin Client!" pendulum swing a few times. :-( (For those of you too young, that would be "thin=Mainframe+terminal, thick=Borland Delphi, thin=web app, thick=phone app).

    The consulting company I work for respects the type II old fart and values their experience. Apparently our clients do as well, since we're in high demand.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:31AM (#40465873)

      Speaking as a fellow old fart, I remember being in a constant state of panic when ever a new technology came out because it meant that if I didn't somehow get on the job experience with the technology, I would be left in the dust (unemployed). And back in the 90s, if you didn't learn something new and switch jobs, you were considered unwilling to learn new things and grow - now you're considered a "job hopper".

      And back in the early 90s, employers wanted the "shiny new toys" because they thought they could throw out the very expensive mainframes and go all client server - and many did.

      Anyway, you have to chase all the new tech. It is a must in this industry. I wish I did it more!

      Here's an example: when the whole iOS/iPhone thing was first kicked off by Apple, I poo-pooed it. "Here we go again. Another handheld failure!" The folks who latched on at the beginning - jumping on that shiny new toy - go their first and built up the experience and some of very profitable businesses now.

      This time, my experience led me astray and I missed out on getting a big slice of the pie - there are just crumbs left.

      Then again, I bet there are some RIM developers that are shaking their heads now and thinking, "Wait and see."

      This industry is so volatile and capricious that it's impossible to know what's going to be worth while and what isn't. I mean back in the 90s, I used to laugh at the Mac developers for chasing Windmills. I used to laugh at mainframer COBOL guys but there's quite a few still making a living - a nice one at that.

      I thought I was hot shit for being a UNix/client server/C/C++ programmer - then Java came.

      • I turn 29 tomorrow. It seems that the one thing that has been relatively constant is the movement toward programming at higher and higher levels of abstraction.
      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        This industry is so volatile and capricious that it's impossible to know what's going to be worth while and what isn't

        True. But there are some crazy old guys who don't believe in using the interent, and that building your website to support mobile is a waste.

        You can viably be and older person in management or a technical area and do fine. What you can't do is decide that all this 'innovation' is really bad for the industry and bury your head in the sand. Being wrong about the next big thing is different than believing that there should be no next big thing. Being in academia we have a lot of the guys who believe in usi

        • by Muad'Dave (255648)

          But there are some crazy old guys who don't believe in using the interent, and that building your website to support mobile is a waste.

          Funny you should say that. I see the demand for mobile-enabled web sites diminishing in the face of everyone wanting having to have "an app for that" (both retailers and customers, oddly). Better control of the user experience, better customer tracking, etc. You'd think the customers would prefer the anonymity and familiarity of a web site, but they apparently value other fe

      • I thought I was hot shit for being a UNix/client server/C/C++ programmer - then Java came.

        Fuck. When did I get old? That's what I do. And I still don't know Java; I learned Python instead. And so I'm unemployed. Meh.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kh31d4r (2591021)

      I'm old enough now to have seen the "Thin Client! No, Thick client! No, Thin Client!" pendulum swing a few times. :-( (For those of you too young, that would be "thin=Mainframe+terminal, thick=Borland Delphi, thin=web app, thick=phone app).

      and now cloud.

  • So staff jobs have been losing pay while managers have been gaining. Why can't we stop this trend? It's not as if managers have increased in performance over 2 years while staff workers have decreased.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The managers have indeed increased performance over two years, specifically in the area of keeping staff job pay down and in some cases lowering it.

    • by tomhath (637240)

      FTFA (page 4): "This chart also shows that the average wage differential between staff and managers in software development remains constant at approximately 27%. "

      Did you read the article? Or just post your prejudiced opinion without bothering to look at the data?

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      So staff jobs have been losing pay while managers have been gaining. Why can't we stop this trend? It's not as if managers have increased in performance over 2 years while staff workers have decreased.
      This is because of the arbitrary lines that HR draws on how much a position can pay. They base it on surveys such as this one. Then if some hotshot developer wants more money, HR says no, and if the bossman wants to give him a raise, he has to change the developers title to manager. Number of reports? Zero.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:20AM (#40466307) Journal
    Despite having so many categories, "Software Engineers" and "Software Developers" seem to be the bucket that catches all the people making a living creating software, but belong the category of "software skills are necessary but sufficient". In almost all branches of science, the "numerical simulation" has become very very important. We are graduating some 100,000 Masters in engineering and may be 25000 Ph Ds in engineering and a majority of them write code. Some very well, some very poorly but their programming skills is secondary to their knowledge of physics, chemistry and math. They all are likely to be paid way above this reported mean and clubbing them with "software kills alone are enough" group distorts the data.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Not that much more. A PhD in physics, chem or maths is mostly in the professor bracket. Which typically cap out in the 160k range as a full prof with 30 years experience. But you start at 50-70 and claw your way up from there. Engineering is a bit more than that, but not a lot. You can make more than that in industry of course, but the vast majority of PhD's in science are still academic type jobs.

  • by kjs3 (601225)
    Dr. Dobbs still exists?
  • The useful information lies in the summary at the bottom of each page.

    "Software engineers, however, saw an almost 3% increase â" slightly higher than inflation." "project leaders, and analysts all enjoyed raises that outpaced inflation" "the southern states and the mountain time zone saw the biggest percentage increases in salary" "Additional bonuses were inversely proportional to the size of the group"

    In other words, MOST positions are NOT keeping up with inflation, and bonuses are given out to only a few people (no way to track who deserves them.) But we knew that already, because the CEOs get most of the bonus money.

    Salary survey reveals: We're still fucked

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Salary survey reveals that in in the midst of the deepest and longest recession the world has seen in two generations, some salaries are coming down off the stratospheric highs they reached during the dot com bubble.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        There's no good reason for IT salaries to be falling and for businesses to be simultaneously claiming there's a shortage of IT workers.

  • Sometimes reading fiction can make ones day go a little smoother.
  • And in case anyone is wondering, according to the article, you're in one of those 'disfavored niches' if you're older than 45 or so or happen to be a woman.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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